Courage

#28 - Why Stoics Love To Suffer | Kobe Bryant

Reflection ✏️

Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.
- Quote by Kobe Bryant

What is more Stoic than facing adversity not only with indifference, but preferred indifference?

When we are indifferent, we achieve a state of mind in which we can accept what is happening around us without judgement. We do what we can to move into the direction we want to go, but accept whatever lays outside of our circle of influence. (Amor Fati)

There is also dispreferred indifference, which means we might like it better to be rich instead of loosing all we have in the next financial crisis, but we would accept it nonetheless and deal with the situation without spending time and energy on things that won’t help make it better — like complaining.

Preferred indifference is the other side of the coin. Being wealthy and healthy is much preferred to the opposite. We can work towards these things, by making healthy choices, working out, saving money, living below our means (Temperance), but in the end it’s not entirely up to us.

In regard to the quote from Kobe, he seems to have a preferred indifference towards adversity and hardship. He almost welcomes the negativity. This can seem rather sadist. Why would anyone rather prefer to suffer than not?

It seems humans are rather complacent. If there is no external motivator, why would you even get up in the morning? If all we needed to do to survive is to lay down and breathe, there would be people who would deem breathing a chore already. Adversity propels us to strive for more, to make our life easier, to suffer less next time around. Adversity is a great teacher and can bring out the best in us. It steels our character, and resolve. Don’t be bitter when luck passes you by — greet the opportunity to become even more resilient, even if it seems unfair. Let’s use these challenges to become a better version of ourselves.

Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
- Fernando Sabino or John Lennon

We can learn from Kobe’s growth mindset. He has adopted the behavior that he will grow from suffering. Facing the negativity is better than hiding and running away (Courage). It is the right thing to do (Justice) since doing nothing, would mean letting the experience and opportunity to improve pass by us. Leaving us worse off than we were before, as we still suffer, but gain nothing from it.

Learning 💡

If you must suffer, accept in your heart that there is no way out of it, and learn from the experience.

Feedback

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What situation have you dealt with where you courageously faced adversity?

Or maybe you have another great quote regarding Courage? Don’t hesitate to submit it via this form or leave a comment 📝

Want more? Check out last week’s reflection

Get our next quote reflection straight to your inbox 👇

Share with a fellow Stoic 🙏