This Too Shall Pass

Note to my future self...

Today I learned the story behind the famous adage “this too shall pass” and I thought it was a great reminder that everything in life – the good and the bad – is transient and that’s something that we should accept and be ok with.

Here’s a great summary I found of the legend:

“The legend of the quote finds its roots in the court of a powerful eastern Persian ruler who called his sages (wise men) to him, including the Sufi poet Attar of Nishapur, and asked them for one quote that would be accurate at all times and in all situations. The wise men consulted with one another, and threw themselves into deep contemplation, and finally came up with the answer …

“this too, shall pass”.

The ruler was so impressed by the quote that he had it inscribed in a ring.”


The quote “this too, shall pass” is a phenomenal tool to help you feel better whenever you’re in a sad place. It’s equally useful whenever you’re going through a moment of high euphoria as it reminds you that this moment won’t last forever so you better make the most out of it.

I think that the backstory is equally fascinating and augments the meaning of the quote. If you think about it this is a principle that truly applies to every person every single time. This universality is what makes this idea so consistent and consequentially so powerful.

In any case, I will start incorporating this idea into my daily routine as I start facing those high and lows that life brings. Let’s see how it goes(:

Now back to work…

Note: This is such a good story that Abraham Lincoln recounted a very similar version in a speech in 1859!