The Weekly Dream: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
“In this world you will have trouble, but rejoice, I have overcome the world.”
“The crown of life will go to those who endure to the end”
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Madison, WI as a guest speaker for a group of African-American sixth grade males. I was asked to speak about my experiences in law school and undergrad, things black men face and how to overcome them.
At the end of the hour long discussion, I wrote on the board “Steve’s Seven Pillars of Success.” At the very top of my list was Stamina and Discipline. As I reflected on this, I realized that most of life is about how much you can take before life breaks you.
Stamina is defined as the capacity to continue without weakening, endurance. There is one thing that I know and that is life is full of surprises. As I have written before, good and bad are always present. However, I have come to realize that they are not always present in equal quantities. When the bad outweighs the good and you allow this to infect you, then there is a weakening of the spirit. Everything is negative and you become as Eeyore the Donkey from the Winnie the Pooh stories.
The news is littered with people who were unable to deal with the hand life has given them. And honestly, all I can think about is how blessed we are that it is not us. Anyone of us could have became any number of god-awful things. Everyone has a breaking point. Is this weakness? In church they say that the Lord will not give you more than you can bear. So does that mean that when you meet people who have gone through hell, that they are in fact stronger than most people?
I think that we all have our own unique set of trials, tribulations and tragedies, but we earn our rewards and develop strength by not succumbing. By enduring the twists and turns that life throws at us.
The verses at the beginning of the this post have been on my mind for weeks and I have been meditating on them as I undergo my life changes. And they have helped to keep me anchored and focus on what is real. Now that I am leaving young adulthood for full-on adulthood, I realize thred things: 1.)I, like everyone else, will always have struggles and trials 2.) These are temporary situations 3.) I can honor God by how I choose to react to these situations.
By maintaining our faith and keeping a positive attitude, we can weather the storms of life and endure to the end. Struggle not only makes you stronger, but has a way of keeping you humble and grateful. Sometimes things come upon you to grab your attention.
I do not think that I have had it worse than anyone else, so I try my best to endure my challenges with gladness. So, when divers temptations and trials come, it is to perfect you as a person. If when things go wrong and you are under attack, you get overwhelmed or you freak out, and you do not move past these emotions, you may want to look at yourself and ask God for the strength and clarity to do what you are supposed to in that situation. As I have learned, 90% of life is about adjusting to ever changing conditions.
So use the monkey wrenches of life to make you Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. If anyone of you would like to share how you grow from adversity and develop stamina for life, please share.
Truth and Peace,
Steven M DeVougas