“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
― G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain
I came across this quote a while ago on Twitter. It struck a cord with me, because it’s true. We live in a constant cycle. I’ve talked about this in terms of mental health before, about how you have to stick through the bad and it’s terrible, but good always follows. There is a natural rhythm to life, some of it comes without outside help, but I think that a lot of it does come from the kind of things we indured.
We get lazy when things are good, we don’t work as hard, we don’t put our nose to the grindstone, we get comfortable and that comfort puts us at a disadvantage. The opposite is true for hard times. To survive we’ve got to give it everything we have and by doing that we tend to start an upswing. I know it’s not always this simple, but hardly anything in life is. This is a generalization, but I think its a good one.
I also think that most people would agree with me when I state that right now we are in the middle of hard times. We have cities on fire, a global pandemic, economic collapse, rapid injustice, government overreach, massive unemployment, breaks in the supply chain. I could go on, but lets just stop and say that we aren’t doing so great right now, both as a nation and for most, as individuals. It’s hard to see an upside to this. There might not be an upside to the actual events, but there is one when it comes to how we grow through them.
What we become from hard times defines us. If we rise to the occasion they can make us stronger, resilient, and much wiser. We learn things when we’ve been knocked down to the ground. We can use that knowledge to help bring about the good times. You and me, and anyone else, can use all these terrible things as a springboard to the up and up.
You have enough power to do it, even in a world that feels drained off power. You can let the hardships make you stronger. You can let the hardships make you work harder. You can become a strong man and you can bring about the good times.
It won’t break the ever moving cycle, bad times will come again, but you’ll be prepared, because you’ve survived it before.