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How the chaos in your life builds character

How the chaos in your life builds character

chaos

    What if you discovered that having an easy life was actually bad for you? What if you realized that facing hardship and enduring tragedy was actually good for you? In fact it really is. It is how you choose to look at your experiences that influences what they can do for you.

    The chaos in your life builds character.

    We will endure tragedy and hardship in our lives at one point or another; it is the human experience to go through pain and upheaval because being alive is all about change. We come out of these life experiences with new found strength and vision. Many have testified to this. Our instinct is to avoid making bad choices or engaging in risky behavior in order to protect ourselves and prevent tribulation. Our survival depends on it. As parents, we certainly try to protect our children from danger and hurt and we don’t want to see anyone we care about, whether they are family or friends, or complete strangers, in pain or peril. However the older we get, the more we realize that life is full of twists and turns and it is inevitable that we will face misfortune in our lives.

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    It is important to harness the power of upheaval and understand that some good can come of very bad situations.

    The most important life lessons come when we are faced with situations that we are ill equipped to deal with. We feel helpless and shocked, sad and angry. It may be the illness or death of a loved one, losing a job, a relationship; or having a transgression committed against us in some way. It may be something that is very commonplace, but to us feels like despair that we’ve never experienced before. Or it may be something catastrophic like a natural disaster, poverty, famine or war.

    One of the first realizations we must awaken to is that we are not the first to feel this way and we will not be the last. While our experiences and feelings are valid and unique to us; in the grand scheme of things, there are people who have endured far worse and survived. We are not alone.

    The human condition is all about living through constant change. It is also about realizing that all we have is the present moment.

    Popular author Eckhart Tolle has written extensively about the power of the present moment. He says:

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    Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

    This idea forces us to concentrate on what we are actually experiencing. The past is an illusion of memory and the present an illusion of hope or fear. The only reality is right now. In this context, while we may be in the midst of chaos or pain, we can realize that each moment is fleeting and will pass and we have the power to determine if the moment improves or the situation worsens. Even when we are powerless to make things go our way, accepting this inevitability and ‘waiting it out’ gives us the foresight and lucidity to merely observe what we are experiencing and extract the skills and lessons that will influence us to our advantage.

    Chaos in your life builds character because it makes you feel alive. The diversity of emotions you withstand when your life becomes unstable compels you to have a range of responses that you may not have had the opportunity to explore when things were going well. You gain problem solving skills, resilience, patience and ingenuity. If you manage your grief and anger, your fear and confusion by focusing on the present; centering yourself and allowing yourself to feel without letting those feelings dictate your actions; reason and pragmatism will surface and give you strength to move on to the next moment a stronger and more capable person.

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    The antithesis to this is avoiding tragedy or disappointment as an act of self preservation. An easy life provides no challenge and can become boring. Unfortunately it is only a matter of time that the inevitability of life’s hardships comes knocking on our door.

    You may inadvertently create or look for chaos in order to feel alive. Some people climb mountains or travel to remote parts of the world; they take on difficult and challenging tasks to feel alive. When we are born to a privileged life there is nothing more admirable than exposing ourselves to how others live and sharing our wealth and security. You may want to volunteer in a disaster zone or do aid work in a war torn country. You don’t even have to go abroad. Some people volunteer and contribute within their own communities in order to develop their empathy and go some way towards understanding what it means to suffer loss, to experience hardship and to fight injustice; even when their own lives are charmed. This is a positive way to invite chaos into your life in order to learn.

    It is important to understand that the ups and downs of life are necessary for our character to evolve and for us to experience growth through catharsis. This means that we undergo some sort of transformation, a cleansing or purification by means of suffering and change. We purge our emotions through a disastrous occurrence and ultimately find restoration and resolution at the conclusion.

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    When we don’t honor the validity and benefit of catharsis in our lives we may invite chaos subconsciously; often through indulgences and risk taking behavior that appears innocent and safe, but may lead us down a dangerous road. Any type of excess can be damaging in our lives and that makes it even more important to stay in control when our lives seem to be going off the rails.

    Understanding that life’s challenges are what makes us who we are gives us the strength and purpose to be prepared for anything. Our personality and character evolves through each cathartic experience and with practice we find the optimism to face misfortune head on.

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    Diane Koopman

    Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

    30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

    No one can live a positive life without failing. However, many people experience a fear of failure, despite its inevitability in life. Failure, as you will see from these 30 success and failure quotes, is the key ingredient for the recipe of success!

    Today’s society is obsessed with success and achievement, and failure is definitely NOT part of the equation. Failure and making mistakes is hidden away or seen as a human weakness.

    However, if you avoid making mistakes in life, struggle to do everything right, and are obsessed with perfection and order, then living and experiencing a successful and happy life is going to be impossible.

    Embrace your failure, whether it is one failure or many failures, because with the right attitude and a willingness to learn from your mistakes, you are guaranteed a lifetime of success. Here are some uplifting quotes about failure and success to help you get started.

    1. “Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.” -Anonymous

    This quote is important for those of us who feel downtrodden after every failure, heartbroken, if you will. If you let failure get you down for more than a couple of days, you’re wasting away your chance to bounce back from it.

    On the other hand, if you allow yourself to build an inflated ego after every success, future failures may be even harder to cope with. Maintain a sense of humility and gratitude for each success and failure you find.

    2. “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?” -Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe is spot on with this one. The first person who should be there to catch you when you fall is you. You have to be your own best advocate, the person to build you up when it feels like everything is going wrong. The others in your support system are just icing on the cake.

    3. “You always pass failure on your way to success.” -Mickey Rooney

    In today’s competitive world, it’s hard to understand that almost no one experiences failure before they experience genuine, lasting success. Failure is what forces you to learn in order to achieve that goal you’ve been working up to.

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    4. “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” -Chinese proverb

    Everyone falls. Those who refuse to pick themselves back up, no matter if it’s after two days or two years, are the true failures.

    5. “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” -Robert Kiyosaki

    There are many success and failure quotes on this idea, and that’s because it’s so very important. Learning doesn’t happen when things are easy. It happens when things get tough and you have to find a way through challenges.

    6. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” -Barack Obama

    No one can escape failure. If you let it keep you down and shying away from achieving your goals, you’ve failed again. If you learn from it and continue on your path toward greatness, it wasn’t a true failure but a lesson.

    7. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” -Og Mandion

    Determination is one of the best antidotes to failure. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back, you’re still moving forward with grit and determination. Keep going!

    8. “Fear regret more than failure.” -Taryn Rose

    At the end of your life, what do you think you’ll feel worst about, failing or never trying?

    9. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -Nelson Mandela

    If anyone has enough insight to offer us success and failure quotes, it’s Nelson Mandela. He learned that that path to success (and freedom) is full of setbacks. His determination, however, led him to make amazing changes in the world around him. Now that’s success.

    10. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” -Paulo Coelho

    Each time you get back up, it will get easier and easier, and you’ll realize each time that those failures are the greatest lessons life will ever give you.

    11. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” -Napoleon Hill

    Unfortunately, many people stop trying after a large failure comes their way. They lose their confidence, determination, and will. However, success usually follows quickly behind these huge failures because you’ve inevitably learned what not to do.

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    Don’t stop with the huge failure. Take a few more steps and see if it gets you where you wanted to go.

    12. I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Alva Edison

    Through his success and failure quotes, Thomas Edison shows us that failures are only truly failures if you don’t learn the lesson they offer.

    13. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” -Bill Gates

    Celebrating success feels good, but learning the lessons of failure is where growth occurs[1], which can lead you to even greater successes.

    14. “The only thing that separates success from failure is one last attempt. Try one more time and you will get lucky.” -Apoorve Dubey

    Every success comes from an attempt. If you don’t try one more time, you’ll never know if it could’ve been your big chance at big success.

    15. “Failure is a detour; not a dead-end street.” -Zig Ziglar

    Many people get impatient with failure. They feel that it’s a stopping point, or a road that’s too long to walk. However, the patience to take that new road is exactly what’s necessary to find success. If success is easy to find, it likely won’t last very long.

    16. “In the real world, very smart people fail, and mediocre people rise. Part of what makes people fail or succeed are skills that have nothing to do with IQ. Also, the idea that intelligence can be gauged by an IQ test is erroneous.” -Camille Paglia

    Failure is not a sign of a lack of intelligence, as Paglia suggests. Failure is a sign of great intelligence and great courage. She also points out the important point that intelligence takes many forms, and it’s often the grit and maturity to accept failure for the temporary setback that it is.

    17. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” -Oprah Winfrey

    Queens will always be queens, no matter if they experience success or failure. And you will always be you, so use that to your advantage, and take the risk of failure in order to reach success.

    18. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” -J.K. Rowling

    Living a life free of failure generally means you have lived a boring, uneventful life. Is it really worth it?

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    19. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” -Richard Branson

    If you’ve ever watched a child learn to walk, you know that Branson’s success and failure quotes are true. Children are determined. They fall, and they get back up. And then they learn, and soon they’re running.

    20. “Success or failure is caused more by mental attitude than by mental capacity.” -Walter Scott

    Scott knows that intelligence is less of a determining factor in success than determination or ruthless optimism. Set yourself up for success by cultivating both.

    21. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

    Michael Jordan knows failure, and yet we know him as an incredibly successful person. Why? Because he never let the failures stop him from moving on.

    22. “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” -José N. Harris

    The secrets to success are pretty simple, and living a full life is only possible once you learn that getting up after a failure will bring a great sense of satisfaction and joy.

    23. “All people fail at certain instances in their lives, the only thing that makes them different is how they manage to stand up or how they choose to fail again.” -Unknown

    If you fail, you’re like the vast majority of the world. What makes you different is how you choose to respond.

    24. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Robert Kennedy

    If you aim high, even if you fall short you’ll still likely be ahead of the majority of people. Take the time in life to fail greatly because that’s where you’ll find your true self.

    25. “Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit.” -Michael Eisner

    If you continue to make the same mistakes, you’re not learning from your failures. This is when it becomes a destructive habit instead of a moment to propel you toward success.

    26. “If you are afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.” -Charles Barkley

    Only those who are willing to accept the hard emotions that come along with failure will be those who will enjoy the good feelings of genuine success.

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    27. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” -William A. Ward

    In his success and failure quotes, Ward points out something important. Failure is often seen as a death stroke, something that stops our success. If we shift our perspective and look upon failure as a teacher instead, we will likely feel very differently about those moments in our life and see that failure is delay, not death.

    28. “Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure. So that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” -Maya Angelou

    We’ve been here before. Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it. Let yourself get a bad grade on the test; you’ll study differently next time. Let yourself fail at a relationship; you know how to build a healthier relationship next time.

    Every failure brings a lesson. Learn it and move on.

    29. “Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” -William Saroyan

    If you think of the moments you learned and grew the most, were they easy times or hard times? Challenges make us better, smarter people[2]. You don’t get wise through an easy life.

    30. “Don’t fear failure—not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Bruce Lee

    If you try to achieve something great, even a failure feels like a success. At least you had the courage to try. That’s more than most can say.

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    Featured photo credit: Gabrielle Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Harvard Business Review: Strategies for Learning from Failure
    [2] Psychology Today: How Greater Challenges Help You Grow

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