1. It makes you realize who’s really there for you.
It’s easy to be there for someone when the sun is shining and the sailing’s smooth. But the people who really matter are the ones who’ll stick around when the water gets choppy and you need to be thrown a life raft.
The people who stick by you during the worst of times are the people who will matter for the rest of your life – and there’s no way to find out who those people are without first going through those tough times and seeing exactly who disappears and who stays.
2. It gives you the opportunity to finally make the uncomfortable changes you’ve been putting off.
When the majority of your needs are satisfied, there’s little motivation to make any significant changes – even if those changes would be highly beneficial in the long run. When the stakes are down, look at it as an opportunity to finally take the chances you’ve been too afraid to take for so long – you have so much less to lose and therefore so much more to gain.
3. It makes you realize how much you can truly withstand.
None of us really know how much we’re capable of until we’re forced to find out. And the truly difficult periods in our lives teach us exactly that – how resilient we really are, in ways we never previously expected.
4. It provides you with a sense of compassion toward others who are struggling.
The most empathetic people are the ones who’ve been through the most themselves. And once you’ve seen your life get torn apart, you will forever remember what it feels like to be in that position. It provides you with an immeasurable sense of compassion and patience towards others who find themselves in the same position.
5. It forces you to rely on your core strengths.
Aside from all of the strengths we learn and build on, we have a core set of natural skills that never leave us. And the more chaotic our lives become, the more those core strengths rise up to meet the challenge. If there’s anything our times of greatest struggle teach us, it’s the ways in which we’re naturally, almost unintentionally strong.
6. It challenges you to face up to the worst parts of yourself.
Just as our greatest strengths rise up to meet us during times of struggle, so do our greatest demons. While it’s never fun to face up to the parts of ourselves that are wholly unglamorous and raw, it’s a confrontation that sometimes needs to be had before we are able to move forward with greater awareness and wholeness.
7. It makes you realize how much you still have left when you lose everything.
The cool thing about losing most of what we have is that we never end up truly losing everything. At the end of the day, you’re always left with a few core strengths, virtues and – if you’re lucky – relationships. And it turns out those things take us much further than we may have expected.
8. It strips the unnecessary bullshit from your life.
When shit truly hits the fan in life, all of our petty day-to-day problems seem to consequently jump ship. We are left to deal only with true, genuine issues – and in some ways, that is a wholly refreshing change.
9. It gives you the opportunity to rebuild from the ground up – on a foundation of what’s important.
Nobody ever wants to have to start their life over from scratch. But the brilliance of doing so is that you get to build the strongest, firmest foundation imaginable, based on only what truly matters. You’re old enough and sure enough and strong enough to actually know what you want by now. And there’s no reason to not make that the basis of everything you do moving forward.
10. It brings you closer to the people who really matter.
If hardship has any silver lining it’s that it brings people together immeasurably. The people who see you through the worst and messiest periods of your life are the people who will forever know you in a deeply intimate way. And the bonds you form during these periods will be simply unmatchable.
11. It gives you a greater appreciation for what you have during the good times.
There’s nothing more humbling than knowing that at any given point in time, all that you have could fall apart. Though it’s an anxiety-inducing thought in some ways, it’s an incredibly liberating one in others. After a period of struggle, you learn to appreciate the good times in a way you never did before – because you know that they won’t necessarily last forever.
12. It forces you to advocate and fight for yourself.
When the stakes are down, we are forced to become our own greatest advocates. No matter how much help we have from others, at the end of the day it’s always going to be up to us to put our broken lives back together. And the resilience we foster in the process is something that never truly leaves us.
13. It hands you a new perspective on the life that you’ve been living for so long.
We so rarely stop to examine the lifestyle we’re living and whether or not it serves us. But when everything else is falling apart, we are offered the unique opportunity to step outside of our regular routine and evaluate it for what it is. We realize all that we can survive without, and the ways in which we’ve been holding ourselves back all along.
14. It forces you to grow into a new, bigger version of yourself.
When our lives are thrown into a form of chaos that we’ve never encountered, we are forced to grow into people that we have never been. And those new versions of ourselves are stronger and better and more capable than we’ve ever had to be in the past – no matter how much it hurts to grow into them.
15. It makes you realize just how little you can survive without.
The truth about our lives getting turned upside down is that it makes us understand how little we truly need to build ourselves back up. All of the money, toys, tools and means of validation that we normally rely on turn out to be a lot less necessary than we thought they were.
16. It provides you with a sense of inner confidence that never goes away.
The beauty about having everything turned on its head is that you eventually, inevitably turn it right-side-up again. And once you realize that you’re capable of doing so, the fear of your life falling apart again mysteriously disappears. You know that you can deal with the worst and so you don’t have to constantly prepare for it. You can live your life boldly and confidently – harnessing a newfound inner strength that never truly leaves you.