“Difficulties show a person’s character. So when a challenge confronts you, remember that God is matching you with a younger sparring partner, as would a physical trainer. Why? Becoming an Olympian takes sweat! I think no one has a better challenge than yours, if only you would use it like an athlete would that younger sparring partner.”EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.24.1-2
Life is a series of struggles and “wrestling matches” — against other people, situations, and events. That’s the framework that is presented to help us understand today’s quote from The Daily Stoic book.
How we respond to these struggles reveals our character. Our reaction shows what we’re made of — how we handle adversity, and how we demonstrate our fortitude in rising above the struggle.
These struggles are also how we learn, how we grow. Each challenge prepares us for the next one. Meeting them bravely as obstacles that can be turned to our advantage, rather than insurmountable roadblocks, is another way we show our resilience.
We should embrace these challenges, for the proof (of ourselves) is in the struggle. They are opportunities to become bigger than ourselves, and a chance to level up.