Yesterday I watched an old movie with Dustin Hoffmann and Meryl Streep called Kramer vs. Kramer.
The movie was about the hard-working father Ted whose wife left him saying she needed to find herself.
She left Ted their 7-year-old son to raise by himself.
After she left him, Ted goes through a rough time of his life (trying to be a good father while losing his job, going through divorce and in the end fighting a custody battle).
As soon as the movie was over, I knew what I am going to write about in my next post.
No, not about raising a child as a single parent.
It’s about going through hard times in life but never giving up to achieve greatness and making your dreams come true.
As the Greek philosopher, Epicurus said:
”You don’t develop courage by being happy every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity”.
Of course, it’s more comfortable to order a pizza and watch TV instead of going to the gym and eating a healthy meal with lots of nutrients afterwards.
But we can’t always live comfortable, otherwise we get nowhere in life.
Next time you have troubles doing something like getting out of your bed tell yourself:
I have to go to work.
I have to do what I was born to do.
Or is this what I was created for? To cuddle under the blanket, to stay warm because it feels nice?
Were you born to feel nice?
I was not born to feel nice and live passively. I was born to grow my body and mind and to improve every day.
Every life form seems to strive to its maximum except the human being.
Trees grow as high as possible.
Birds fly as high as possible.
We, however, have the choice to be more or to be less.
But to be more we have to grow and in order to grow, we need failure.
This is why I embrace failure and never whine when I am facing a rough time period because I know it’s a life lesson which makes me grow in some way.
You have to enjoy the process of growing and building something.
Like a bodybuilder who enjoys his workouts to build his physique, an author writing his new book or a hard-working man who saves money to make his dreams come true.
That’s why I like movies like Rocky, The Founder, and The Pursuit of Happiness.
They all went through hard times until they reached fame.
Some years ago, I had less money and didn’t know if I had enough money to buy groceries for this week.
At the end of each month, my bank account was empty.
One cold winter day the gas stopped to work in my apartment. There was no gas to cook or to heat the flat and no warm water.
I sat in my tiny, cold one-room apartment and though I was healthy and a had a roof over the head, I felt pitiful for a moment.
Therefore I had to make the best of the situation.
I wore warm clothes at home, took showers at the gym and cooked my food in the microwave.
It took 4 days until someone came to fix the gas problem.
These days I have learned to never complain ever again, to live modestly and appreciate what I have.
Let me tell you one of my favorite stories about a man who lived as modestly as possible.
Once upon a time, there was a philosopher named Diogenes.
People often came to him to ask him for advice but he also was a rebel who lived his life in opposition to others.
In winter he walked barefoot in the snow. In summer he rolled in hot sand. When people asked him why he did such things, he explained that he was hardening himself against discomfort.
Instead of living in a house, Diogenes lived in a tub made from a barrel.
One day, Diogenes walked past a river, where he noticed a boy scooping out water and drinking from his hands. He stopped to admire the child and realized the child had outdone him in simplicity. He threw away his cup and never used it again.
Diogenes believed that no one ought to have more things than he truly needed.
The word of Diogenes wisdom has gotten around to the king, Alexander the Great, he believed that Diogenes might have something to teach him. So he decided to travel to Corinth and visit the philosopher.
His men warned him ”Diogenes is a bizarre man.”
Alexander didn’t care, he wanted to learn something from him.
As soon as Alexander got to Diogenes, he jumped from his horse and asked him:
“Diogenes, I have heard many stories of your wisdom and I’ve come to ask if there is anything I can do for you?”
”Yes, there is.”
”Anything.” the king answered.
”Stand out of my sunlight.”
Alexander stepped aside and laughed about Diogenes’s answer.
Alexander’s guards couldn’t believe what this old man just told their king.
“It is a wise man who keeps his word,” Diogenes said, and as Alexander and his men rode home the king smiled and said ””I can tell you this, if I were not Alexander, I would like to be Diogenes.”
What I like so much about this story is, that the man who seemed to have everything wanted to meet the man who possessed nothing to get something that money can’t buy.
While I don’t suggest anyone to live in a tub, I agree with him in living simpler by asking yourself if you really need all this luxury to be happy?
If you have been through difficult times in your life, you will be better prepared for prospectively challenges, you will appreciate also the smaller things in life and you won’t get upset as fast as people who have been sheltered from life’s difficulties.
Next time you face a problem don’t complain. Instead hold on, learn from it and grow.
All great people who weren’t born rich had to fail before the succeeded.
The famous inventor Thomas Edison invented 1000 lightbulbs before creating one that worked.
The founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Colonel Sanders got rejected by more than 1000 restaurants when he was trying to sell them his chicken recipe.
Mike Tyson, Jim Carrey, Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z all went through hardship but look where they are now.
They all believed in themselves and in their vision.
Until next time,