Stephen Fry once said that if he wrote a self-help book on how to be happy, it would have merely one directive: stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Life is filled with suffering, in the face of which it is easy to feel sorry for one’s self. To feel that one has been wronged, one is a victim, one has been unfairly treated, one is unlucky or that one is underappreciated. Yet, the mere act of feeling sorry for ourselves destroys every agency we have to face our suffering and make it go away.
Feeling sorry for one’s self seems like a natural response to the trials we face. Yet, the key to overcoming them is to do exactly the opposite.