From Suffering to Greatness


Almost every great man I read about had at one time or another suffer some personal losses before they become great.  That puts me to wonder what really transpire during the time of suffering that make these people great.  For their greatness is sustainable for many decades and often the rest of their lives.  People like Lee Kuan Yew and Gandhi Mahatma.

Perhaps it is during the time of lost and suffering that people find there is nothing to lose by going deep within themselves to reflect and search for the thing they are made of.  It is perhaps during this time that the greatest insights and passions are revealed because there is no other noise of fear that camouflage and prevent its revelation.

When I attended one of the talks by Robert Allen at the National Achievers’ Congress 2010 recently, a fellow attendee turned to me and said, “It is possible for him to do that because there is nothing left for him to lose.  For me, I have too many dependents riding on me to consider what he is suggesting.”.

Indeed this is the normal reaction.  To pluck yourself out of your comfort zone to go for something totally unknown for which you are uncertain of the eventual outcome is absolutely scary.  It is alright when you have no dependents for then you have only yourself to answer to.

During the time of depression when many people lose their jobs, their devastation is very understandable.  When the least expected happened, one is at a lost and with family members looking to you for answers, it is very pressurizing.  For the courageous, they take this as God-sent and start looking at options of what they can do and maybe take the opportunity to do something they have always wanted to do but have not had the courage to throw themselves into the unknown.  The positivity surrounding these people who fight to get back on their own feet again, almost always come back stronger than before.

Years later, the same people will thank their ex-employers for taking them off their employment.  However, such people are far in between with many choosing to lament the good old times and criticise the management’s decision for the longest time.  Their negative energy never let them go anywhere.  By putting the blame on others make life so much easier to bear or so they think, without realizing the harm this brings to their lives, emotionally, psychologically and physiologically.  This could spiral down to total despair.

I have my own experiences of lost and know first hand how those various difficult circumstances allow me to grow and become a better person time after time.  Life is a never ending learning process.  A product of deep introspection we become better  by making choices in the direction of what we want our lives to be.  That, however, does not have to end in fame, monetary success or wealth to which so many people attribute success.  One could easily be a successful mother, father, friend or neighbour.  The definition of success is aligned to the goal and vision you set for your life.  The attainment of your goals is what make you a success.

I am not big on reading autobiographies nor biographies as I cannot see how these people’s lives have anything to do with me.  However, in recent months, such stories are “forced” upon me when I attended free seminars, the courtesy of friends, that change the way I look at biographies.  Many of these speakers told of times when they were at their lowest from being bankrupts to being in jail and yet today they are making it rich in their chosen field.

I think one of the most inspiring was John Coutis who is born severely disabled and suffered much in the hands of insensitive classmates from almost the beginning of his life.  Yet he has triumphed over these difficulties.  Today at 40, he is married, has a lovely family and travelled all over the world to share his moving story as an incentive to others.

If you pick the right biographies, they can be very inspiring.  You may want to check the stories of these people  (partial list):

  • Anthony Robbins
  • Jack Canfield
  • Jim Rohn
  • Blair Singer
  • Wally “Famous” Amos
  • Mark Victor Hansen
  • Robert Allen
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • Elizabeth Lesser
  • Byron Katie

Happy reading.

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