“Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”– Niccolò Machiavelli
The past several months have been a time of trial for people around the world due to the lingering pandemic. Between taking extra precautions, trying to maintain patience towards people who refuse to take precautions, and dealing with the death toll we have had to tap into our well of personal strength.
We have various techiques and practices that help us reinforce our psyches and well-being. The wise ones do not allow the craziness of the world to harden their souls. They pay attention to the pain and do not allow it to fuel their hatred. They do not let bitterness overpower their innate sweetness. Although the pundits and narcissists advocate divisiveness through libel and slander, the strong people see through the faulty illogic and remain strong in their desire to become better people.
“In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain; either you will get up higher today or you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow.”–Friedrich Nietzsche
We have read or have been told that life presents everyone with great pain and trials. Life is also quite interesting and engaging because of this fact. Using this logic, we learn that some of our greatest trials can force us to strengthen ourselves or damage our will; and that we all have to make that choice. When we face our challenges head-on and honestly do something about them, we discover that we have more gumption and power than we previously believed. We leverage that strength and add to that the encouragement of our allies, if we have them. In the end, surrender or defeat are up to us.
Sometimes cliches lead to the truth. I like one that has been said by many personal development coaches: “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” When we pause and contemplate the difficult scenario that we are facing, we can remember the other harsh events we have managed to weather either as failures or successes. The truth remains that we survived. This knowledge can provide us with the extra boost we need to press onward. We gain confidence, courage, and strength through fully experiencing life as it happens.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 19th century British essayist and journalist, Walter Bagehot. “A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”