Architectural profession, like many others, is a learning process in which most practices grow and move forward in trial-and-error approaches only to become competent after many years in a steep learning curve. I am still learning, and I have been making lots of mistakes along the way. In fact, I have learned a great deal more through difficult experiences than through all the moments where life was comfortable. I quote here a well-known saying of Mencius, a Confusion philosopher:
"When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent."
Many students of Chinese heritage would have been quite accustomed to the above quote. For over a millennia, teachers or parents would consider it as the golden rule, as a way to encourage their students or children to brave themselves and to endure hardship - despite their shortcomings - in order to succeed.
Life is never a bed of roses. There are twists and turns, ups and downs. There will be many challenges in life, and some may be too great to overcome. However, if we know how to negotiate our way between the thorns and obstacles of life, the roses of success will be ours to smell.
Selective Collection of David Adjaye's Work
Quotation source: David Adjaye's Art of Architecture By Antwaun Sargent