What Is The Purpose Of Life’s Adversity?

Meditations Book 3 by Marcus Aurelius, a reflection.

“No more wandering. Hurry then to the end, abandon vain hopes, rescue yourself, if you have any care for yourself, while the opportunity is still there.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 3.14

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash.

All the emotional struggles and physical hardships that we experience do not just come and go. They always leave something in us – a lesson, a realization, a badge of strength, an alert message not to do this, or not to be with this kind of person again.

They give us a better understanding of our inner strength and our character. They also empower us knowing that in the future we can again overcome similar situations. And they develop our resilience and our ability to come up with a new strategy when a new problem arises.

Most often than not, our fear holds us back. We are afraid to try it really hard and find out what we are capable of. We are afraid to know our limits and discover new skills that are yet to be known. We become afraid to meet new people because of past experiences where we are used and taken advantage of by others.

Life is full of adversity. That is how it is. And ironically we need adversity and some weights to carry. They are needed to test our characters, to widen our perceptions, to know what is best for us, and to set the bar of our potential to the new heights.

New Heights. New Potentials.

When we try something new, there are more new things to us. We know more information. We discover new skills. We even get new perspectives or strengthen the perspectives we already have. We are no longer the previous version of ourselves that, most often than not, we dislike. To an intrapersonal level of analysis, we become a new person.

For example, lifting weights. We will lift 5kgs of the dumbbell each arm. At first, we will struggle more, exert our more effort, and sweat more profusely. But we will not lift 5kgs of dumbbell for the rest of our program. We will incrementally increase the weight of the dumbbell we lift. In doing so, the amount of struggle and strength will also increase. And with proper planning, execution, and consistency, we will become stronger and get the result we want. We become a better version of ourselves.

Same in life, the more we struggle, the more we unlock our potential to be stronger, happier, and live a more purposeful life.

rescue ourselves

The very essence of trying out new things is that we move on from the old and move forward to the new. But it is easier said than done. Finding meaning, direction, and healing in life will hurt. It is nothing personal. We may dislike it but that is how we will develop endurance and perseverance. That is only through life’s many difficulties.

The way we deal with difficult situations will determine the outcome. No one can run away from it. Doubts and fears won’t help us either and will even make our situation worse. And our situation will remain as is until we do something about it. Whether we believe it or not, our courage and strength manifest in times of stress and trouble. When nobody comes to rescue us, we have to rescue ourselves.

As Marcus Aurelius says, ‘we should not wander’. Let us not spend our energy on activities that deteriorate our potential and spoil our character.

Despite adversities, let us always take an opportunity to set the bar of our potential to the new heights.

If you find this blog post helpful, share it now with a friend!

1. The Meditations By Marcus Aurelius.
2. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.

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The goal of my book series is the same goal I have expressed in Why Do I Write.

My 2020 goal is to read a book per month; share with people what I learn from and feel about the book. For July 2020, the book I read is the Meditations By Marcus Aurelius.

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