I used to box recreationally.
My trainer was a professional fighter, and I remember joking with him, saying "Man, let me in the ring! If I was fighting, I'd be killing people."
We did a drill where he'd be taking my punches, and he told me how much it hurt. I just said "Toughen up—it doesn't hurt," and he asked me, "Why don't you try it?"
I put that suit on today and as I was taking punches, I saw how much it hurt.
That training session made me realize two things:
First, maybe I'm not cut out to be a professional boxer.
Second, it's easy for us to look from the outside in and think something looks easy.
In life, we tend to focus a lot on what we could have done differently, how we would have handled something better in someone else's shoes, or why we would have been more successful. It's easy to think you'd make a great boxer until you step into the ring. Until you truly step into someone else's shoes, it's impossible to understand their struggles.
We're all one struggle away. Regardless of how well you have it, how rich or popular or happy you are, your life is fragile. Anything can happen at any moment that throws your life into complete disarray. We're all one struggle away from a complete upheaval, and I'm saying that as one of the lucky ones.
I have a strong support system around me. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by some great people, but not everyone is as lucky as I am.
There are those of you without a strong support system. There are those of you who are one struggle away from breaking—I know you're out there. To those of you who resonate with this message, I need to tell you something.
Give tomorrow a chance.
Give next week a chance!
Things do get better, and when you change your perspective, you'll realize something important about life.
The horrible things you went through weren't meant to break you—they were there to make you stronger. They were there to harden you, to make you an inspiration for others.
If I'd quit in my darkest moments, I wouldn't be able to push others forward now. If I'd thrown in the towel when the going got touch, I wouldn't be here to help others who are where I was get to the other side.
The purpose of pain is bigger than any one of us.
Next time you see someone in need, reach out. If you have great people in your life, show gratitude! A short conversation can change someone's entire worldview for the better.
It all starts with you.