Difficult times happen to us all in life. And, naturally, we will try to solve and address these difficulties. Depending on the challenge, I suggest not focusing all our efforts on solving our problem, but rather seek to understand what the problem can teach you – how can you learn and grow from it while you are going through it?
Difficult times teach us lessons and virtues that can help us, if we let them. How many enduring lessons have you learned from pleasure and fun? How many enduring lessons have you learned from difficult times in your life? Virtually every valuable lesson we learn in life, we learn through hardship. In most cases, misfortune teaches while good fortune distracts (wealth, fun, etc). For example, we develop courage when there is danger, and we develop perseverance when we have obstacles in our way. And through our difficult experiences, we become better equipped to help others through their challenges. Would you rather be in a battle fox-hole with a clean, newly-minted West Point graduate, or a tough, battle-hardened warrior who has been in the front lines of battle before? Look for ways your battles in life can equip you to give back and share your experiences with others who are struggling.
“Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my experience, has been through affliction and not through happiness.” – Malcolm Muggeridge
“No one would have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.” -Charles Kettering