You journey to Olympia to see the work of Phidias; and each of you holds it a misfortune not to have beheld these things before you die. Whereas when there is no need even to take a journey, but you are on the spot, with the works before you, have you no care to contemplate and study these?
Will you not then perceive either who you are or unto what end you were born: or for what purpose the power of contemplation has been bestowed upon you?
“Well, but in life there are some things disagreeable and hard to bear.”
And are there none at Olympia? Are you not scorched by the heat? Are you not cramped for room? Have you not to bathe with discomfort? Are you not drenched when it rains? Have you not to endure the clamour and shouting and such annoyances as these? Well, I suppose you set all this over against the splendour of the spectacle, and bear it patiently. What then? have you not received powers wherewith to endure all that comes to pass? have you not received greatness of heart, received courage, received fortitude? What care I, if I am great of heart, for aught that can come to pass? What shall cast me down or disturb me? What shall seem painful? Shall I not use the power to the end for which I received it, instead of moaning and wailing over what comes to pass?
Source: Epictetus. The Golden Sayings of Epictetus: XIV. Epictetus (A.D. 50 – A.D. 138)