True Joy Doesn’t Come from Winning But from a Dignified Struggle…
When faced with difficulties as human beings, our natural reaction is to avoid the situation rather than power through it, this is why some situations in our lives happen twice.
Challenges always have their way of finding us.
The years of evolution have wired our brains to seek the comfort of the familiar and avoid the discomfort that comes with new and challenging experiences.
Sometimes the uncomfortable things in life are there to teach us lessons because to go through a change of habit, we need to feel uncomfortable.
Our subconscious reactions are necessary for your survival. But they can also be an impediment when there’s no actual danger or when the situation calls for an appropriate response rather than a spontaneous reaction.
Struggles shape our future outcomes, yields self-improvement, and career development.
The inspirational example of struggle and courage is the strength to stay positive in struggle, lift other people despite the struggle, and grow in it.
Anybody that has ever achieved anything worthwhile has encountered and overcome struggles on their journey, but this part of the process is often left out of the success story, yet is so often the most important part. There are countless examples to call upon. Sylvester Stallone was forced to sell his life-long friend, his dog, for a reported $50 to purchase food for himself. Every true success is built on struggles.
We all go through struggles, to some different, and some, they go through the same struggle. The only difference is REACTION to the challenge.
Our emotions can teach you a lot about yourself, but you should never allow them to take control of your responses.
Hasty responses such as outbursts of anger make it difficult to have meaningful relationships, handle conflicts, and communicate effectively.
Pain touches everyone. If you’re lucky, the toughest times in your life will be fleeting. But some hardships including the global coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath may linger for years, and continue to present new challenges for individuals and organizations.
In my research, I have laid the first stone that most hardships fall into these 4 categories:
- Personal Trauma: Often unexpected and shocking, personal trauma is generally an experience you can’t control, and that causes feelings of confusion or loss. This could be anything from the coronavirus pandemic, death in the family, childhood burden, and neglect, surviving a car crash, Etc.
- Discrimination and Injustice: Whether it occurs in the workplace, school, or another part of your life, experiencing discrimination or injustice is one of the most common hardships. This involves a wide range of subtle and overt, intentional and unintentional behavior and actions that can cause long-lasting negative consequences and kill one’s self-esteem.
- Mistakes and Failures: Such mistakes can be technical, professional, ethical, or strategic — for example, a product malfunction, a poor hiring decision, a loss of credibility, a failed group assignment, or collapsed venture. It can often feel difficult to bounce back from these downfalls, especially if they’re larger in scale, tied to a deeper workplace culture or issue, or far-reaching in their impact.
- Career Setbacks: Sometimes career setbacks are unavoidable or out of your control. It could be organization-wide layoffs, a freeze on hiring or promotions, a company reorganization, or a wide array of less severe but significant events.
Struggles suck but they make us stronger in adversity because the frustration you experience when struggling with a problem can open up your mind to alternative ideas and solutions.
Struggle can bring out the hidden creative genius within you, enabling you to see a problem from a new angle. You tend to remain in your comfort zone and take less risk when everything is going well.
“Success is not about your resources. It’s about how resourceful you are with what you have.” – Tony Robbins
The best way to learn resourcefulness is to look beyond your struggle and approach problems from a new perspective. By not giving up when problems seem difficult, you can learn from mistakes along the way. This is the common formula that highly successful people like Walt Disney, Richard Branson, etc have utilized in their respective careers.
Here are the ten (10) top lessons I have learned through the struggles of life:
1. Struggle Teaches You Prioritization and Helps You Realize What Is important:
Prioritization means choosing what matters most. When you face multiple tasks and responsibilities in life, they will compete for both your time and resources. Although everything may seem important, not every task requires your urgent attention.
Learning to prioritize will save time you would have wasted going back and forth between tasks. Prioritizing is a skill that needs constant practice. It requires you to know what matters and recognizing what should be put on the back burner. Facing struggles in life will teach you to let go of things that don’t add value and to value what is really important.
When you’re dealing with adversity, how you adapt or cope will determine whether you bounce back quickly or not.
Self-awareness is crucial to developing emotional intelligence. Learning to monitor your thoughts and emotions will help you understand yourself better and be at peace with who you are.
2. Time heals:
Stress and hardship, although not enjoyable, do pass and as time moves on, solutions come. It is only through a tremendous amount of patience that you are able to turn your terrors to triumphs. As time looms stagnant, make sure to focus on working hard and finding a level of acceptance for the situation you are in, and you will see that things begin to settle and work out; maybe not in the vision you had originally held, but many times things take directions which are even better for you.
3. Action breeds more clarity than thought, so you can’t think your way into a new life, you have to act your way into one:
How do you find out what you want in life? You lean into what you think you want and take action toward it. That’s the best answer I can give you because here’s what I’ve learned: Action breeds more clarity than thought because, at the end of the day, you will only learn, improve, and figure it out, by doing. You’ll learn how to cook by cooking. You’ll master the art of writing by sitting down to write every day.
All you need, then, is a direction to move into. All you need is the “where,” not the “how.” Once you begin to walk the path and trust the process, the answers begin to reveal themselves to you, and the way begins to appear. That’s why you can’t think your way into a new life; you have to act your way into one.
Struggles are fun when actions are taken on them than thinking the worst.
4. If you want to change the trajectory of your life, embrace these rules and apply them:
Commitment is what gets you started, consistency is what gets you somewhere, and persistence is what keeps you going.
Consistency is the secret step to every success.
If you want to change your life around, here’s what you must do:
- Commit to one thing.
- Stay consistent in it.
- Push through it.
Commitment is what gets you started on a new trajectory.
Consistency is the key to creating long-lasting and sustainable change in life, is what gets you somewhere, and persistence is what keeps you going despite adversity.
5. Share your progress, not your goals, and you’ll always be motivated:
Research has proven that the premature praise we receive from sharing our goals in public becomes a substitute for actually achieving them. That’s why a lot of people talk about what they want to do, but never actually end up doing them. And that’s why I learned to no longer announce my goals in public. Rather, I work silently behind the scenes and share my progress instead.
When you track and share your progress, you keep yourself motivated. The tracking allows you to see your evolution unfolding before your eyes and the sharing allows people to praise you not on your results, but on your process.
Tracking my progress is one of the three strategies I use to keep myself motivated to write. I’ve built myself a dashboard on Google Sheets to track and measure my progress, and I do it for three reasons:
- It keeps me motivated and inspires me to keep going.
- It helps me stay disciplined.
- It helps me make better decisions (because now I have data to work with).
So if you want to move the needle, start sharing your progress, and stop sharing your goals rather start sharing what you’re actively doing, and stop sharing what you want to be doing.
6. Never fail to try more:
Even when we’re feeling most prepared there is a chance we fail in accomplishing our goal. An athlete could lead the entire race only to fall just in front of the finish line and lose. This doesn’t mean the athlete should stop competing; on the contrary, he would work even harder for the next competition. The results will come, eventually.
7. Everything is a lie:
I heard this first from Michael Ehling of Balance Coaching. Stop spending your time debating whether something is true or not. Imagine it to be all lies and choose the lie that’s going to make you take resourceful action. Sounds counterintuitive, but it works.
8. You will rise:
When you feel the drowning sensations which come from a stressful and terrible situation it feels like you will not make it through. That is how it feels, but it is not how it will be. Stress and hardship are what make you stronger, more mindful and elegant in your approach to love, life and business. It is in the journey of getting through these hard times you become more bold and brave in getting your needs met.
It is through your challenges you learn to rise.
The feelings of stress, hardship, and uncertainty reach into the depths of what human suffering is. The hardest thing about these times is that even though you intellectually know they will pass, when you’re in throws of them, they feel as if they are never going to shift or change in your favor. Uncertainty is a painful journey. It’s a journey that you will take many times over your lifetime, in many different areas of your life and for many different reasons. You may as well buckle up and accept that the journey through your stress and heartbreak serve as the character building devices you need in an effort to take full accountability for yourself, your life, your trajectory and the management of your emotions. Without suffering you cannot develop the necessary wisdom for your continued success.
9. Never make anyone feel small, including yourself:
I didn’t realize this until I read Kevin Hall‘s book, Aspire. He explains the Hindi word genshai, which means never to treat others or yourself , In a way to make them feel small. The part about not making others feel small was obvious. What struck me was the inclusion of “or yourself”. It reminded me of all the times I’ve needlessly short-changed myself in the guise of modesty. I’ve come to realize that doing that was of no benefit to anyone.
10. Appreciate what you have & enjoy where you are right now:
I love this one. It’s something that I try to embody, and also remind myself when I’m thinking about what I don’t have. Each time we’re stuck in the complaint, it’s an opportunity to wake up to the beauty that’s in front of us because they are people out there who would be willing to give a hand for what you have now.
Gratitude is what separates wealthy people from rich people in life’s gift and not money measurement.
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