There is no substance stronger than diamonds (or very few).
You need an (even stronger) diamond to cut a diamond.
Let me explain this analogy in further detail:
1. Who is stronger?
In life, only that which is stronger than you can harm you.
A giant gorilla isn’t annoyed by the barking of dogs (better yet, puppies).
An adult ignores the cries of babies.
If you are a boxer, only a boxer which is stronger than you can knock you out. If you were Manny Pacquiao — could an amateur boxer knock you out?
2. You are the diamond
If you can understand the analogy, you are a diamond. A diamond in the rough.
If you don’t think you’re a diamond, try this mental exercise:
Put on a suit of armor, plated with diamonds.
This suit of armor will make you impervious to all external attacks. Only substances that are stronger than your diamond-plated armor can pierce and harm you.
Consider the negative words, criticisms, or attacks on you like puny wooden arrows shooting at you. They will bounce off your chest, like they were little twigs. You can withstand any manner of assault, and not falter.
3. Change your interpretation of the acts or words of others
Consider a great cliff. Over thousands of years, waves crash at it. Yet, it still maintains its strong shape.
Of course, in life — things will attack you, and hurt you. But they won’t destroy you, or harm you. Because when it comes to physical pain, you can’t change that. But when it comes to mental pain, you only feel insulted when you interpret the attack of another as an insult.
Let me give an example:
If you were rowing a boat in a foggy lake, and suddenly you feel someone hit your boat, you would get pissed off. But then when the fog clears, the boat is empty. Would you still feel angry?
Another example: let’s say you were sitting on your bus, minding your own business, when someone shouts in your face: “Fuck you!” You might immediately get upset, and ready to fight this person. But then you look up and you see the person (obviously) has mental issues, and is possibly homeless. Would you take their threat seriously?
I know in my personal life, I always misinterpret the words of others, often helpful words. For example, whenever Cindy gives me feedback (in order to help me), I immediately get defensive, and feel like she’s attacking me. But in reality, I am mis-interpreting her words. Therefore as a mental trick, I always assume that she’s saying something for my benefit. And I know sometimes she is genuinely angry at me, and not trying to be nice. But still, I always try to interpret her words and actions in a positive way.
I also often feel grief whenever I get negative comments on the internet. At first, it really hurt me, deep into my soul. I would lose sleep at night. But now, I am immune to most of the negativity because I ignore it. Not only that, but when I do read negative feedback, I imagine myself like a great redwood tree, towering over all these trolls. And these trolls are just like little squirrels, trying to chip away at my invincible bark.
4. You can’t change the world, but you can change yourself
Life is a battle; life is a warfare. It isn’t a dainty business.
You will get slashed, kicked, punched, beaten up, bruised, and battered. You might see the sight of your own blood (literally or figuratively).
Yet regardless of what happens in life, rise superior to others— especially to those weaker than you who are trying to harm you. Put on your diamond-plated armor, and know that only those stronger than you can harm you.
Learn more: Stoicism >