Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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What Does Not Kill Makes You Stronger

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We know many people in our lives who have overcome significant challenges and difficulties, emerging as heroes of their journeys. I like to call them “heroes of their mountains,” and I want to write a bit about them and how we can be like them. We’ve all come across stories of individuals who have experienced profound traumas, such as war prisoners enduring the hardships of war, people with physical disabilities, whether from birth or acquired later in life, those who have battled diseases like cancer, or those who have faced significant personal losses. These stories serve as major sources of trauma.

We hear these stories, and sometimes we witness them firsthand. The heroes of these stories, who have faced such traumatic experiences, often turn their traumas into stories of success over time. However, even without experiencing such immense pain, many of us tend to burden ourselves with various life issues, be they financial, emotional, familial, relationship-related, or the pain of love. We sometimes poison our own lives by overburdening ourselves. It’s important to remember that none of us are supernatural beings; we are all flesh-and-bone humans. So, regardless of the degree of pain, what makes some of us psychologically stronger while making others more fragile?

Let’s talk about a few names who have faced life’s challenges and turned them into successes:

Albert Einstein: Albert Einstein could not speak until he was four years old. And he couldn’t read until he was 7 years old. At school, his teachers thought he was mentally retarded. He was expelled from school and applied to the Zurich Polytechnic, but his application was rejected. But he did win the Nobel Prize and became the face of modern physics.

Oprah Winfrey: Born into a poor family, Oprah faced the challenges of motherhood and losing a child at the young age of 14. She encountered many difficulties in her life, including abuse. Despite these hardships, Oprah completed high school and, at the age of 19, was introduced to television, which opened extraordinary opportunities for her. She is now the host of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which has the highest viewership on American television.

Pele: Born in Brazil in 1940, Pele grew up in poverty. He honed his skills by kicking a stuffed sock filled with rags. His dedication and talent were recognized, and he joined a professional football club at the age of 15. He captivated the world with his success in the 1958 World Cup. In 1999, he was named FIFA’s Player of the Century alongside Maradona and became a legend.

Vincent Van Gogh, the Wright Brothers, Walt Disney, The Beatles, Stephen King, and many other powerful names turned their lives around from unfortunate beginnings, achieving success through unwavering determination. They didn’t give up and reached success, becoming motivational figures worldwide.

While we are the protagonists of our own lives, change and unexpected events, chaos, and traumatic situations are possibilities throughout our lives. Life is uncontrollable and uncertain, and the only constant is change itself. The only certainty in our lifelong journey is death, but its timing remains uncertain. The ability of humans to fearlessly live in the face of these uncertainties depends on their adaptability and focus. The success rate of achieving this is related to one’s psychological resilience.

Some people can’t compensate for the pain they’ve experienced in the past with material possessions like houses, cars, or new belongings. The goal is not to cover up unbearable pain with enjoyable distractions but to fully accept it. Alongside acceptance, the greatest virtue in life is to continue on our path with patience. Examining the lives of individuals who have turned their experiences into success stories, it is evident that patience, personal growth, resilience, adaptability, and focus are crucial skills that allow us to continue our journey with happiness.

None of us are pursuing continuous laughter, unceasing happiness, endless shopping, holidays, or constant entertainment. While it would be nice, life isn’t like that. If it were, we wouldn’t grow, and it would be impossible to define happiness. Psychological resilience isn’t just blindly continuing life unhappily; it’s the capacity to adapt to challenges, progress, grow mentally and spiritually, and learn from difficulties. Regardless of our age, we can call this growing and maturing. So, please remember that the difficulties you’ve faced have shaped the person you are today. I want to thank every challenging moment in my life that has made me who I am. I fought well, experienced tough memories, accepted them, and was able to move forward. I built my strengths, and I grew. We are all heroes of our own lives, just like me.

So, perhaps listing the ways to be psychologically resilient might make things easier for us…

What are the secrets to psychological resilience?

1. What are the secrets to psychological resilience?

2. Embrace your past. Consider what your experiences have taught you, learn from them, and continue your journey.

3. Manage your social life. Instead of distancing yourself from people, try to be part of social groups where you can build common bonds. This will add joy to your life and keep you active.

4. Focus on your physical health and prioritize self-care. Don’t forget to exercise regularly, maintain a balanced diet, and drink plenty of fluids.

5. Nourish your soul with nature. Be as close to nature as possible, benefit from its air and water, and satisfy your soul with the colors of nature.

6. Break free from the myth of perfectionism. Trying to do everything flawlessly and adhering to a strict schedule can be exhausting. Taking some time to relax and enjoy the present will make you happier and stronger.

7. Strengthen your spirituality for a new and stronger YOU. Meditation, yoga, or prayer may feel like medicine and bring you peace.

We don’t want to suffer or be unhappy, but we often experience things that hurt us deeply. Even a feeling of emptiness can lead to depression. We’ve all been hurt, abandoned, wronged, betrayed, or felt insignificant at some point. We can all increase these memories. We need to ask ourselves, “What’s the worst that can happen?” We’re alive, we’re breathing. Every moment, both painful and sweet, teaches us to be strong and strengthens us. This is the human condition—a journey from being a baby to becoming an adult. We must not forget that, regardless of the degree of difficulty, every challenge can be overcome, and we can continue our lives with new experiences. Everyone has a different path and is not an expert in everything. Most of us haven’t received military training or been trained as spies. What we need is to overcome our fears, have some courage, and hold onto hope. Whatever your cause is, you will solve it with your heart, courage, and hope. Keep going, dear readers.

ÖZLEM TUNA

Sociologist, Teacher, NLP Expert, Author

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