I read a line somewhere that went something like this: “All growth comes with a shock.”

I was thinking about that today, just mulling it over and thinking about all of the different ways I’ve heard that exact same statement. Maybe it was worded differently in the past, but the idea was the same.

I hear my dad using the phrase “wake-up call”.

I hear every good wrestling coach I’ve ever had demand that I have a full-on, one-hundred-percent go practice match before the first real match at every tournament I ever entered.

I hear every Chief Petty Officer I ever served under or worked alongside talk about sailors who turned a corner after running headlong into adversity.

It all means the same thing.

We’re not talking physical growth here, not really. Sure, that’s an apt metaphor. You can’t get stronger if you’re not testing your muscles, if they’re not meeting some sort of resistance.

The same thing goes for emotional strength…for mental toughness. You have to get hit. You’ve got to get beaten down. Life has to break you. Press on you. Push you face first into the muck and try to drown you in it.

What happens after that?

Well, that’s up to you. You can lay there and let the world get the best of you…

Or…you can decide to grow….to emerge. To pick yourself up, square off, and take your next step forward.

Oh…one last thing. Don’t bother dusting yourself off. You don’t need to give anyone that satisfaction.

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