"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
so that his place shall never be with those cold
and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
I have many patients who are frustrated with their jobs, partners, home situation and lives. They sound disappointed and would rather change their situation if they had the opportunity to do it all over again. However, living in this world is like going on a journey. You have stops to make to fill your tank with gas, perform ablution, change the deflated car tires, look for a toying truck to move your broken touring car for repairs, fight sleep behind the steering wheel and cater for your children in the back seats constantly asking you "are we there yet?" These interruptions and annoyances are part of the price we pay when we are on a journey to see our loved ones or go on vacation.
Sometimes, when you look at your life, you do not see any meaningful achievements you have made. Other times you may find many obstacles in your way preventing you from achieving your goals. If you can tolerate temporary annoyances on the road to visit your favorite grandmother, you can restructure your thoughts to be able to withstand the vicissitudes and idiosyncrasies in your life. These changes in your life are the necessary right of passage you need to survive in this world. You have to remember that the unchallenged life is not worth living. Hence, challenge yourself even in the face of adversity to be all you can.
The early explorers sailed the seas in search of the New World. The only traits they had were faith, hope and religion. They went through bolts, bars and arrows to conquer the land they discovered. If they became frustrated during their journey and made a U-turn to their comfortable environment, we may all not be here today. Hence, when the going gets tough and your stress hormones are giving you palpitations and urging you to quit, you should think about these few suggestions:
- Nothing meaningful is easy to achieve. The more precious the jewel, the deeper you have to dig to get it. Even when you acquire your booty, you still have to keep it polished to prevent deterioration.
- Cultivate hope like a little rose in your garden. Water it and prevent the weeds from choking it. For, that little plant can grow and give you flowers to brighten your life with color and sweet scents.
- Share your passion and your achievements. Sharing helps other people and makes you richer.
- In the face of adversity, be tenacious and have faith in yourself.
- Do not go it alone. Have a social network you can tap into since sometimes you need someone to wipe your tears for you.
- Cultivate spirituality to give you buffer as you will face disappointments. Spirituality will be your mantle and shield on those occasions and give you meaning for your quest.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem the worst that you must not quit.
"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."
Alfred De Souza