The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material. But this is going to take some sweat to accomplish.
Epictetus, Discourses I, 24.1-2
I know a lot of you are scared. I know a lot of you are frustrated by events that you had not fault over.
Everybody who’s enjoyed some kind of success and Oprah will tell you that you can be great. That you are unique, special, fantastic, phenomenal…
But there’s a trap. It’s quite obvious, actually. As most things in life are.
To most of us this simple word means much more than just the muscle that keeps us alive. It defines our ability to feel, to love, to care, to suffer deeply, to evolve, to fight on… it is the source of all our power, our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.
To me the word implies all that is good and bad and wonderful and frightening in a human being. It’s the essence of who we are, the inexorable truth of the human condition. Found in the center of what we call one’s soul, the heart is the passion we are capable of mustering, is the strength that we are capable of summoning, the ability to love…
”Maybe it’s the choices we make? We all start from the same grain but choose different paths? I’ve always thought most of us are only a handful of key decisions from a much different life.” – Ashley Williams
It does seem that most of the time paradise is just around the corner, doesn’t it? That the life we want, the life we dream about on our most lonely of nights, is just out of our reach. Almost attainable.
Life, as we want it, has to be conquered. It’s not a place to be reached, or something that can be granted. Our decisions shape our destinies. Life is what we make it.
But it’s easier that way, isn’t it? To think of the promise of a better life as something that will come to you eventually. To imagine a future that you never have to struggle to reach. It’s just there, inside your head, like a reminder of all that you could be… if only…