“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Frederick Douglass
“Gordy and I Iaughed.
“He was an extremely weird dud. But he was the smartest person I’d ever known. He would always be the smartest person I’d ever known.
“And he certainly helped e through school. He not only tutored and challenged me, but he made me realize that hard work—that the act of finishing, of completing, of accomplishing a task—is joyous.”
From The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie
Some things come hard—they are hard. As Frederick says so well, often we need to struggle to to make progress and complete something.
But there’s a flip side to the coin. As Sherman Alexie also says so well, there’s joy in completing a task, in a job well done.
So, here’s how I see it, on the flip side of struggle is joy.
But how do we get there?
I think one key is finding joy in the struggle itself. Instead of resisting it, why not embrace it, knowing that on the other side, you’ll find something wonderful? Consider the possibilities: Out of your struggle may come a new idea, a new character, a more perfect plot—whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.
My good friend and mentor Dr. Rob Gilbert often says on his Success Hotline* that there’s nothing more satisfying that grappling with something difficult that you really care about.
So true, isn’t it? When you’re fighting the good fight, you know it and it energizes you, doesn’t it? You know you’ve got something important, something of value, to do and you are willing to put in the time and effort to get it done. That’s a great feeling, isn’t it?
There’s also a hidden benefit to working on something tough. When you get past it, you gain confidence and power. Here’s a mantra from Brian Johnson that elite athlete Terrie Wurzbacher uses: “Obstacles make me stronger.”
So the next time we hit a bump in the road, let’s remember all the gifts it brings us: the opportunity to grow, to get stronger, to struggle with something that matters to us, and the oh-so-satisfying feeling of joyous completion. And then, inspired and emboldened, let’s all write on!
* Check out Dr. Gilbert’s fabulous free Success Hotline at 973-743-4690!
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