Ever wondered what our best movies and role models have in common? Well, the answer is tough times. Most of us love action movies. Some love horror movies. And others love romantic comedies where one character faces an unending streak of tough times.
And when we pick role models, we don't pick sons of billionaires. We pick someone who faced very tough times on his way up. We value people who worked through typhoons and earthquakes to get to where they are than people who had it very easy. We want to pattern our live after that of people who went through tough times. Maybe it's that we want to be like the heroes of our best movies.
The unfortunate part is that in reality, things happen much slowly than in movies or biographies. We all praise Mandela for his heroic efforts and even wish to be as greatly honored worldwide as he was, but I don't think there is anyone of us that will want to spend his middle life, 27 years of it, in a jail and not knowing if he will come out alive. I don't even think some pastors will even want to do that to get to heaven with a honor that will equal that of the first Apostles and Paul.
In reality, when you are going through a tough time it doesn't come with an expiring day label or reward sticker. Even though you know people who were in worse situations and came out better, you still won't feel good or happy. What you will be thinking of are what you've brought upon yourself and how to get of it quick. The inspiring feeling you always have when you listen to people's inspiring story of turning tough times to steps to glory and the secret longing for your own glorifying tough time will no longer be there.
We all know that there is a light at the end of a dark tunnel. But when you are in one all alone and without a torch, that light is like eternity away. You will be too busy doing damage control, and not bumping into too many things in the dark than to even remember that there is a light awaiting you at the end.
Someone put it this way: Every cloud has a silverlining, the trouble is that it can't be minted. Even when we say there is always a rainbow after the storm, we all know that rainbows don't restore what the storm has damaged. And when you are under a very dark cloud facing your own storm, your loses are real and painful, and you worry about them and not some feel good quotes about silverlinings and rainbows.
So are there any real benefits to facing tough times? Yes, there are. They bring you closer to being a hero. To being someone others will get inspiration from. Like the Chinese say, there is no diamond without some cutting and polishing. You can't be truly great without tough times. Tough times are definitely good when viewed from a large picture frame of mind.
The one thing I will advise is that you try to choose your tough times. Go after the life you really want even if it will take you through a hurricane. Don't let it be that people drag you through their own storms. Find your own storm. And trust that you will come out okay at the other end, because tough times never last.