It Is Not Our Situation That Is Difficult, It is Our Judgment Of It

Meditations Book 8 by Marcus Aurelius, a reflection.

“When you are distressed by an external thing, it’s not the thing itself that troubles you, but only your judgment of it.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.47

Photo by Dan Burton on Unsplash.

Hi! Have you ever wonder how less inspiring success stories are without the element of struggles or difficulties? Because I do. A lot! I think that is our common denominator in one form or another as we live this life. In this blog, allow me to share with you this inspiring story of a young boy used to earn a nickel to survive and who also get featured in Time’s 100 most influential persons.


There is a young boy who lives with his family in poverty and hunger. He wants his family to get out of that distressful life. At an early age, he sneaks on to a ship to the mainland city to look for better opportunities. Since he doesn’t have much, he sleeps in the street on cardboard boxes, eats once a day, and sells bread on the streets to earn a nickel more.

But he is young and vigorous and has talent in boxing. Later on, he gets a job at a gym doing all sort of decent works like gardening, cleaning, and construction while boxing on the side.

He knows what he wants. And he is determined to get it. He wakes up early and works during the day, and trains all night when possible. He does not just train, but he trains really hard.

At the age of 16, he makes his professional debut as a junior flyweight boxer. From then on, he increasingly holds domination in the world of boxing. After more than ten years, he becomes one of the greatest boxers the modern world knows.

This is the story of Manny Pacquiao, now considered as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world during the first ten years of the 21st century. He won a total of ten world titles in eight different divisions. And he also featured in Time’s 100 most influential people for the year 2009.

The success story of Manny Pacquiao is almost impossible because of an external thing – poverty. Life itself is already difficult to deal with. And poverty increases the difficulty of life to a new level.

No matter how difficult, try to win one jab at a time.


If you’re poor, you barely make both ends meet. You hardly sleep at night because of the disturbing sound of an empty stomach. And, the worst, you easily doubt that getting an education can make the needed change.

For some reason, poverty is a hindrance to becoming the person you want to be. It hinders you from having a healthy physical, mental, and social condition. It hinders you from getting a quality education at an early age. It hinders you from having the focus on discovering your full potential because of your divided attention.

It’s hard to keep your focus if there’s a lot of concern going on in your mind. If you have something to eat or if you have the money to pay for the internet to do some work.

But being poor is not an excuse to become the person you want to be. Even if you are poor, you can still have dreams, aspirations, and hopes. These are the judgments you need to make of your situation. You will only feel more distressed if you would think more distressful things out of your situation.

It is undeniable that poverty brings Manny Pacquiao distress in life, but it is not the poverty that gives him success. But the judgment – the decision – that he made of it.

Like him, you can help compose your life one judgment and action at a time. And become satisfied when each action achieves something good no matter how little.

Remember, anything that is outside yourself cannot control nor determine the outcome of your life, but it is the judgment that you make of it.


What do you think about my thoughts you just read? Comment them below.


Sources:
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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