I visited my friend the other day and it made me worried listening to her problems. For a moment, I felt that life was treating her so hard. There was this vicious circle of problems she was stuck in. The whole world has become quite cruel to her, and as soon as she tries to get out of one mess from one side, she is smack dab right in the middle of another one. I hoped that she would not break down and just simply give up one of these days.

I then realized that at times, I myself have been into that same kind of situation where the world seems to be so hard on me that I felt like I badly needed to escape from it. Thankfully, I find myself being able to get over it.

It brings to mind one of my friends who suffered a stroke and that incident made me think that I may not be able to cope with that if I was in her shoes.

One day while surfing the channels I came across a show in which they were pretending to be living in the Iron Age and set about crafting a sword.

The blacksmith was heating the blade over and over again and termed it as “tempering.” I remember him saying, “stressing the metal again and again makes it stronger.”

As I watched that scene, a thought suddenly flashed into my mind. Yes! this is how it goes in daily life. The problems and challenges we face as we go about our lives come over repeatedly without let up. Like a horde that comes at you, wave after wave. As we strive to deal with those problems and challenges little do we realize that facing them and learning to overcome them will only make us stronger. I then realized that if I had not gone through all that mess in my life I would not have been what I am. These messy situations have helped me develop the capacity to handle tough times in a better manner and made me a stronger person. This is the people version of “tempering,” just like what the blacksmith was doing to the sword blade.

I then started discussing this with my friends for feedback and they all shared my point of view.

These tough times in life prepare us for the challenges that we will inevitably continue to face as we go on living our lives. They temper us, make us strong and build us to what we are. While interviewing my friends, I also learned life never gives you more than you can hold or bear. I probably could not go through a stroke, but my friend did. Everyone has his own competencies to deal with different situations.

So remember, whatever life throws at you, it is meant to help you become a stronger person and be better prepared for further challenges. Nobody else could better handle the bad situations that you might find yourself in than you yourself. I can now recall many bad episodes of my life and see how they have helped me in becoming what I am today. With that, let me leave you with the words of renowned German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche – “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

How Much Can You Handle?Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_faith_photography/4283576074/lightbox/Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_faith_photography/4283576074/lightbox/