We learn much about our strengths and our capabilities when faced with trial and adversity. The determination with which we rise to any challenge – one that requires thought and ingenuity, application and hard work, patience and consistency – are all fine values with which we can be justly satisfied and happy to recognize in ourselves. We understand more about ourselves when interacting with the dynamic and complicated world around us, when juxtaposing our views and opinions with those of others, and when applying our ideas to challenges and problems. This is all true, but the incorrect application of our will and determination also does much to distort our vision of that world, and unnecessarily increases the enormity of the difficulties and opposition we believe we face.
Our determination to succeed, driven by our fear that we won’t, has the potential to create terrible monsters out of the simplest challenge or obstruction, made worse by the fact that the field of engagement – the “battlefield” of our imagination – is set by our ego’s opinion of what is happening around us, by the emotional content, as we define it, of the events we participate in and are witness to.