“No one said life was easy. No one said it would be fair. Don’t forget, though, that you come from a long, unbroken line of ancestors who survived unimaginable adversity, difficulty, and struggle. It’s their genes and their blood that run through your body right now. Without them, you wouldn’t be here.” — The Daily Stoic, p170.
I was chatting with one of my closest friends and admiring him for all of his amassed success. Though, he mentioned how he could have been even further in life if he had made wiser decisions on the front end. He went on to say that if he had made smarter decisions earlier in life, he wouldn’t have had to make such legendary comebacks.
My thoughts took me straight to this article: We are built for resilience. No matter what situations we face, we can overcome them through and through if we tap into our natural abilities to excel and destroy all impediments that pop up during our lifetimes.
We are all capable of making legendary comebacks because it is within our natural abilities to bounce back from unfortunate trials and tribulations.
If you are reading this, it’s highly probable you are interested in philosophy and its subdomain: stoicism. On our journey to becoming more stoic-like, we miss our targets and make mistakes. We give into emotion and irrational anger. We take things personally, and we give in to materialism. But a dedicated student of stoicism never gives up on the ultimate goal: to do life better.
Stoicism teaches us to do the following:
Bounce back after unwise decisions
Learn from our mistakes
Don’t quit when we are going through the wringer
Continue making progress in life — despite the impediments we will face
These all equate to being resilient. Resilience is not easy, but it is something found in every being if you dig deep enough.
Adversity reveals: YOU
“How does it help, my husband, to make misfortune heavier by complaining about it? This is more fit for a king — to seize your adversities head-on. The more precarious his situation, the more imminent his fall from power, the more firmly he should be resolved to stand and fight. It isn’t manly [or womanly] to retreat from fortune.” — Seneca, Oedipus, 80
We’ve all heard of how adversity reveals who a person is; it’s quite accurate. We can all give in, quit, give up, and complain when things get hard. But we can also do the opposite.
“Why then are we offended? Why do we complain? This is what we’re here for.” — Seneca, On Providence, 5.7b-8.
Based on the hardships my good friend experienced during his lifetime, he isn’t supposed to be where he is today. However, if a person adopts a resilient mentality — as my friend did — there is no limit to what one can accomplish.
What is a resilient person?
A resilient person not only knows how to get back on track after a deviation, but they also know how to fight through discouragement, loss, pain, deep misfortune, tragedy, malicious experiences derived from other parties, and all types of adversity.
Resilient: Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
External circumstances do not negatively dictate the life and outcome of a resilient person. The resilient person is inner-directed and chooses not to relinquish their gumption just because a barrier arises.
“You’re an heir to an impressive tradition — and as their viable offspring, you’re capable of what they are capable of. You’re meant for this. Bred for it. Just something to keep in mind if things get tough.” — The Daily Stoic, p170
Remember the tough is only mental
Our attitudes determine how difficult a tribulation has to be for us. The rough is only mental. It’s too easy to give in to pain: the pain of mediocrity, the pain of misfortune, the pain of loneliness, the pain of loss, the pain of waking up early, the pain of not procrastinating, the pain of malicious acts from others, and the pain of all that life brings.
But we were created to excel. You must remember this at all costs — especially when it’s easiest to forget and throw in the towel.
Victor Frankl put it best in the following four quotes:
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
The last of human freedoms — the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.
Destiny S. Harris is a writer, poet, entrepreneur, teacher, and techie who offers free books daily on amazon. Destiny obtained three degrees in political science, psychology, and women’s studies. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or @ destinyh.com