Struggle – how it can actually help you…
Feeling frustrated that you’re not where you want to be in life yet?
Want to change that?
Here’s some valuable advice that I’ve personally found has made a huge difference for me…
Be grateful for your struggle.
Embrace your frustration.
Sound counter-intuitive? Stay with me.
A wise person said to me the other day “I think struggle is the key to happiness.”
It was an interesting statement that I didn’t quite agree with, but it got me thinking.
I then asked the question – “How so?”
He said, “People who have things come easy to them don’t seem to really appreciate what they’ve got. They end up having all these ‘things’ but still feel depressed. I think if someone works really hard for something, and it’s a real struggle, when they eventually succeed, they feel like they’ve really earned it and that makes them feel good.”
Struggle is the key to happiness – there’s some truth to it, and yet I think that’s not quite all of it.
Yes when you feel like you’ve really earned something it does do more for your self-esteem and your happiness than just being given what you want.
But I think you can struggle at something, work really hard for it, eventually achieve it, and still not feel satisfied.
Why is that?
Tony Robbins nailed it when he said:
“Progress is the key to happiness.”
I think it’s more about feeling like you’re getting somewhere.
That you’re achieving something.
That you’re going forwards, not backwards in your goals.
That’s why I often feel frustrated when I’m not where I really want to be in life, because it feels like I’m not progressing quickly enough (or that my progress is so slow that I’m actually going backwards).
For example, when I wake up and I’ve put on weight on my journey to losing it.
Or when I earn or save less money than I did the month before.
It feels like I’m going backwards.
And that’s frustrating.
But I agree that it is important to be grateful for your struggle, because at least it means you’re trying.
It means whatever you’re doing isn’t easy, but you’re still giving it a go.
And nothing in this world worth having comes easy.
We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges.
Everything seems hard before it gets easy.
Remember the first time you ever went to the gym? How confusing the machines were? How challenging it all seemed?
Or the first time you rode a bike and fell off in the first few seconds?
But eventually you got the hang of it, and you started to see progress, and that felt good.
One of my favourite quotes is:
“Do what’s hard and life becomes easy.”
And I think there’s some truth to that.
Overcoming struggle feels great.
It feels fulfilling.
Fulfillment – there’s the final piece of the puzzle.
I think real happiness comes from struggle, progress and fulfillment all together.
Because once you achieve what you’re working towards, if you don’t feel fulfilled, then you’ve kind of failed.
What was the point?
Every time you achieve something, you automatically move the goal post even further.
And if you don’t stop and celebrate your achievement, then you’ll be forever chasing a feeling you’ll never obtain.
Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.
So make sure to monitor your progress, celebrate your wins and then work towards your new goals.
Throughout the process when things get frustrating, remember to be grateful for your struggle, because it means you’re growing.
If you feel like it’s all too hard, just think that there’s always someone out there who has it worse than you, and would be grateful to have your kind of problems.
And just think – one day in 10 years’ time you’ll look back on your current struggle and feel grateful you got through it because it helped get you to where you wanted to go.
Be grateful for your struggle.
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