The Key to Enduring Hardship

There is a lesson in every challenging period of our lives, parallel to our lives themselves.

Stephen Reza
3 min readFeb 2, 2022


Photo by Charlie Hammond on Unsplash

The key is identifying what that lesson is, learning and absorbing the lesson as quickly and completely as possible, and ultimately moving forward with that increased knowledge.

That’s all fairly straightforward, and in most cases, easier said than done.

Recently I have experienced some financial setbacks.

This has illustrated to me how much of my self-esteem I have allowed to based on finances and monetary success. While I didn’t consciously think that this was the case, or at least not aware of it, in fact, I’ve tried hard to not do so. And yet, the situation I find myself in has brought to my attention that I am, in fact, still doing it.

Now that I have become aware of this, now I have to deal with it as quickly as possible.

We identify ourselves by what we do for a living. I think it’s a mistake — a fallacy — to try to pigeonhole yourself. Earning a living is a necessity, but it seems like a missed opportunity to hinge so much of our identities and self-esteem on how much money we earn.

It’s one of the great crimes of capitalism to reduce human life to a dollar value and we have been taught to internalize this as fact — our existence and the value of the experiences in the vast tapestry of life is so much more than the tangible value system of earning, saving, and investment return can quantify.

Remember that we are eternal beings with a divine spark that is living a finite life of uncertainty in order to learn lessons and gather experiences.

The key is not to become too mired in difficulties and lose the vision of the bigger picture.

We are here in this life to learn, and there is no better teacher than trial and hardship to reveal our true character, and where weaknesses lie to be reinforced. Remember that this too shall pass, and there is more to us than just our struggle.

Look at every obstacle, challenge, problem as an opportunity to learn, grow, and do things better. Every choice we make can affect the course of our timeline.

Never forget the importance of freedom to choose and the beauty of the opportunity that we are given to make choices. Whether we realize and acknowledge this power, or not, is up to us. What we will do with it is the pertinent question.

On one hand, challenging situations are all unique and seem to be the absolute worst while in the midst of them.

We have been through much more and worse before, and survived, while we were poorer equipped than we are today. In hindsight, you made it through past challenges and now they seem like a distant memory or even a laughing matter.

Remember that perspective while dealing with today’s challenges.



Stephen Reza

A lifelong student of the mysteries of life. Self-taught and self-directed author, entrepreneur, and aspiring polymath.