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Balance | Fulfillment | Peace of Mind

Nelson Mandela on Resilience

“Beliefs, of course, also play a very prominent—very important—aspect. We believe in the principle that all South Africans should be able to determine their own future. We strongly believed in this.”

-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first Black President after winning the country’s first democratic election. Before his presidency, he had been incarcerated for 27 years for opposing apartheid in the country. He later won the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to ending apartheid in South Africa.

He is often asked how he not only survived being in prison, but also how he transformed into a stronger person despite everything he went through.

In an interview with CBC, Nelson Mandela states:

“The encouragement, and the fact that people have not forgotten about us, and that the struggle is going on in the country...Young people, you know, have taken up these issues.

"It made us feel that our lives were not wasted, and we have done something which is appreciated not only by our people locally, but by democratic forces throughout the world.”

What Nelson Mandela describes is aptly summed up by German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche:

“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

In Man’s Search for Meaning, psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl, describes how this mindset helped him survive the Nazi concentration camps.

“Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual,” Frankl wrote.

“These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment...[These tasks] form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual.

“A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life.

“He knows the ‘why’ for his existence, and will [therefore] be able to bear almost any ‘how.’”

-Viktor E. Frankl

While very few of us will ever go through anything like what Mandela and Frankl went through, understanding our unique “why” can make a difference in all of our lives.

If you are ready to explore your “why,” then visit us for a free consultation.

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