The Struggle Is Real

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Everyone wants it easy.  Easy sales, easy relationships.  Green lights all the way from the garage to the office, and coffee waiting with zero problems at work.  Maybe a nice chair massage and a bonus plus a cupcake with butterflies floating around.

That’s a fantasy, and if you are going to fantasize it should at least be something with an iota of potential to occur, like going to Tahiti with the love of your life once the chaos subsides. 

“The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling with adversity.” Seneca proclaimed millennia ago.  Not Sysiphus eternally pushing his rock up the hill only to have it crash back down over and over and over, but to watch a flawed human exerting themselves in a worthy cause or someone exhibiting excellence and ignoring limits.

I have seen people overcome issues and fight for their beliefs and goals in ways that put me to shame, be it John Nichols (from a broken neck to running marathons and leading NAIFA) to my autistic son completing Cub Scouts to that single mom working two jobs and trying to go to school to build a better life for herself and her kids.  It ain’t easy.  But it’s worth it.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life.”  President Theodore Roosevelt, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, best selling author and severe asthmatic as a child.  His early struggles with health, the loss of his parents, and the death of his wife could have broken him but didn’t, making him the leader he became for the rest of his life.

Cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia).

The cecropia moth is massive and beautiful with its six-inch wingspan.  It also has an incredibly thick cocoon it has to break out of after its metamorphosis, and it is the process of struggling against what had held it in and protected it that strengthens the moth’s wings so that it is able to fly.  Making it easy by cracking the cocoon steals the opportunity to overcome adversity from the moth, and it never becomes strong enough to fly.  To fly, one must not give up.

The snowplow parents that clear the way for their kids?  It becomes too easy and they never develop their strength and resiliency and are stunted in their growth.  Better to make it tougher (not 1970’s latch key kid level but definitely not pampered) so that they become better.

Muscles only grow because they overcome resistance.

The most difficult victories are the sweetest, as are the rewards afterwards for the greatest of struggles.

Do not wish for lighter burdens, but for a stronger back.  For the will to work to develop yourself and to not give in.  Strengthen yourself, build your guts and faith like you would a muscle and be better to get the job done instead of wishing it were easy or avoiding the tough work altogether.

Because easy is not real nor really worth it.

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