Recently I was reading a book by the Psychiatrist, Morgan Scott Peck, called The Road Less Travelled, published in 1978. In this book, I found some very interesting thoughts and ways of looking at life. One of the most intriguing quotes I noted was:
"Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
This thought made me consider that sometimes, following moments of greatest difficulty, people can overcome the most amazing hurdles and achieve truly wonderful things, once they accept the challenge. It would seem that following some of the unhappiest or most uncomfortable moments in life, we find inner strength and, spurred by our situation, we are driven to find solutions that can bring new directions, happiness, new opportunities and fulfilment. In a strange twist, sometimes we need these deeply disturbing moments to drive us to seek change.
The above quote intrigued me to read more of his work and in this I found many other interesting comments on life and the way we live our lives. One final quote on this subject from Morgan Scott Peck is:
“If we know exactly where we're going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we'll see along the way, we won't learn anything.”
In a similar vein, it is entirely possible that without challenging moments in our lives we may indeed not be motivated to search out new possibilities, directions or opportunities. When viewed from this angle, life can be viewed more positively – not as a battle or one filled with constant difficulties but rather opportunities to improve grow, change and to seek opportunities to find connectivity and happiness.
In fact, I think it is true that all too often we take much in life for granted. I know I am very guilty of this – and I suspect we all are to some degree. Think about some of the things that may frustrate you:
There are so many that we could write here but, in reality, do we take many of the wonderful things we have in our life for granted? Recently I received a letter from a student who had left our College some time ago. In this letter, he wrote that he had never appreciated how good our College was, how much he gained from being here, and how much support he had gained from his teachers until the opportunity to be here was no more. In his letter, he apologised for taking the opportunities he had here for granted and wished that he had been allowed to remain here.
I believe it is true that we do not often realise all we have in our lives until it is no more, and so my challenge to all readers is to reflect on the wonderful and the challenging moments in your lives and consider what you may be taking for granted. When we view the world from a position of thankfulness and appreciation, the lens we look through becomes much clearer.