Shit happens. More good than bad if you’re lucky, nonetheless if you live long enough, you’ll go through some tough times. Explore far enough and you’ll feel out of place; push hard enough and you’ll eventually find yourself out of your depth. We are in essence the product of all our experiences; more accurately, we are the living result of the responses we’ve made based on those experiences.
No matter how difficult the situation, we as a species evolved to overcome and adapt to our environment. But why are some people able to get through even the most unimaginable burdens while others seem to be consumed by objectively trivial events?
Individuals react to adversity in different ways, and even though there is no single best way of overcoming our circumstances, it is still important to understand and put into perspective the priorities that remain and the ones that have changed.
Overcoming something does not mean there is an absence of grief, fear, or even regret. Terrible events have a way of eliciting a range of introspective reactions from the occasional dose of humility to downright humiliation. These sentiments can be necessary benchmarks to help us learn more about who we are, and the person we are to become. In order to transcend adversity, we must hold ourselves accountable when we can, and be grateful for the lessons these experiences afford us.
This process takes work. It takes personal conversation and practice, but it’s also an empowering way to gain positive ground from even the worst experiences. It warrants the courage to change a part of you that isn’t working. It’s being honest with yourself as you transform your imperfections and situation into useful qualities and wisdom that will arm you with better tools to use later in life.
You’re allowed to feel pain, and you’re allowed to be unsure of yourself—but only for a moment. After that, you must move on and decide what to do next. There is no valor in living with ghosts from the past or allowing old memories to consume your thoughts. Rather, it’s the things we do after these moments that determine our legacy. Every battle you are able to come out of will make you a different person so it's up to you to decide who that person will be.
In the end, the best way to maximize our impact on the world is to make these events more than just moments in time. Acknowledge them, learn from them, apply these lessons, and transcend those moments.