Turning yourself into a character with enough strength to prevail in the difficult conditions of life

Life won't wait for you to get ready. Challenges will strike, whether you like it or not. Hiding isn't an option; problems only grow in the dark.

Feb 24, 2024

These ideas were inspired by Maps of Meaning by Jordan Peterson

Why care to strengthen yourself?

It’s self-evident that life is very difficult. It will challenge you to your core. You need to be able to withstand that challenge.

If you can’t, if you’re not all that you can be, you will suffer more than you have to and so will the people around you. Think back to situations in your life where your loved ones are struggling and refuse to look at their adversity directly in the eyes. Their pain leaks into the people around them and frustrating others by their lack of willingness to resolve their adversity, and in some situations they lash out.

How do you develop yourself to withstand the inevitable challenges of life?

You must strengthen yourself by voluntarily take on challenges and new responsibilities that push your boundaries (with one foot in comfort and one in chaos). Push yourself against the new and potentially dangerous unknown. Embrace the inevitable anxiety this results in and treat the anxiety as your compass of doing the right thing. By doing so, you will see yourself transform. Each time you face the abyss (or serpent), confronting the vastness of what you cannot yet comprehend, you will become stronger and more resilient for your next encounter with the unknowable. If you do this religiously, in theory, you can turn yourself into a character that has enough power and strength to prevail in the tragic conditions of life.

And should you fall under the weight of your trials, remember the phoenix. From the ashes of struggle, you can rise again, stronger than before.

What’s the alternative? As Jordan Peterson says: You could hide, but there’s no hiding. You can’t hide from illness and death. You can’t hide from loneliness or pain. It’s not possible. If you retreat, then the things that chase you just grow larger. You have to put yourself together, and you do that by seeing what’s right in front of you, regardless of whether or not you like it, and encouraging yourself to master what you see voluntarily and to extend yourself and to stretch yourself out constantly.

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