The greatest pleasure in life is to do what people say you cannot do, said Walter Bagehot, who was an acclaimed columnist for The Economist and an author.

As soon as my eyes fell on these ever-true words carved on the top of my bookshelf, I began to ponder over how stultifying our lives would be without the challenges and difficult times that life throws up.

It’s not necessary though that we try to meet each of these challenges. Everyone can decide to lead a life of his or her own choosing. The great paradox is that while we seek a life full of pleasures and luxury, we are not ready to pay the price it entails. The majority of people fall into this category, and it’s hard to accept that difficulties are as much a part of our lives as are moments of happiness and that they are meant to be overcome. But a courageous

few decide to take up the challenge and set out to break down all the barriers. I believe difficulties offer us an interesting detour around the chores of everyday life. As it turns out, when we learn to tackle small challenges, we also prepare ourselves for greater obstacles ahead.

A person who escapes challenges and obstacles will never get to experience the thrill they provide. The intoxicating smell of victory is unlike any other. What a pity that many let slip by such moments of bliss! Times may be good, times may be bad, but only those with the fortitude and determination to battle against all odds will come into intimate contact with real life.

Therefore, failure has never been a dead end for people with a fighting spirit. For them, every failure offers a new challenge.

They work harder and remain undaunted by the biggest of challenges. They are those who manage to come out on top in life. We should understand that they are not superhuman, but just ordinary people like us. What made them extraordinary were their grit and dedication.

All people who have overcome challenges that looked insurmountable at first have something in common. When the renowned English mountaineer George Leigh Mallory was asked why he wished to climb Mt.

Everest, he replied with absolute nonchalance: “Because it is there”.