What Makes Us Strong

A favorite quote by the Greek philosopher Epictetus is a core value I live by:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond that matters”

It is said best though in the 2006 film Rocky Balboa by the man himself:

“…[life] it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard ya can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward…”

We all have setbacks in life. For some of us, it hits hard. Sometimes this life will bring you to your knees. In some form or another, we all have faced struggles, disappointment tragedy,  heartbreak, and loss.

We can become angry and defeated. We blame others for our misfortune. It’s easy. What isn’t easy is to realize this life isn’t fair. Sometimes it’s gonna hit you like a ton-of-bricks.  We can’t control what happens, we can only control our responses and our responsibility for ourselves. It’s not an easy thing to do. We have to wake up every morning and tell ourselves we have no choice. We must. We can. To be truly happy in this life and to be free, as Rocky said,  we always have to move forward. It’s mandatory.

In this life, pain, misfortune, and hardship make us appreciate the beauty and the joy of being alive. Live a life of gratitude. Don’t wish to be someone else or have their story.  Be grateful for your life, your story and all the chapters so far and for those to come.

Embrace your story, pain and all. Live with gratitude and keep moving forward.

This is what makes us strong.