We are very similar, in many ways, to steel reinforced concrete, in that much of our strength comes from within. The pillars of motorway bridges are immensely strong because, apart from the toughness of the concrete itself, they have a rigid steel structure embedded within them.
In the same way, we have an inner strength, an emotional structure that allows us to handle the rigours of daily life. The strength of that structure is different in each one of us, indeed it can change depending on the strain that life is exerting at any given point in time. But the important thing is that we can increase it through some very simple practices.
Generally speaking, we are stronger, mentally, when we see problems as challenges, and stronger still when we feel we can overcome those challenges and come out the other side unscathed. So how do we improve our resilience to the bumps and knocks that life delivers?
Well in my own case, I find that chanting raises my life-state and allows me to tackle challenges more positively. By chanting about a particular issue, I find that I see the details more clearly and hence have more ideas regarding the possible solutions to solve it.
Of course, other people have their own way to deal with challenges. Some meditate, some pray to their God for guidance or divine intervention, some in fact are so grounded that they seem to have a built in ability to cope.
However you go about it, the most important thing to remember is that confidence and determination are key factors in winning the battle. Sitting and cogitating the fluff in your navel, getting depressed, or feeling that the challenge is just far too great to tackle, will undoubtedly result in failure, so don’t do it.
One really good tip, whatever you are facing, is to try to break down the task at hand into bite sized pieces. As Geoff says to Ed, in The Buddha, Geoff and Me, ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ … ‘One bite at a time’. So take it bit by bit, deal with each day as it arrives, and remember to stay strong and above all positive. If you believe you will win, then you are already half way there.