Time to think…about handling setbacks

“If I would so prepare myself to endure, then let anything happen that will. Otherwise, it would be like a boxer who leaves the ring because he took some punches. You can leave the boxing ring without consequence, but what advantage would come from abandoning the pursuit of wisdom? What should each of us say to every trial we face? This is what I’ve trained for, for this is my discipline!” Epictetus, Discourses.

 

Some challenges we face are such that we cannot exit the ‘boxing ring’. There is no running away or turning your face, shutting your eyes and hoping it will all go away. Instead, you have to turn to face reality. That does not mean that you have to allow emotions to get the better of you. Instead, acknowledge them and continue with planning your next move. There is benefit in adversity. As Seneca wrote, ‘everlasting misfortune does have one blessing, that it ends up by toughening those whom it constantly afflicts.’