Everything seemed perfect. You were living the life you one day dreamed of. The hole you felt throughout your life was filled with something so deeply filling you couldn’t imagine living without it.
Next thing you know, life throws a curveball at you and right before your eyes, everything is taken away. You don’t even have a chance to find your balance, and the rug is pulled right under you, making you fall. Fall so deeply that you are convinced that there is no way out of the darkness but continue into complete disintegration of yourself.
Some will offer you fake advice, others will make fun of you. Either way, they are wrong. Failure is normal. It’s what happens to those who stay human. Coming from hitting rock bottom several times in my life, I am here to tell you that to be hurt is a badge of honor.
If you aren’t broken up by life, affected, altered, then it shows you aren’t living life. It shows that you have a soul else you wouldn’t feel the dagger lanced into it right now.
Here’s another piece of wisdom: Circumstances don’t make a man. They reveal him to himself. This is integral because being blindsided by failure causes men to take two routes.
The average man will become teary eyed and stay that way. They will retreat to a womb of security and analyze the situation that led to their failure to death. What if I hadn’t made that deal? What if I had never agreed to that contract? What if I had treated the situation differently? These men go nowhere. Their misery ends up defining them for their rest of their lives.
But you are not an average man. You are a leader. Misery does not define leaders. Leaders understand that when they are at rock bottom, they’ve been bestowed with the greatest momentum they’ll ever achieve in life.
It’s science. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of physics or who has spent time at the playground knows that a slingshot that is tugged back the furthest will hurl any object it is carrying the most forward with the most amount of momentum possible.
Line up a series of slingshots and pull each a bit further than the previous one. Factually, the slingshot that has been pulled back the furthest will force the object it has carrying the furthest. Even better, if you want to go as far as possible, you pull that string right until it’s at the breaking point. That’s life. The greater the setback, the more the momentum you have to hurl yourself forward, at a rate that you’ve never thought possible.
Unfortunately, most average men and women fail to see nothing but the present and let that define them. Depressed, anxious, scared, and pain-laden they let the tension of the slingshot cripple them, not understanding that if they just “let go” of the tension, they’d spring forward like a loaded Bugatti cruising 200 mph on a German Autobahn.
Leaders understand that hitting rock bottom bestows them with the greatest gift, namely they get to know themselves.
I quoted James Allen above but will do so again: circumstances don’t make a man, they reveal him to himself.
Who are you? What are your issues? What are your weaknesses? If you’ve ever struggled to answer this, wait until life fucks you over, and you’ll get to know what you’re truly made of.
I’ll keep it real here, you aren’t suddenly weak, scared, bad, or anxious because of the circumstance that came upon you. You were all those things, but you just weren’t aware of them. But now you are. That is a reason to celebrate. Becoming aware of the truth makes you powerful. Powerful to take action. Powerful to transcend any problems life throws your way.
This is the point where greatness emerges. Where pioneers are made and the stepping stones of the greatest civilizations are put forward. Each brick and each stone put forward is filled with wisdom, strength, courage, and glued together by bloodshed, tears, and sweat that through life’s hardness, have the grit of hard-rock cement.
For the greatest impediments to self-development are doubt and fear. Doubt and fear comes from the unknown. When someone hurls insults, we take it to heart because we don’t know ourselves and we question the validity of their statements. Once we know what we are and who we are, there can be no doubt and fear, and such the words of other men have no bearing on our reality because we already know it, factually, to be true or false.
So right now. If you are feeling that you’ve hit rock bottom, I’ll tell you this: once you make a complete 180, you’ll look back and appreciate that you didn’t lose anything but only gained.
For when you lost everything in your life, you found the most precious thing in this life, yourself. And the man who finds himself is a force to be reckoned with, a force powerful to change the very history of humankind; a badge of honor you can take with you to your grave.
See you on the other side my friend.
Strength and Honor,
Hitting Rock Bottom is a Badge of Honor. Use it To Your Advantage was originally published in AZOTH on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.