Destiny is not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you.
There’s this story about Winston Churchill who, after the Japanese bombed Hong Kong and Singapore, forcing Great Britain to declare war, he signed off with the following words, “I have the honour to be, with high consideration, Sir, Your obedient servant.”
For most of my twenties, there were so many things I didn’t want to be true about myself, yet I somehow thought them to be facts.
I believed I was quite unlovable, which was my excuse for not trying to be worthy of love in any way. I believed I’d always struggle financially, so I made no serious effort to earn more, to save more, or to build multiple streams of income.
I believed that life was harsh, that people didn’t like me for being skinny, kind of ugly, and not nearly as charming as everyone else, so I lived in a state of perpetual fear — I somehow expected the world to decide that I wasn’t worthy of living on this planet anymore and send me off to spend the rest of my life on the dark side of the moon or something.
In his 2008 release, Outliers, journalist Malcolm Gladwell introduced the notion that one has to spend 10,000 hours working at their craft before they can become a true master.
Now, even though the idea is catchy, and it’s a valid one indeed, there’s a lot to be said about the kind of work one has to put. It’s not just work-work, but it’s working towards mastery, a competitive and aggressive way of working towards bettering yourself day in and day out.
10,000 hours of that, and you’ll become so good they can’t ignore you.
Rock bottom is never the end. It’s only the beginning.
“When this ultimate crisis comes… when there is no way out — that is the very moment when we explode from within and the totally other emerges: the sudden surfacing of a strength, a security of unknown origin, welling up from beyond reason, rational expectation, and hope.”
I remember watching one of Jim Rohn’s speeches. He was sharing with the audience the story of being 25, a college graduate, freshly married, and not being able to afford to pay the girl scouts who knocked at his door to sell him cookies.
Ah, your twenties. A decade of marvelous growth, decadent spending, and quite a few heartbreaks. Just like the 1920s.
That’s when you figure out a lot about life. What your teachers didn’t want to tell you, didn’t like to tell you, or didn’t know enough about to tell you.
That’s when you’ll probably fall in and out of love with life, with your soulmate, with your passion. That’s when you will get your heart broken, and when you should fail at something you were passionate about.
There’s a fascinating story about the biblical King Solomon. It is said that he was searching for a cure against depression. He assembled his wise men together, which gave him the following advice: to craft himself a ring engraved with the words ‘This too will pass.’
“Every struggle is like mud — there are always some lotus seeds waiting to sprout.” ― Amit Ray
I am writing these words to you, who are struggling. I am writing these words to let you know that this is the moment when you want your dream to come true, but it doesn’t.
You gave it your best shot, but it didn’t happen.
And this dream of yours, it could be anything. Writing a book, starting a business, landing a new job, losing a few extra pounds, or finding your soulmate.
It’s what you want to be doing, what you know you should be doing, but you’re struggling. You want to throw in the towel.
Because it’s not working out. It’s all setbacks and restlessness and this pitch darkness when you think about the future. It’s no visible progress. It’s fear and anger and bitterness and envy, all mixed up together, all demons afraid of each other.
Maybe that’s not your thing, after all? Or are you paying your dues?
Are you wasting your time or are you on the way to success?