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LIFE TWINS; OR, SUFFERING AND GROWTH

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

“To Grow You Must Suffer” — David Goggins


In many ways, my year in America was brutal:


Finding the move this challenging was extremely humiliating and deeply humbling; here I was hitting high 80s and 90s in exams and assignments but emotionally crippled, broken, battered and bruised. In fact, I remember telling a member of the faculty at Christmas that I was done. I did return after Christmas break though (but in large part because I couldn’t afford not to - a $90K investment is no mean feat).


Yet in that same year I found the most beautiful family and community at Yale School of Public Health; individuals that led to the year being a strange dichotomy of the most beautiful and terrifying year of my adult life.


A friend reached out to me on Facebook recently and told me that my life seems like a dream. It seems that way because very few post their hardships on social media. But in reality, underneath the glossy sheen of people’s perception of ‘The Ivy League’, things felt particularly vicious at times. So what kept me going? Some freakish survival instinct that was actually prepared to collapse in the pursuit of victory; I quite simply didn’t travel halfway across the world to fail.


The chasm between your current baseline and the one from which you were destined to operate is - to quote Keats - a veritable 'Vale of Tears'. But beyond it will be found the ambrosial dew that flows from the mirage of your wildest dreams crystallized and at long last made real.

Suffering has humbled me, strengthened me and made me more compassionate. I do what I do - particularly in relation to the work on this website - because during those dark moments, many lifted me. And in doing so, made it incumbent on me to pass that service forward.


“How are you so prolific?” many have asked. If I can make it through an accelerated degree at Yale mentally battered, pray tell, what there is that I cannot do? If that didn’t kill me, it is unlikely that much else will. In those statements lie the powerful lesson indelibly forged into the hearts and minds of those who have tenaciously clung on, persevered and conquered.


The chasm between your current baseline and the one from which you were destined to operate is - to quote Keats - a veritable 'Vale of Tears'. But beyond it will be found the ambrosial dew that flows from the mirage of your wildest dreams crystallized and at long last made real.

“To grow you must suffer.” Amen indeed, Goggins. Amen.

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