I have good news and, well, not-so-good news for you test takers.
Let’s get the not-so-good news over with. Here’s the deal: we cannot choose most of the tests we face in life.
Now, here’s the good one. Drum roll, please…
We can choose how we’re going to face all those tests.
Are we going to have a miserable experience, crumble under the pressure, run away, or avoid challenges altogether?
Or are we going to find the strength and inner resources to rise to the challenges and fully actualize our potential?
That’s the term psychologists use for becoming the person you are meant to be. Facing tests in the right way will give you this opportunity.
When you face the tests of life, learn from them and grow with them, you become that person.
The tests of life require you to call on the inner resources residing deep inside you.
By doing that, you come to know yourself and to develop your innate capacities. That is what we mean by actualizing your potential, and being tested presents you with the opportunities to do it.
Tests are like a challenging teacher or friend. If you maintain a good relationship with them, many of your best qualities will emerge.
Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. There are fabulous role models who have preceded us and can show us how to face the vicissitudes of life in a meaningful way.
These are the teachers and masters, saints and sages, the divinely inspired women and men who dedicated their lives to finding meaning and purpose through their struggles. Jesus on the cross, Buddha under the bodhi tree, Moses in the desert for forty years, Mohammed in the cave. Each faced the tests that life handed them, and they mastered the ability to learn and grow and become fully realized beings.
My wife says, “We are all saints-in-training.” All kidding aside, we may not all be sages and saints, but we all face tests on a regular basis, and some of them are severe and daunting.
Do we have the strength to overcome, the fortitude to persevere, the humor to see things in a lighter way?
With these capacities, it is possible to do more than just get by. We can do something inspiring with our lives.
Great beings create a memorable path through life’s tests. Because ultimately, that’s what life is—a path with tests at every bend in the road. Every test is there to help us grow and to fully become the people we are meant to be.
Let’s take a moment to honor our those who have challenged and mentored and inspired us along the way.
Close your eyes, and breathe out. Now see a circle of light and into that circle see the people who have taught you, believed in you and stood by you in your life. Enter the circle with them, and see yourself surrounded by them. Look into their shining faces and thank them, each and every one. Open your eyes. Go through your day knowing you are supported.
Send in your stories about the tests you are facing and how you are dealing with them. Your story will inspire others.