I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. But do you really need to be tough in order to handle challenging situations? What does it even mean to be tough anyways? Do you have to be physically strong, mentally composed, push your emotions aside? Looking for a more instilled definition, oxforddictionaries.com defines tough as “strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough handling”. And whilst this is exactly an ideal characteristic we all want to have, it is more important to look at the process of acquiring this “strength” instead of making it a goal. You must give it a meaning for yourself, in which the way you react to circumstances is an authentic response.
Being able to withstand difficult or challenging situations is more about being able to understand the situation and why it’s challenging for you. Just like beauty is a perception, so are challenging situations. The way you look at something is exactly how it’s going to manifest itself to you. And how you respond to it, is exactly how you should in that moment in time. Every setback is a lesson, and the more you make the same mistake, the more the setbacks will come back. Striving to be “tough” is like saying I want to be a millionaire. Are you going to work hard, be persistent and put passion into the process to acquire that kind of wealth? Or will you continue buying lotto tickets, pretending that one day you will become a millionaire? And even if you win lotto, will that money make you happy? I’m sure your initial response will be yes, but think about what you’ll do with that money. Is it really something that will change your life emotionally, physically and spiritually? Will it help you grow as a person? Honestly, you might think I’m crazy for saying this but I think after a while, you will fall into complete boredom and loss, because at the end of the day, it is more about how you acquired that wealth instead of the sum itself. And when you put your heart and soul into that process, money will no longer be your ultimate objective, which is the reason why entrepreneurs and successful people have businesses that are sustainable. Only those who look for true meaning in their lives and who want to live with purpose will understand this.
I have met incredibly sensitive people, who are emotional and delicate but they can handle whatever life throws at them. Would you say they are tough? Only when you are able to master your emotions and to feel truthfully, you’ll be able to push through anything that comes your way. When you are one with your rational and emotional side, then you’ll find the completion that sets you up for freedom. For when you feel freely, and think independently, your true colors shine. Never chase money in the hopes of pursuing your full potential. Materialistic assets bring instant happiness, a buzz that yes is very beneficial at the time, but soon enough you’ll reach a period of slight confusion; because although money can buy you many things, it can never buy your soul and what you are here for.
Instead of focusing on becoming tough, spend your time getting to know yourself more. The more you do this, the more equipped you will become to face any battles that come your way. When you are your own best friend and are honest with yourself, you’ll find what you are looking for even in the most adverse circumstances.