Listen to episode 461 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: Motivation for Mastering Your Circumstances. Edited and adapted from The Freedom of Life by Annie Payson Call.
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Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Freedom of Life by Annie Payson Call, published in 1905.
IT is not the circumstances of life that trouble or weigh upon us. It is the way we take them. If a person is playing a difficult game of chess, the more intricate the moves, the more thoughtfully they look over their own and their opponent's pieces, and the more fully they are aroused to make the right move toward a checkmate. If, when the game became difficult, the player stopped to be depressed and disheartened, their opponent would probably always checkmate them. However, in most cases, the more difficult the game, the more thoroughly the players are aroused to do their best. And a difficult game is invariably a good one — the winner and the loser both feel it to be so, even though the loser may regret their loss.
“But,” you may say, “a game of chess is a game only — neither one's bread and butter nor one's life depend upon winning or losing it.” Well, yes, but if we need to be cool, quiet, and decisive for a game (which is merely an amusement), and if we play the game better for being cool, quiet, and decisive, why is not a quiet steadiness in wrestling with the circumstances of life just as necessary — not only that we may meet the particular problem of the moment truly, but that we may gain all the experience that may be helpful in meeting other difficult circumstances.