"Adversity is inevitable. We must accept that, and not fight or regret it all the time. We should also remember that it can bring good things.

"The second key idea in this book, related to the first, is that not despite but on account of all the mistakes you have made in your life, and not despite but because of all the forms of adversity that you have experienced and had to cope with, have confronted well or made a mess of, the life you have lived and are living has given you a unique insight into your condition and the human condition more generally. The adversity in your life has been a precious source of enlightenment. You will face more adversity. As you do, you should seek not simply to cope with it as constructively as possible, turning it to account, but also remember that it is giving you an understanding of things that is irreplaceably valuable. It is part of your inheritance as a human being — and you should seek not to consider it alien to you."