Ben Affleck feels "very lucky" for "second chances" and his challenges in life.

Ben Affleck has learned from his past

Ben Affleck has learned from his past

The 49-year-old actor - who rekindled his romance with former fiancee Jennifer Lopez earlier this year - has stressed the importance of "taking advantage" of being able to learn from "growth".

Noting he has "benefited from second chances", he told WSJ. Magazine: "Life is difficult, and we are always failing and hopefully learning from those failures.

"The one thing you really need to avail yourself of the opportunities provided from that growth is the second chance.

"I've definitely tried to take advantage of that. I haven't always been successful, but in cases in which I have, they've turned out to be the defining aspects of my life."

Ben - who has been open about his battle with addiction - insisted he had to "learn some lessons the hard way" in life, and he opened up on alcoholism.

He said: "The only real cure for alcoholism is suffering. You just hope that your threshold for suffering is met somewhere before it destroys your life."

Meanwhile, the 'Last Duel' star noted how his perspective has changed over the years, as he used to dismiss people saying they were "grateful" for their problems.

He added: "I used to be irritated by people who would say, 'Oh, I have these problems and I'm grateful for them.'

"I used to think, 'This is bulls***. You're not grateful for disasters, creating pain and wreckage in your life. Say you feel s***** about it and you wish you were better!'

"Only within the last five years, I really felt increasingly grateful for the difficulties that I've had."

And reflecting now, Ben admitted there are "a lot" of things he wishes his "younger self" had been able to understand.

He said: "Some things, honestly, that I'm too self-conscious of or shy about to be really candid about with the whole world because they're mostly mistakes.

"Things I wish I had done differently, and they're rooted in that instinct to look at my past and think, I wish I could have avoided this painful event.' I wish I could have not caused someone else pain. I wish I had understood better the nature of what was difficult about life for me."