If life isn’t tough, you’re doing something wrong.
Life was meant to be tough, and you were meant to grin and bear it.
You were created to face fear and beat it into submission. You are given challenges to prove to yourself that you are equal to the task. Trials are Father’s way of saying, “I believe in you.”
There is an easy path through life: Never stand up, never stand out. Follow the crowd. Do things the way they’ve always been done. Get a comfortable job for security and benefits. Put in your time, go home, flip on the TV, crack open a beer night after night. Stifle the Voice that cries out for something different, something better.
Feeling tired of struggling? Would you rather trade that feeling for the tragic feeling of looking back on an easy, and therefore wasted life?
I didn’t think so.
The grueling price to pay for living a life of greatness is nothing compared to the awful cost of living small.
I don’t know what terrible tragedy you’ve endured or what excruciating trial you face. But I know you’ve got what it takes to overcome. You were born for this. You were born to become a conquering hero. You were born for greatness.
The darkness is no match for your light. Face your inner demons and outer tests with faith in your heart and a grin on your face. Channel your inner Churchill and
Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Fear not criticism. Opposition is evidence that you’re doing something worthwhile. Michael Strong wrote in Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems:
…we welcome dissatisfaction as the source of craving for the good. But we never accept whining or criticizing of others or critiques of society. If you don’t like it, go fix it, go create a world…in which you can show us what your vision of beauty and nobility looks like…Criticize by creating.”
There is a corollary truth embedded in that phrase: Respond to criticism by creating.
Don’t jump into the fray with critics. Jump into the arena and build something with your blood, sweat, and tears. Remember Teddy’s bold wisdom,
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Let the armchair quarterbacks badger you from the sidelines. Take the field and win the day.
Worth infinitely more than a stadium full of people cheering you on is the satisfaction you feel from your private victories.
And make no mistake: There is a heavenly crowd that shouts for joy every time you walk away from temptation, stifle an angry word, help someone in need, take an action to achieve a dream.
Don’t ask for an easier life. Ask for the courage to face life as it was meant to be lived.
*Today’s message was written in honor of Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks, who have responded to vicious criticism by creating and building, and Tag and Sally Taggart, who stare into the face of cancer and grin.