I used to do long-distance running and whenever I hit a wall, I would think of Haruki Murakami quoting Guatama Buddha on the difference between inevitable and optional: ‘Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

‘Say you’re running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to [you].’

Here are ten more inevitables and an optional mindset with which you can meet each of them.

Or not.

  • Inevitable: Aging. Optional: Maturity.
  • Inevitable: Change. Optional: Growth.
  • Inevitable: Grief. Optional: Self-pity.
  • Inevitable: Taxes. Optional: Contribution.
  • Inevitable: Love. Optional: Loving.
  • Inevitable: Anger. Optional: Temper.
  • Inevitable: Fear. Optional: Courage.
  • Inevitable: Failure. Optional: Flexibility.
  • Inevitable: Challenge. Optional: Learning
  • Inevitable: Death. Optional: Creative living.

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