I found a particularly noteworthy quote online today:
"You are always going to face criticism, you are always going to face challenges; but those things are there to make you stronger and more committed to what God gives you."
Personally, I can relate to these words. And I can attest to the fact that criticism and challenges can, indeed, make you stronger. Facing criticism and overcoming challenges makes you dig that much deeper into yourself, reaching depths of your soul you didn't even know you had. What you find there makes you believe in yourself more than ever, and you do so with ridiculous intensity. Then, you are able to stand a little taller, hold your head a little higher, and dig your heels in a little harder to stand your ground.
God gives us so much -- from gifts, skills and talents to the people who come in and out of our lives. When you commit to the gifts you have been given, you find your passion in life and work ceases to be work; it becomes joy. And when you commit to the people in your life, you will also find passion and joy... like you have never found before.