If you ever had a strict Physical Education coach in high school, or you played high school or college sports you probably remember sometimes the coach seemed like he was torturing you. Maybe it was wind sprints, long distance running, swimming or whatever, but there was a time when you felt like if you kept going much longer you would die.
It was at those times that you felt the coach was a sadist, a person who gets pleasure inflicting pain on others. But in reality the coach was preparing you for the stress of game day so that you would be a bit stronger than the other team.
Sometimes when things go wrong it is easy to get pessimistic and fail to see how difficulties strengthen us. I have gone through many difficult times in my life, probably more than most people, but it is amazing to look back at my life and see how each of those difficult seasons strengthened me.
It is difficult to see how much stronger we are made by hardships. When we lift weights or do other physical exercise, the best growth comes from the most painful burn. When lifting weights, I find the first few repetitions don’t burn, they don’t hurt. But as I keep lifting, the burn gets worse and worse, until I can barely lift the weight. That is when the muscles are made the strongest. It is the same with difficulties in life, if we don’t get bitter, we get better.
Some difficulties in my life made me pessimistic in the past. I find that is one of the most self-destructive attitudes a person can have. Pessimism always brought about worse problems.
Positive thinking always brings about good—good emotions and good situations in life. Sometimes it takes time for the good situations to come about, but the good, happy emotions can start immediately.