In my 40+ years of life, 23 of which I’ve navigated independently, I’ve learned a vital truth: life gets hard. This journey often becomes increasingly challenging, and amidst these difficulties, there’s an undeniable presence of bad. However, it’s crucial to recognize that hard doesn’t always equate to bad; it simply means challenging.
Consider the arduous yet profoundly rewarding experience of childbirth, or the relentless effort required to grow a passion-driven business. These endeavors are undeniably tough, yet they yield tremendous goodness. Regular exercise, for instance, is consistently challenging, but its benefits for lifelong physical health are invaluable. Even the painful process of divorcing a cheating spouse, while difficult, leads to a healthier future.
Achievement inherently involves difficulty. The act of creating, building, surviving, thriving, and winning comes with its share of challenges. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a goal but merely a facet of routine existence. Hard work is, indeed, the first step towards realizing our ambitions.
As we expand our reach and life becomes more complex, the challenges grow correspondingly. One could choose a simpler life, say, living in a hut and surfing daily. Yet even that life has its difficulties. The progression of challenges is best understood through the lens of aging.
A baby, for instance, faces its own set of challenges: incomprehensible surroundings, the confusion of new experiences, and the oddity of diapers. From a parent’s perspective, a baby’s life seems simple – eat, sleep, and let others care for your needs. However, as a child grows, complexity increases, introducing a broader range of challenges. The more one expands their world, the greater the complexity they encounter and the tougher the problems they must solve.
Therefore, the presence of hard and good is a constant throughout life. The stronger we become, the more weight we can lift; the better we perform at our jobs, the higher we climb the career ladder. This cycle of growth and challenge is endless.
When life is besieged by negative events, it’s essential to remember that these are just events, not the entirety of life. They are specific, isolated issues within the broader context of our existence. It’s important to differentiate between life itself and the events that occur within it. Life is not inherently bad; certain events are.
The key to navigating these tough times lies firstly in mindset – acknowledging the reality of these situations as specific and temporary. Secondly, our actions and reactions play a crucial role. Avoiding destructive responses and instead focusing on peaceful or non-reactions conserves energy and prevents additional problems. It’s about tackling the issue at hand, not the people involved or the cause of the problem.
Remember, resolving these issues often takes time, effort, and the involvement of others. Working in tandem with your team, leveraging time, and allowing your efforts to culminate is essential. While time does facilitate healing, immediate action is crucial in addressing and resolving these challenges.
Finally, remember that you are in control of your actions, your energy, and your responses. You might not control external events or the actions of others, but how you react and respond is entirely in your hands. Focus on what you can influence, and tackle the hard challenges with gratitude and self-awareness. Embrace the growth that comes with overcoming these obstacles, and prepare yourself to excel at new levels of life.
You’ve got this. Now, go and seize it!