Endurance

“Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.”
– Virgil

Perhaps the greatest difference between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is nothing more than their ability to endure hardship? Please note the punctuation: I used a question mark because I cannot say that as a statement; I simply don’t know, and I don’t believe there’s enough research to fully form a conclusion. Success is such a malleable thing that it’s very difficult to ascertain its peculiar makeup.

Regardless the science behind it all, I believe it is safe to say that you cannot achieve anything in life without the ability to endure some hardships and persevere. It’s a funny thing, really: such a large percentage of our world seems to have given up on religion and theology, and yet so many people believe their life has a purpose. Ironically, most people try to ascertain their purpose in life by looking for the thing at which they encounter the least resistance. The logic seems to be that if something were meant to be, it will happen almost without participation.

Who do you know that has ever achieved anything that way? I have to believe the statistics are nearly zero.

How could you ever accomplish anything in life without trials and suffering? Even a drive into town requires you to overcome the weather, your own lethargy, and your fellow motorists. If basic travel requires some amount of effort and determination (no matter how small), then why wouldn’t your most-dear life pursuits require even more of you? It may seem absurd to suggest that a trip in your car is any real effort, but let me try it a different way. When you note the clock and realize your mother’s birthday party is in only ten minutes, what happens if you continue to lay on the couch?

Please don’t mistake me. I know this seems overly-simplified, but this is the way too many people live their lives. They sit around their existence – physically or mentally – and expect something magnificent to simply occur out of nothing. “Someday, I’m going to be the most-respected artist in the world!”, “Someday, I’ll become a famous architect and design the most-recognizable structures in the world!”, or, “Someday, I’m finally going to get in shape and turn my life around!”.

We must accept that life is an active process and not a passive one. Good things will not simply come your way as a result of your existence. Furthermore, when you do set off after something, you must expect resistance. Life does not hand out its treasures willingly – they must be taken by force! To anyone that intends to achieve anything, know this: you must prepare for a battle!

Endurance is truly a necessary component of any successful endeavor. Life and the world are beautiful things with so much to offer, but we have to be ready to develop the resources and skill sets to overcome hardships and move forward, venturing off naively and hoping for the best will only lead to disappointment.

Thank you for your time.

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