This week I want you to ask yourself a question. Not only do I want you to ask the question but I want you to take some time thinking about the answer: ‘What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?’
I was asked this by a friend a few weeks ago and the conversation has been had a few times since, with me asking more and more people, and finding some seriously good advice.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is now a tattoo on my hand which says ‘AMOR FATI’.
It’s a Latin phrase used a lot in stoic philosophy that directly translates to ‘love fate’ or ‘the love of fate’ and can be explained as – everything that happens in your life, whether good of bad, is absolutely necessary.
Read that again. Everything that happens in your life, whether good of bad, is absolutely necessary.
A smooth sea never made a good sailor right? An untrained muscle will never grow big and strong.
Think back to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, where the twin towers and world trade centre fell and thousands died.
There’s a story of a man who for some reason missed his train to work that morning and didn’t make it in to work. I can only imagine his emotions at the time were probably anger, frustration and annoyance that he had missed his train. I can also imagine that his emotions a few hours later (and still to his day) will have been those of relief, absolute disbelief and a feeling of luck.
Obviously also paired with feelings of sadness and anger of the attack itself, but a huge feeling of luck.
I firmly believe that everything in your life happens for a reason.
l The job you went for but didn’t get, helped you build resilience and mental toughness for your next job interview, and future events.
l That driving test you failed might have saved you from a car accident the next day.
l A death of a family member or friend (something that will happen to everyone at some point in their life) will teach mental toughness, give you experience in dealing with grief, and potentially spur you on to be a better person, to make them proud, and might spur you on to not waste any more of your life, and seize the moment.
l Losing your phone on holiday might have taught you to enjoy time off your phone that week, and that there’s more to life than scrolling Instagram and telling the world where you’re ‘checking in’ every two hours.
I’m not sitting here saying that I love when terrible events happen in my life, because that’s not the case.
What I am saying is when they do happen (even minor inconveniences like missing the bus) I try and ask myself ‘What is this teaching me?’ and ‘What can I learn from this?’
Through stress comes growth, and in your life you’re going to come across hundreds if not thousands of stresses and occasions where you’ll be tested, hurt and thrown off path.
Next time they do happen, next time you drop and break your telephone, miss the bus, stub your toe, or don’t get that job, ask yourself what can that event potentially teach you and how can it make you a stronger, better person.
The phrase ‘AMOR FATI’ has honestly changed my life, made me view ‘negative’ events in a positive way and helped me deal with things in a miles better way.
‘Everything that happens in your life, whether good or bad – is absolutely necessary.’
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?