There are no safe spaces; justice can be arbitrary; there are no magic bullets, and, in short, life can be damn hard at times; anyone that has been told differently has been lied to.

Life offer us no guarantees other than difficulties will arise without warning. And is through these difficulties in life that we an grow and shine, unfortunately our generation has forgotten how to deal with adversity, opt-in out for a ‘everyone’s a winner’ mentality.

The result? An entire generation that doesn’t know how to thrive under pressure and that expects to succeed just for “showing up” in life.

Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body. — Seneca

That quote is by far my favourite one when it comes down to any philosophy or life advice; adversity should not be feared or avoided; rather we should embrace adversity. It is through adversity that our real character shines, and where we realize our true strengths.

Now, I’m not saying that we should actively seek difficulties or put ourselves in challenging situations. Rather, when challenges arise — and trust me life will give you plenty of chances — don’t shy away and embrace the challenge.

The mediocre generation, our generation, has failed spectacularly at learning how to embrace and handle adversity; instead of embracing the challenge we seek to lower the bar and twist the world into an exercise in mediocrity; doing so under the guise of inclusivism and fairness.

This phenomenon that many of us have experienced, where everyone wins, nobody loses, and the belief that you can achieve anything just by wishing it really hard; after all, you are entitled to success, right? Nothing could be further from the truth.

Removing the challenge doesn’t make things better; if anything it cheapens the experience and ill prepares people for the reality of the world. An entire generation set up for failure because they are incapable and unwilling to step up and rise to the challenges they face.

The ability to handle adversity is what differentiates 95% of the people from the top 5% in any field. You want to be world class at something? No problem, but you need to put in the work and acknowledge that there will be problems, there will be challenges, and at any point you can decide to stop or continue pushing forward.

It is the exceptional people that never quit; that continue pushing forward, and that know how to handle difficulties. Adversity should be seen as an exercise in mental and moral toughness.

When confronted with a seemingly insurmountable challenge, you will discover all the chinks in your armour (there will be many), your strengths will begin to shine (again, there will be many), and when, regardless of the outcome, whether we succeed or fail, we will emerge changed and shaped by the experience.

As I approach the end of this mini-rant, I urge people to reevaluate how they approach the problems in their daily lives and think deeply about embracing adversity; on challenging themselves to succeed; on doing things not because they are easy but because they are hard. By continually confronting the adversity in your life, I promise you, you’ll find a more fruitful and satisfying experience.

Senior Engineering Lead @Humi, Regularly writing about software engineering and technology

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