I’ve been thinking a lot about struggle recently and its role in our lives. When most people think of struggle, they probably think of a stressful period in their lives. I’m more interested in the benefits of struggle. Why is it important to have struggle as a part of our lives? These days, every university in the country will harp on finding your happiness and being stress free. However, this isn’t really the proper preparation for someone about to be sent off into the real world.
Struggle is important. There’s no doubt about that. We need to have a balance between struggle and reward to feel fulfilled and happy. Everyone is well aware that the lack of happiness can be a problem and a burden for some people. But what about being too comfortable with the present? Has that ever been a problem? That’s when struggle comes into play. Overcoming struggle is the only thing in life that will yield fulfillment. On the other hand, too much will get us stressed out to the point where it can become toxic. But having the right balance is the way to reach fulfillment. Success stems from struggle. If we are too comfortable with our current lives, then we most likely aren’t facing enough struggle. How can we look for new things to struggle with? The best answer to this is to start something new. Start a new hobby. Start from zero. You will not only face struggle in the physical and mental sense, but you will also face struggle from a social standpoint. A lot of times, you may join a new class with classmates and that takes a lot of courage to do so. It takes courage to look like an idiot in front of people. But that’s why it’s not for the weak minded. Remind yourself that everyone in that class was once in your position.
How can we give struggle a more important role in our lives and why should we? I’ll first answer the “why”. Look back on your most powerful memories. Were those memories a result of being comfortable? Or were they a result of struggling with something and either failing or succeeding? Most likely, the answer is the latter. We remember the things we struggle with. That’s why former athletes will remember in detail their former playing days. It’s also why a lot of athletes can have a difficult time adjusting to life after sports. Because with sports, struggle is everywhere. It’s in practice, games, and the even the media. It comes to you whether you like it or not. You are part of a team and you have a coach that will make you struggle through competition. After sports, we have to make the struggle ourselves. We have to replace the role that the team and coach plays. We have to push ourselves. We have to find what battles to take on. We have to learn from our mistakes and get better from them, and we have to be able to deal with victory or defeat.
How can we incorporate more struggle into our lives today? Start a class, start a business, or start a new adventure. If you are consistent and see these endeavors to their end, there is no doubt you will gain a feeling of fulfillment. Even if your business doesn’t take off or you decide you didn’t like that new class, you still had the guts to try it and find out for yourself that it wasn’t for you. And that’s a also a great feeling. That’s taking your life into your own hands. If you work hard and consistently, then there’s no doubt success and fulfillment will find you.