Life is hard, but we can make it good.

When I look at my life and at the lives of others, it is clear that “pain” is part of life. We cannot escape this truth. Life is often not fair, but it is for us to choose how we will respond to what life presents us.

Pain is an uncomfortable physical or emotional response to distress. Pain comes in many forms. Physical pain includes obvious things like an illness, a twisted ankle, touching a hot stove or stiff joints. Emotional pain includes things like a personal disappointment, a loss of a job, a challenge to a relationship or even the death of a close friend or family member. Pain is a challenge to our sense of security.

Often times other people’s response to pain in life inspire me. I try to be inspired and grateful for the success and happiness I see in other people when they respond to challenge in a healthy manner, rather than be envious or jealous that they seem to possess some special “tolerance for pain” that I lack.

I try to accept the reality of life with the faith that a particular pain has a purpose. A painful experience may alter my journey and lead me in a different direction, to a new adventure, an adventure that offers special gifts that I may have never been in position to accept.

Today’s pain may be a turning point in my life. Pain often teaches a lesson that lasts a lifetime.

Just for today, identify a “distress” in your life and change your attitude from that of suffering to that of challenge. Be strong in your response to a pain. Pain in life is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Attitude is everything.

Life is hard, but we can make it good. Practice makes progress. Progress is good.