Life Is Tough – But Then Again, Compared to What?

Unfortunately, when you arrived on this planet, no one gave you an instruction
book on how to deal with life. In your early teens you were expecting life to be
one big party once you got your act together as an adult. What a surprise! A
few years after reaching adulthood and having to deal with the real world, you
came to the realization that life is difficult. In this regard American philosopher
George Santayana surmised, “Life is not a spectacle or a feast;itis a
predicament.”
Regardless of your age, if you expect living to be easier down the road,
forget it. What may come as a surprise is that life is difficult for everyone. Your
life won’t be free of difficulty no matter how talented and how rieh you
become. Truth be told, everyone experiences stress and pain to a certain
degree.
Illness, natural disasters, accidents, death, and other negative events are
inevitable. None ofus is immune. The successful ofthis world take for granted
that the world is a hard place. earl Jung, the well-known Swiss psychiatrist,
feIt that unpleasant experiences help us find personal and spiritual wholeness.
“Man needs difficulties,” said Jung. “They are necessary for health.”
As a matter of course the world throws curves at all of us throughout our
lives. In the event you ever find that everything is coming your way, you will
probably be on a one-way street going the wrong way. You may go through a
stretch in your existence when so many things are going right that you start
believing that nothing of consequence could go wrong. As is to be expected,
when you get on a roll, you will start thinking that you finally understand how
life works.
Alas, just when you are convinced that you are under divine guidance,
something will happen to burst your bubble. Disaster will strike when you least
expect it. Most of the time, however, things appear a lot worse than they are.

Nothing very good lasts a long time – neither does anything very bad. How

many times have disasters become blessings in disguise?
Everything changes sooner or later. The good becomes bad and the bad
becomes good. Profits turn into losses and losses turn into profits. Approval
may turn into disapproval and disapproval may turn into approval. Mistakes
and setbacks add up to success. Then success leads to failure. This is life.Itis
never too late to start again.
As tough as things get sometimes, there are several ways to make life more
alluring – things as simple as looking at the bright side of things. “When life ‘s
problems seem overwhelming,” syndicated columnist Ann Landers told us,
“look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider
yourself fortunate.”Italso helps to realize that nothing is as serious as it first
appears. Today’s crisis makes tomorrow’s interesting story.
American novelist Kathleen Norris has a formula for making your
existence a lot less difficult: “Life is easier to take than you think; all that is
necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear
the intolerable.” Indeed, the more you can hold up to the tests ofthe real world,
the more you can achieve. The key is to put your mind at ease and rely on your
inner strength to handle the difficult times confidently and successfully.
All told, life is a learning process and the school of hard knocks is a great
teacher. Pleasure and comfort don ‘t build character – adversity does! Once
you acquire your Master’s in Adversity, you will be prepared for the worst of
situations. As Clare Boothe Luce, an American playwright and public official,
once emphasized, “There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who
have grown hopeless about them.”
Life can be relatively difficult or it can be relatively easy. Our material
environment has nothing to do with how difficult it iso What maUers is how we
react to our environment. Paradoxically, surrendering to the fact that life isn’t
always easy will make it a lot easier. Whenever you feel that life is
overwhelming you, just subject yourself to this mind-altering question: “Yes,
life is tough – but then again, compared to what?”

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