Your Curse Can Be Your Blessing

Is your life “cursed” in some way?

A traumatic childhood? Health problems? Poor self-esteem?

You can turn your curse into your blessing.

The American novelist Ernest Hemingway said it well:

“Life breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong in the broken places.”

We’ve all got broken places. We can either sit and cry about them, or we can get strong. We can use our pain as fuel to improve ourselves and to do good in the world.

For example, I live in the shadow of a great man. My younger siblings compare themselves to each other. But as the eldest, I compare myself to our father. It’s a humbling experience. I feel as if I can never be good enough and can never accomplish enough.

But it’s also a blessing. It spurs me to work harder and to do more. Both I and the world are better off because of my “broken places.”

I’m also a slight hypochondriac. It motivates me to exercise daily and to watch my diet. I’m better off as a result.

What are your broken places? How can you turn them into your strongest places? How can you use them to make your life better?

It’s a question worth asking.


Check out my book Why Sane People Believe Crazy Things: How Belief Can Help or Hurt Social Peace. Kirkus Reviews called it an “impressively nuanced analysis.”

About N.S. Palmer

N.S. Palmer is an American mathematician.
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