“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end - which you can never afford to lose - with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” (Admiral James Stockdale)
How do you react in times of struggle? Consider a moment when you’ve felt lost, defeated, hopeless, and frustrated. How did you respond?
Our minds quickly resort to the role of victimhood. A mindset of ‘why me?’. The belief that we don’t deserve to have these things happening to us. We’ve been wronged and want to have our comforts restored - our lives returned to a state of normalcy.
In every instance of momentary struggle there is a timeless choice to be made: You either overcome or succumb to the circumstances.
OPTION #1: OVERCOME (A HERO MENTALITY)
You are not the victim. And in fact, you believe that hardship is an opportunity to grow. You are willing to assume the task at-hand, because the most important lessons are learned through struggle. You aren’t the victim, rather you are the hero.
OPTION #2: SUCCUMB (A VICTIM MENTALITY)
You are a victim in need of saving. Why is no one there to save you? Because everyone else is too busy either trying to save themselves, or like you, waiting for someone to save them. This is life. We all struggle. And at the end of the day, you are the only person who can save you. The victim never moves forward. They remain passive in a world that requires action.
The difference between the above two outcomes can be boiled down to one thing: Ownership.
Ownership is having a bad hand of cards dealt to you and playing them anyways.
Ownership is embracing the hard truths of reality and making the most of them.
Ownership is taking pride in the one thing that only you can control: Your story.
And what is a story without conflict? Furthermore, what is a story without the hero, courageously willing to fight, against all odds, for what they believe in?
We commend those kinds of people, both in fiction and real-life. Yet, when we’re given a similar moment to rise to the occasion in our own lives, we crawl into a shell.
Let’s begin to view hardship for what it really is: Opportunity.
You are in control. You have what it takes. Take ownership and make it happen.