Every meaningful destination is paved with struggle. Think back on any success you experienced when you were young. It may have been in sports, or maybe you excelled in college, or perhaps you were first chair in the orchestra. Whatever it was, you surely recall the struggle it took. Isn’t it always one of our favorite parts of the story to tell?
“Those first few years, I lived in the weight room.”
“It was research, reading and ramen noodles every night.”
“I practiced the violin six hours a day for six months straight.”
“I ended up becoming an All-American.”
“I graduated Magna Cum Laude.”
“I got a scholarship to Julliard.”
One struggle to end them all?
These storylines in large measure define our adolescence. When we grow up, we shift our sights to the real world.
We begin our assault on a huge goal: Nailing the perfect career path, building the company of our dreams, or just getting paid for doing what we love.
We reason that if we can just persevere and push past this one juggernaut of a struggle, we will usher in a perpetual epoch of success and bliss for ourselves.
But, is that really how life works?
A Universal Constant
299,792,458 miles per second. That is the speed in which light travels. It doesn’t change; it’s a physical constant of the universe, and it affects us all. “Big G” (Gravity) is yet another constant that every one of us on this spinning planet is exposed to.
Try as we might, we can’t shake these constants. We can only learn to work with them.
I’m coming to believe that “struggle” is another universal constant. Turns out it isn’t a hump we eventually get over if we only will work really, really hard.
As I get older, I’m learning that no matter how much success I experience in life, struggle still remains. It may look different, but it's still just around the corner.
That sounds depressing, but it’s not. Here’s why:
Struggles are your ticket to success-filled moments. And these moments work to build a life of meaning, purpose and significance.
A Cycle to Embrace
The struggle for success isn’t a one-time battle. It’s not something you’re looking to do once and then wash your hands of. It’s a cycle. And it’s battling through this cycle of struggle/success that will continue to help you find purpose in your life and meaning in your days. It’s also the main way you’ll ensure you wake up every morning 100% in love with the work you’re doing.
No, you’re not looking to avoid struggle or eradicate it from your life. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Banish these thoughts of arriving at a destination free of travails and battles.
You’re looking to embrace struggle. You’re looking to use it. It’s a constant. Don’t try to work against it; instead, work with it. Treat it for what it is – fuel to power a life worth living.