“Even so, I want you to know, brother Sancho,” replied Don Quixote, “that there is no memory that time does not erase, no pain not ended by death.”
“Well, what misfortune can be greater,” replied Panza, “than waiting for time to end it and death to erase it? If this misfortune of ours was the kind that could be cured with a couple of poultices, it wouldn’t be so bad, but I can see that all the poultices in a hospital won’t be enough to set us straight again.”
—First Part, Chapter XV
The best advice I’ve ever heard about hard times is to “just keep on going.” This counters the natural human affection for comfort. But if you spend your days lounging in the sun and flipping through fashion magazines, where in your life will you go to battle with the kind of Sturm und Drang that lead to growth and progress?
I think there is a huge lie in our culture that tells us zoning out is a quick route to happiness. It is only when we engage ourselves past our limitations that we truly win. This comes from someone who procrastinates like hell. But, as a friend emailed me today, “If you do not do it, who will?”
Pain and discomfort are our friends. No, I’m not signing up for a stint at a Turkish prison. I just think there is real value in searching out challenges in life and testing one’s mettle. If you want an ordinary life, stay home and don’t go out looking for adventures.