“If you find something very difficult to achieve yourself, don’t imagine it impossible — for anything possible and proper for another person can be achieved as easily by you.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.19
There are not two sets of laws in the universe. There are not two separate realities. There is only one — and if someone else can achieve a difficult task, then so can you. They operate under the same set of physical rules, and inhabit the same world. If they can do it, then you can too.
In The Daily Stoic today, the author talks about a concept which is more commonly known as the abundance mentality. This is the idea that if one person succeeds, it doesn’t mean that everyone else has to fail. There is not a shortage of success — there is plenty to go around. And by adopting this concept of abundance, you find yourself with a more positive and can-do attitude, instead of a defeatist and skeptical outlook.
Look, there are going to be difficult situations, and sometimes they’re going to feel impossible. But the good news is that you were built for adversity. You were designed to be able to handle challenging situations when they come, and if you’ve been reading this site (please subscribe) and reading about stoicism regularly, then you’ve been specifically practicing for how to manage the problems that arise in life.
You can absolutely do this. The difficulties will help you learn, and then they will pass — as all things do. You will emerge a stronger and wiser person.
And in the midst of the struggle, you will prove yourself to yourself. Because adversity reveals us to ourselves. We learn what we’re made of, what we’re capable of, and our growth becomes apparent to us. Embrace that struggle. Embrace the abundance mentality — because if others can overcome, then it is absolutely possible for you to overcome as well.