• darachduffy

3 life lessons hard earned

Often times, our fear of what could happen is far worse than if it actually did happen. So here are some simple methods that helped me overcome adversity.

Step 1: know thyself. To know yourself is to be a tree with deep roots. When you embrace your true authenticity, you will build a foundation from within. You won’t be dependent on external forces for validation, and therefore external forces will not be able to shake you. If you have a healthy foundation - a healthy body, a mindset of resilience and a deep understanding of your core values, principles, and priorities - when stormy weather comes around, your foundation will hold. However, if you are weak of heart and mind, and look for your identity in other’s opinions of you, or cling to an ideology or material possessions, then you will snap like a dead twig when adversity comes around. To know yourself on a deep level is to find your purpose. Many of us go through life without feeling that we have real purpose, even though everyone of us has unique qualities to offer the world.

Step 2: Accepting that there will be suffering is key. Suffering is an inevitable part of existence. But you can either suffer as a victim or you can face adversity voluntarily. When you face suffering willingly, it suddenly gives your suffering meaning. When we embrace a challenge instead of brace for catastrophe, your life will have meaning. We cannot change the external world. But we always have the power to change ourselves…and that will change the external world. No matter how treacherous your journey may be, you always have the power to change the way you see the adversity before you. We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world. Life teaches us lessons in mysterious ways. It is impossible to know if anything is good or bad, for the most tragic and painful events often lead to the most profound breakthroughs.

My biggest mistakes often lead to my greatest learning. If we choose to view adversity through the lens of learning experiences, we will grow through adversity. The more discomfort you can handle, the more growth.

Adversity it is not personal. Things unfold as links in a long causal chain. The struggles we face are training us for a higher purpose. I think we are part of a higher wisdom, but it’s hard to see when we’re so close.

I have learned not to give up when something gets hard. For years I wanted an escape - so I turned to easy, comforting addictive behaviours. When in reality, going into adversity is the path forward.

Step 3: Nothing is Permanent. The night is always coldest and darkest just before dawn. Find what is good in this world - family, purpose, love, creativity, nature, friendship - and hold on to that. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honourable and right and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Focusing on good things will keep you from drifting into the darkness of nihilism and loss of meaning. There is a light in every dark place. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. It’s not about denying reality, it’s about focusing on the positive and extracting the meaning from every obstacle. Obstacles can either be the bars of a mental prison or they can be a key to unlocking your full potential. So, embrace the suffering. Face your adversity voluntarily. Be grateful for misfortune and learn from it. This gave my life meaning eventually.

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