“Damn, that titles pretty morbid Ollie” I hear you say.
Well, I didn’t say it. The Buddha did.
Only this morning did I really wrap my head around this concept. Before today, I always thought he was being a bit over the top. I mean come on, all of life can’t be filled with suffering.
This morning I got up, in a shitty mood, not wanting to fulfill my daily obligation of a 5am run. But hey, I sucked it up, laced my shoes up and got it done.
The run wasn’t half bad but it still sucked. However, when I got home I had a realisation. “I’ve gotta do this shit every day for the rest of my life,” I said to myself. I’m not allowed a day off.
After that, an even worse thought came into my head: “later on, I’ve got to do a whole leg day when I can barely feel my legs”.
I just had an overwhelming feeling of what the fuck. Is this what life really is about? Do I just beat myself down and constantly overcome myself?
Then I reminisced back to my childhood. I remembered sitting down for 8 hours a day gaming in front of a computer monitor, wasting my life away. I remember looking in the mirror and hating the reflection I saw. I remember being a leech, taking everything from everyone and never giving let alone having anything to give back to the world.
Then it struck me.
That one quote. Life is suffering.
But, you get to chose how you suffer.
You either suffer the pain of discipline. You put challenges, obstacles in your way and overcome them. You calluse over your victim’s mentality and harden up to the world. You face it head-on and say “go on motherfucker, hit me again”.
Or, you let life do it for you. In the form of mental illness, a catastrophic event or a massive struggle.
You live a comfortable life for a week, a month or a year. But I promise suffering will come. It will come from an unexpected angle, and you will be unprepared.
So instead of being caught out by life, train every day to be able to handle its shit. Place yourself, willingly, in challenging situations where you are in control. See how you react. Observe yourself. Learn from your failures, your doubts, and your insecurities.
Because when something hard comes up in life, you’ll be ready.
You will smile in the midst of the incoming storm because you’ve already been in that storm a million times in your mind.
So yes, life is suffering. Yes, life is hard.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t kick life’s ass along the way.