“The man who has anticipated the coming of troubles takes away their power when they arrive.” — Seneca
The oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon, has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877. Just above the players’ entrance to the Centre Court, the tournament’s main arena, inscribed are two lines from Rudyard Kipling’s “If:”
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same
“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.”
― Henri-Frédéric Amiel
In a way, who I am is inseparable from my suffering. My pain dictates my personality, my emotional resilience, and my ambition. My struggle to establish a soul that belongs to me only affects my relationships, even determines the people I want close to me.
If I had to get rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels too. If I’d never write about my suffering, you’d never quite get a sense that I’m an actual human being. Just like every single one of the perfect strangers you encounter on any given day.
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” — William Shakespeare
We have this strange fascination for the extremely successful among us. We crave stories about Alexander the Great, Caesar, Rockefeller, or Vanderbilt.
But we don’t think that it’s not all fun and games to sacrifice in a myriad different ways on a daily basis in order to reach the top of the food chain. We don’t think of how treacherous the path to the top of the mountain truly is.
“If anyone can refute me — show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective — I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”
How often do you change your mind? How often do you change your beliefs? What about your principles? Or your self-image?
How often do you admit that you were wrong?
How often do you force yourself to see things from the opposite of your usual perspective?
It can often feel like a cardinal sin to change one’s mind, to admit being wrong, but the truth is that the inability to change one’s mind is the foundation of a fixed mindset.