You never know what you’re made of until you’re tested.
One of the most famous stories of this kind is a man named Doris Miller, who woke up on December 7th, 1941, as a United States Navy cook third class aboard the battleship West Virginia. By noon, he had entered American history as the first black American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest military decoration awarded for valor in combat.
As the first Japanese bombs and torpedoes exploded at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Miller risked his life to carry wounded sailors to safety. Then he joined the fight by manning an anti-aircraft machine gun – a weapon for which he had no training. When the attack finally ended, he helped pull dozens of sailors to safety out of the burning water.
One moment Doris Miller was an unknown Navy serviceman among thousands. The next, he was one of the first heroes of World War II. Instead of running from adversity he showed himself and the world what he was truly made of as a member of the Navy, as a Black man, and as a human being.
When torpedoes hit your marriage, your family, or your career, you discover what you’re truly made of. Hopefully, you find the character you need to battle through. If not, develop it. Lean in to challenges instead of shying away. Strengthen your resolve. The bigger the struggle, the more of you it will take to overcome it. But I promise you … you’re stronger than you think.