Strength is not a state of being, it is a choice. Not just a choice that you make one time in your life. Rather it's a choice that you have to make over and over again with every hard decision and every time you face a crossroads between doing something easy or something hard.
Being strong at one time does not make you strong at another. Past strength simply means that you will be more likely to be strong in the future because you've already been through difficult times and you know what you need to do to get yourself out of them. But if you only rely on your past expression of strength, then you end up in a place where you're just living in the past with no eye on where you are now or where you're going.
The Difference Between Strong People and Weak People
By this definition of strength, the biggest difference between strong people and weak people is that strong people keep making the decision to be strong, over and over again, in every aspect of their lives. The best powerlifters, for example, do not stop training after they achieve a personal best total. Rather, they continue to push the envelope until their bodies break down and many times beyond even that. The best businessmen do not stop working to create ideas after they've sold a company for multiple millions of dollars. They take the money they earned and the begin working, often immediately, on a new project. Similarly when businessmen like this fail, they immediately put the failure behind them and they keep trying.
Weak people, on the other hand, do not actually try to do anything hard. When given decisions to make, a weak person will almost always go with the choice that provides the least resistance even though the harder choice may have reaped greater rewards in the end. This is because weak people cannot handle discomfort. This is why so many people choose to sit on the couch, and open themselves up to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, even though they could cut their chances of this significantly if they began an exercise program. The weak build themselves shelters of comfort and excuses that they hide in until those shelters are destroyed by reality.
The Strong Do as They Will, While the Weak Suffer as they Must
This was a quote from the ancient Greek historian Thucydides's account of the destruction of the city-state of Melos at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Melos was an ally of Sparta, the major power on the Greek Peninsula at this time. So, rather than build their own army, the Melians relied on the Spartans to protect them. Soon Athens sought to challenge Spartan dominance, and they set their sites on Melos. When the Athenian Army arrived on Melos's doorstep, they gave the Melians an ultimatum - side with Athens or have your men killed, your women and children raped and enslaved, and your city burnt to the ground. The Melians turned down Athens' on their ultimatum after sending messengers to Sparta. The Spartans never came, and Melos was destroyed.
The moral here is that strength may be the harder immediate choice, but it brings options in the long run. If you choose to make yourself strong, you build assets for yourself. These could include: a healthier body and mind, more accomplishments to your name, reliance on yourself rather than others, and more credibility. These assets translate into more opportunities through jobs, business ventures, relationships, and, if you work hard enough, more money.
Living in comfort all the time, however, breeds weakness. Your life may be comfortable now, but as soon as something hard comes to your doorstep, your world of comfort will crumble, and without comfort a weak person has nothing. Strong people pull themselves out of difficult situations, while weak people die in them.
The Bottom Line
Many of you who are reading this have served your country and gone through some difficult times and came out the other end. Many of you are having difficult times right now. We know you were strong in your past, but the question is, what are you going to do right now? Will you make up excuses or blame the President, the VA, your family, wives, or children for your problems? Or will you make the harder choice, look in the mirror and say "it's time to work motherfucker." You know you have it in you. Deep down inside, it's there, waiting like a lion to get out. Don't wait for yourself to get so desperate that it has to come out. You're only here on this Earth for a short period and the time is now.