Poison into Medicine
I subscribe to Brian Johnson’s “The Optimizer – Inspiring wisdom. Daily.” I really like this guy. I often do not have time to read all his daily posts, but when I do, he always inspires me to be better, live better, and he keeps me striving to become more awake. Here is one of his latest emails that inspired me today:
LET’S CHANGE POISON INTO MEDICINE
“From the Buddhist perspective, I told him, all of us have the capacity to make use of any circumstance, no matter how awful, to create value. This ability to “change poison into medicine,” as it is known in Nichiren Buddhism, makes plausible the transformation of even the most horrific tragedy into something that enables us to become happier. . . .
Believing in your ability to transform poison into medicine when you don’t know how, and often won’t except in retrospect, is difficult, I admit. But that’s the confidence you have to find. That’s the confidence that represents your greatest defense against discouragement.”
~ Alex Lickerman, MD from The Undefeated Mind»
Changing poison into medicine.
That’s so good.
Alex presents this wisdom in the context of the third principle: Expect Obstacles.
We need to QUIT thinking we’re going to somehow cruise through life without any hiccups. (And, that when we discover them that it’s a sign something is wrong with us.)
We need to EXPECT obstacles. To expect “poison.”
And we need to believe in our ability to turn that poison into medicine—taking the stuff that we’re afraid might kill us and, through force of character, transmute it into stuff that MAKES US STRONGER!
As Nassim Taleb tells us in Anti-Fragile, “Wind extinguishes a candle and energizes fire.”
Let’s turn our poison into medicine.
Let’s energize our fires with every obstacle.
P.S. “Sometimes no matter how hard we pull, our lives don’t seem to move at all. Some struggles, in fact, take years or even decades to win (one of the titles bestowed upon the Buddha was “He Who Can Forbear”). But as long as we refuse to give in to despair and resolve to continue taking concrete action, some kind of victory is always possible. So when everything seems hopeless and you want to give up, no matter how much others may doubt you or you may doubt yourself, hold that knowledge fast to your heart and fix your mind unwaveringly on this most imperative of calls to action: never be defeated.”
Amen. Amen. Amen.
May we never give in to despair and resolve to continue taking concrete action.
Let us never be defeated.
I believe in you. I’m excited about all that we can do together.
Let’s do this! ~ Brian Johnson
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