“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. Weak men create hard times.” This was first mentioned by Plato in Republic and has been a truth ever since. But there is a way you can break this never-ending circle and it begins and ends with personal responsibility and growth.
When people break this cycle, they displayed the following 5 characteristics that made them unstoppable:
1. Become a leader of men
Easier said than done. To become a leader of men, you need to have a strong conviction for a future you desire. Men follow strong men, not weak-minded people who are not sure about the things they speak about.
When you believe in your words and actions and display that characteristic unapologetically, others will see you as a confident person. You will show them that you can and will lead them into a bright future, elevating and pushing them to a higher standard.
A leader of men makes things happen and there are no obstacles on the way that can stop him and the people he leads. This characteristic helped me unify and lead my local office through many hardships and we ended up victorious at the end. The path was difficult but the vision of the future and the certainty that we would prevail at the end made us unstoppable in the pursuit of success.
2. The biggest strength comes from the deepest pain
Being unstoppable means looking into the eyes of death and failure itself and giving it the “you can’t stop me” look while you go through hardships and challenges.
Great strength doesn’t come from avoidance of pain, it comes from dealing with pain, and having it beat us to the ground. This is a lesson we must take ,and rise stronger than ever, punching back everything that stands in our way.
A muscle grows when it’s torn, a butterfly is born from a hard cocoon and a person grows only when faced with great obstacles. I remember the times when I didn’t have money for food and basically lived on water for days. It was horrible but I survived and grew stronger. I now draw strength from the pain of not having food and it makes me unstoppable, because if you can survive hunger, what’s there to stop you?
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller
3. With great responsibility comes great power
There are things in life that are not our fault. The place where you were born, the education you had, the money your parents earned, the siblings you have or didn’t have. But no matter whose fault it is, if it affects your life, it is your responsibility.
I was born in a war-torn country and spent the first years of my childhood as a refugee. Fast forward 20 years, and my country has a youth unemployment rate of 65%. Imagine that!
Those two things alone are more than enough excuses for me to say that it’s not my fault that these things happen. And it’s true – it’s not my fault, but it’s sure as hell my responsibility.
By taking responsibility to change my situation and the situation of the people around me, I gain power to help out and make a difference. The biggest responsibility gives me the most amount of power – the one I can use to make a difference.
There will always be an endless amount of problems and excuses in the world, and we will always have the same solution to it – taking responsibility. The more responsibility you have, the bigger your power is and the more unstoppable you become.
4. Ability to reframe reality
Don’t be sad, be happy. When you get to an operating table, you can either have a 10% chance of dying or 90% chance of living. Shakespeare said a long time ago that nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so. And he was right- there are certain problems in life that come as a blessing in disguise and if we can spot them when they happen, they can alter the way we live our lives.
If you get fired today, it can mean a disaster for you or it can be a trigger to finally start that business with a friend you always wanted to. When problems hit you in the face and they will, the ability to see the silver lining in them and reframe them in your advantage will be crucial.
When Martin Luther King’s house was bombed, he took that as an opportunity to show people his non-violent approach toward solving problems. When Viktor Frankl was imprisoned in Auschwitz, he used that time to find his purpose in life and develop logotherapy – a way of helping people solve existential problems by finding their purpose in life. The examples of reframing are endless and if you internalize this characteristic, it will make you unstoppable.
“Thoughts are boomerangs, returning with precision to their source. Choose wisely which ones you throw.”
5. You think and act
Thinking and never acting is armchair philosophy – almost everyone can do it. Acting and never thinking is reckless behavior – almost everyone can do it. But to truly be unstoppable, you need both. You need to base your actions in your ideas and visions of the future and then, you need to execute on them.