I have always imagined successful people are just like the bow and arrow in a game of archery: The arrow must be pulled backwards in order to propel forward.
So, that must mean the further back the arrow is pulled, the harder, faster and further it will travel forward, right? I believe so.
I believe that those who have been through the most hurt and the most struggle will in turn become the most successful people.
Not just because they deserve a second chance at life, but because of the strength of character that you obtain from having endured challenging adversity.
A classic example of this comes from an American screenwriter named Graham Moore who recently won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Imitation Game." Not only did he win an Oscar (the highest achievement in cinema), but he also inspired the world.
Instead of rambling a list of unrecognizable names as many other Oscar winners do, Graham Moore took this time to share a deeply personal and confronting triumph that he overcome as a teenager.
As he claimed his Oscar and stared into the faces of millions of people around the world, he said, "When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself because I felt weird and I felt different and I felt like I did not belong.
So, I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she's weird or she's different or she doesn't fit in anywhere, yes you do. I promise you do."
Not only was I (and the majority of the audience) a blubbering mess, but I was permanently inspired by this man's courage and bravery to share such a dark chapter of his life.
It led me to wonder why people who have faced such challenging adversity often made the most successful people.
I mean, we have all heard the story of a hero who overcomes the impossible and defies all odds to achieve the pinnacle of success. It has been used as the staple tale for all inspirational masterpieces throughout the last century.
But, what is it these people possess in order to get to the top after such difficult setbacks?
They have big dreams
Just like many of the success stories we see in our films, every hero's journey begins with a dream.
They seem defeated, as if they can no longer face what life is currently offering them, so they dream of better lives for themselves.
I know from experience just how dark life can be and during these times of utter despair, there are only a few things we can latch on to — one of them is a dream. We find hope in our future, as maybe, one day we will be able to look back and be able to say, "I made it."
This hope allows us to push through the challenging days in the present and it can guide us to a place where we will find the most amount of joy and satisfaction from our life.
It points us in the right direction, to where we find our passion, our love and our happiness. But most importantly, it creates a vision of our life that makes us want to jump out of bed every day.
People who have been in this place of pain and suffering need something to look forward to as a means of motivation. It is something to propel you forward, something to build upon and something to live for.
They are persistent
Adversity teaches us many lessons that we can carry through our day-to-day lives, but one of the most valuable traits that any hero can gain through adversity is persistence.
His or her struggles have taught him or her that giving up is never an option and in order to truly reap all the rewards that life has to offer, he or she must persist through all rough terrain.
It doesn't matter how many times the world says no — these people will never take no for an answer.
These people don't give up during the darkest days of their lives, so what makes you think they will throw the towel in now?
They have more passion than anyone else
We have all been told that putting in hard work is the only way to gain success.
These people don't make excuses as to why they don't do something, yet they are so passionate about what they do that it no longer seems like hard work.
Because of all the hurt that these heroes have endured, they seek to balance their lives with all that they love.
Passion drives them, not fame or fortune, and they seek nothing but ultimate fulfillment. The day they stop loving what they do is the day they no longer continue to do it.
They give their all
They know that their days on this earth are precious and that life is just way too short to do anything half-assed.
These heroes would rather look back on their lives and know that they tried as hard as they possibly could but fell short rather than not have tried at all.
What makes these people so successful is that they don’t see expiration dates for their dreams.
They know that it might not happen today or tomorrow, but one day, they might just make it. And in the mean time, they simply enjoy doing what they are doing.
As I continue to try and endure all that life throws at me, I sometimes imagine adversity to be like a training camp for life. Similar to a warrior in training, you are beaten and bashed until you think you can no longer continue.
But, you learn from your struggles and you become a better fighter.
Each time you feel as though you are too broken to continue, somehow you stand and remember how much strength you have gained from your experiences.
And, just like Graham Moore, these heroes have been beaten to the ground to the point that they can no longer stand and they no longer want to continue.
But, once they overcome their demons and defeat their opponents, just like warriors, they are completely unstoppable and go on to achieve miraculous things.