The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Life is, by nature, a challenge. Often times, the trials and tribulations of life may impede or even stagnate our progress. Even worse, we might get the impression that nothing can ever become of us; that our present misery defines who we really are.
Nothing, however, can be further from the truth. Our present circumstances, whether good or bad, do not determine our identity. It is our outlook for the future that does. We might run into major roadblocks en route to the fulfillment of our dreams, but none of that matters so long as we are determined to soldier on. Ultimately, everyone around you is going to evaluate you on the basis of the end result, not the struggles or failures you had to put up with along the way.
And that is both a good and a bad thing. It works to the advantage of those who do not let their setbacks bog them down. Instead, they take their failures as lessons to course-correct and accomplish their goals. On the other hand, weak-willed people, who give up in the face of difficulties, elevate those problems to larger-than-life proportions. Their failures become the end result of their efforts, and that is what people eventually remember them for.
It is, therefore, important to remember that we will do fine as long as we continue moving in the right direction. Idling around or becoming stagnant in our lives is never the solution to any of our present issues. If anything, it only compounds matters in that it never lets us fulfill our true potential. And remember, there is no bigger misfortune than a life gone to waste.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was an American physician and poet. Known as one of the best writers of his time, he wrote: “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.”