A callous is a hardening or insensitivity to something through repetition. When a guitarist first places his fingers on the cords, it is foreign and painful. Through repetition and practice, the skin on the guitarists finger’s become hardened and he develops a callous, or pachydermatous. This allows the guitarist to play with more freedom and grace.
When we are in a predicament, everything we have built for ourselves is put to the test. It is an intense situation and all our energies may not be focused on preforming our best. For example, if someone is dedicated to remaining positive and optimistic but they are faced with something seemingly unbearable, they may slip into negativity and despair. What they don’t realize is if they can maintain their positive feelings in these conditions, at the peak of their capacity, they can do it anytime, anywhere, and in any mind-state. Through pursuing one’s philosophy, in rigorous conditions, immunity to those conditions develops. If we go through an unpleasant experience, while holding on to our dreams and goals, we grow with them, driving them deeper into our psyche.
I was once at the home of a musician who was recording and working on an album. During a break, he was explaining to me how he has terrible anxiety/anger issues and takes prescription medication (on top of other remedies) to help manage it. At that moment, a pencil rolled off the table and landed on the floor. “I’m relaxed now and with friends and good company.” He said. “Usually, that would really get at me and I’d flip out.” I had a thought. I explained that if he were to try and hold on to his other therapeutic tools (other than meds) and break on through the event, he would prevail. Having beaten the challenge, despite all the triggers, he would build a type of immunity to it. The next time a situation came up, with circumstances of the same caliber, it would be insignificant.
When we are faced with a challenge we should view it as if we are paving the way for bigger and better things. By holding on to our values, regardless of the situation, we build immunity and a callous to the challenge. This builds stamina, endurance and helps us grow. It leads to higher capacity and more opportunities which, in turn, lead to more experiences, pleasure, and happiness.