How Your Hardships Can Make You Better, Not Bitter
Suffering is part of the human condition. No one escapes this life untouched by pain and heartache. Hardships, when they happen, often arise out of the blue and can plague us for what seems like forever. It’s easy to get dragged into the undertow of resentment.
But a world that’s connected by bitter people is not a world that’s connected at all. When we stew in our own sense of injustice, we can’t see outside ourselves. We can’t feel empathy for others. We can’t truly care about others. And we definitely can’t induce change.
Which is why it’s so important to understand that your hardships can and will make you a better person. You will emerge stronger and happier than you ever imagined, by believing in a few important points.
01 | HARDSHIPS HAPPEN FOR A REASON
Though clichéd, it’s true: everything happens for a reason. Those reasons lead us to better things. But in the midst of a downward spiral, we lack perspective, something that’s very dangerous because it’s a bitterness trap. One way to regain perspective is to take inventory of the hardships in your life thus far and list the positive outcomes of each. Try to remember how long those results took to emerge; this will help remind you that hardships -- like anything else -- are a process, but they do have an end.
02 | HARDSHIPS BRING YOU CLOSER TO WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE
Many of us were raised by parents of a very different generation. They believed that success was reached by choosing a path and committing to it – forever. Hardships remind us that this is far from true, by showing up when we’ve gone too far down the wrong path. They urge us to turn left instead of right at the next fork in the road.
What’s more, they strengthen us by forcing us to let go of the stuff that weakens us. It’s simple: we can’t grow until we cut the rope. There comes a time when our tribulations' bitterness and resentment will no longer serve a purpose. Identify the parts of your life most affected by your hardship. Which areas were you most unhappy with? How has your struggle freed you from having to live those out any longer?
03 | HARDSHIPS CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER
Remember that world-changing memoir written by the guy who never revealed any of his personal struggles? Me neither. Inspiration is rooted in hardship, and from it flourishes happiness. Some of the most powerful influencers of good have gone through the roughest, lowest ordeals. Tales of overcoming adversity create powerful human networks. When we come to see one another for the amazing, resilient beings we are, we start to truly believe change is possible.
Hardships are agonizing. But it’s how we choose to deal with them that will transform our pain into growth. By recognizing the positive impacts of our struggles, we become stronger, more capable agents of change. We become the path towards better, leaving the bitter behind.
FROM THE EDITOR
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