There is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are responsible for our own life. If you’re holding anyone else accountable for your happiness, you’re wasting your time. You must be fearless enough to give yourself the love you didn’t receive.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we could lay all of our problems at the feet of another and expect that they would rectify all of the wrongs, and make everything right and whole again?

Sadly, not only is this fantasy, but it is a bad fantasy at that. For were we actually able to shed all of our existing problems and drop them in the lap of another, and walk away completely trouble free from that day forward, our future would almost unquestionably not be any rosier.

Our ability to accept the problems that are ours, deal with them in real life, and navigate our path around, over or through those problems is the core strength that truly will determine our veracity tomorrow, and all days going forward.

So while the fantasy of shedding problems like a snake sheds their skin sounds amazing at first blush, we are most wise to recognize that there is no such thing as a problem, without a gift for you in its hands. We seek the problems (unconsciously) because we need their gifts.

That sounds counter intuitive, but in actuality, I believe it to be so. As we progress in life, we are met with continual obstacles. If you stop right now and reflect on what it has taken you to get to where you are currently, you can list a host of obstacles that looked ominous on your path to your destiny. Each carried the prerequisite fear stimuli to give you pause and cause you to consider whether or not the choice you had made to get to where you are going was a wise one. Each stood as a looming obstacle, a metaphorical monster, hoping to dash our hopes and send us spiraling off into oblivion. But, in the end, that did not happen. Why is that?

In most cases, the answer is that you were forced to stop and look fear right in the face. We gain tremendous strength by stopping to do that. It is as uncomfortable an experience as any, and equally debilitating. But the core truth is that it is the only means we have to break through an obstacle and continue in life. 

If there is always someone to jump in and fight your battles, they will not always be there later in life. We have seen proof that you can be the kind of child who has a rich father that continually bails you out of the constant problems you make for yourself. But when that father passes away, you still find yourself bankrupting company after company, and perhaps even becoming president of the United States, but when dad is not there to help you, you can end up allowing hundreds of thousands of people to die needlessly because no one taught you how to address a real problem and solve it. No matter how harsh the circumstances, if you are not equipped with problem-solving skills, you are a waste of a human being as you grow older.

Life is a series of problems to be encountered, solved, prevailed upon and each becomes a stepping stone to tackling ever more difficult problems. The only thing that gives us opportunity to grow is to look at any of these issues, see them for what they truly are and grow strong enough to tackle them and improve ourselves.

There simply is no shortcut.

I have encountered many friends who did not have the same base of love in their lives as I, when they were growing up. As a child, I might have looked at them and pined for the holidays where both of their parents were present at the holiday table. Mine were living in two separate homes and I did not have those moments consistently through my life. I might have looked at them and felt I was cheated while they had the siblings with whom to commiserate and with whom to grow older and share some of life’s burdens, while I, as an only child, faced them alone.  As we get older, and chat about these feelings and experiences, they might now share with me that it looked great from the outside looking in, but in reality, their situation had a parent who had this quality, or that hindrance, and suddenly my situation of two separate parents who were totally respectful of one another, and who were both expressive and demonstrative of their love for me, was actually a cup that was half full, if I just saw it as such.

Today’s point is very simple. No one gets a free ride. And if they do, they turn out fairly worthless as a human being capable of handling large scale issues on their own. More often than not, they are highly damaged goods (capable of causing an insurrection on the 270 year old democracy that we hold so dear) rather than knowing how to lose graciously and accept circumstances for the greater benefit of others.

No one is coming on a white horse to make your problems go away. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. The only person who is ever going to help you really triumph in life…. Is you.

Be your own best friend. Love yourself in ways that one one else could ever possibly do. And treasure who you are right now. Regardless of whom you are working to become. You are beautiful and sparkling right this minute. Recognize it as such, embrace it and stand strong.

Happy Friday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!