The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on your gains. Any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit from your losses. That requires intelligence; and it makes the difference between a man of sense and a fool. William Bolitho
Interestingly, Bolitho said those words after he lost a leg in a railway accident. Dale Carnegie shared this story (and many others) in his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, about dealing with loss and hardship by seeing pain as productive rather than debilitating.
Another observation Carnegie made was this,
The more I have studied the careers of men of achievement the more deeply I have been convinced that a surprisingly large number of them succeeded because they started out with handicaps that spurred them on to great endeavor and great rewards. As William James said: Our very infirmities help us unexpectedly.
In principle, I agree.
In practical terms, I wish it weren’t so.
But it is.
If you take even a brief glance back in history I would venture to say that almost every person who accomplished anything of great value did so by working through hardships and making sacrifices…and here’s the kicker…continuing to do so even after they “make it.”
As Harry Emerson Fosdick noted, “Happiness is not mostly pleasure; it is most victory.”
To which I say, yes, yes, yes.