First off, let’s make one thing straight. I’m not saying I want to be a diamond. Jewelry and flashy stuff isn’t really my jam.
But when it comes between choosing whether or not I get crushed into dust or become as hard as a diamond? I’ll choose the diamond.
Right now is one of the most stressful times of my life. My wife and I have a two year old and 3 month old. I’m trying to wrap up an MBA program, which takes a good bit of time. I don’t know where I’ll be working when I graduate yet, so I’m trying to look for a job.
On top of that, I’m trying to build a side business for extra money, do maintenance around the house, take care of the dog by walking him, lose weight, visit my grandma regularly, and take some time out for myself to read personal development books and play video games.
I’m busy. And I know as my kids get older, I’ll get even busier in some ways by having to take them to things like sports or music practice.
There’s a lot of pressure on me right now, especially financially. I’m getting to the point where I feel like I need to take almost any job I can get. I have student loans to pay back and my wife’s income won’t be enough to sustain our current standard of living.
Under all of this pressure, there are two things I can do:
- Crack and crumble into dust
- Be hardened into a diamond
This can either be a growing opportunity, or one that makes me fall apart.
Something that helps me become stronger as a person, or something that causes me to throw my hands up in the air and say “screw it.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing the former. I love personal development, the idea of getting better every day. One of my favorite quotes is the one by Jim Rohn that I mentioned in my last post, saying that you have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.
Plus, there’s a whole book about this! In The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday writes: “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
That’s part of the Stoic philosophy to take the world as it comes. Nothing is bad or good- it just is. And we can use events and time periods, especially those of high stress, to improve our future condition.
Right now, I’m learning important skills.
How to manage under pressure.
How to think about creative ways to build a business.
How to raise my kids well.
How to act with courage even in the face of fear.
How to gain clients.
These are skills I’ll continue to use for the rest of my life.
I’m becoming as hard as a diamond, which will help me carve the right path in life.