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Lots of people who read my stuff email me with their struggles. They’re hoping that I will be blown away by how hard they’ve had it. They think it’s some sort of competition to see who has the most battle scars.
By reading so many of these emails of struggle over the last few years, I realized something: we all have it tough. All of us struggle — even me.
– Right now, I have 14 days left until I’ll be out of a job.
– I’ve got some very challenging personal issues to deal with.
– My investments need a major rework and I’m completely lost.
I’ve been offered an opportunity to do public speaking to a large audience and am scared of whether I should say yes. Do I have what it takes? Will I mess it up?
We all have it tough.
What I’ve learned is it’s what you do with the struggle that will define your future.
Are you going to sit there and take it?
That’s right I’m asking you right now. What are you going to do with the struggles?
There are only two options:
1. Toughen up and use the struggles as motivation
2. Be a piss weak, sook, and give up.
Your struggles can take you to a new level. When George Lucas tried to make Star Wars, it was a total F*ck up. Everything went wrong. There were natural disasters, lack of money and even the actors thought it was the worse film ever to be made.
Did the creator of the Jedi Knight give up?
Not a chance. He kept going and defied the odds. His reward? One of the most watched movies of all time and plenty of cash to go with it.
You may still be thinking option two is your only hope. Maybe you could be piss weak and just give up. Then you could sit on the couch, watch Netflix, drink wine and pretend that your struggles didn’t stop you from achieving your goals.
The good news is giving up works short-term. The bad news?
After the short-term gain of giving up, and getting to Netflix and chill, you’ll be really pissed off at yourself. You’ll have regret and feel even worse than before you began your journey of struggle. Not getting your goals and making next to no progress feels like crap.I spent several years doing this.
“Every night I would get home, watch a Hollywood movie, go to 7-Eleven for some sugar and send useless texts to the toxic people in my life”
These same people were going nowhere and telling me to give up.
Screw that. I did this for a while and felt so empty. Life had no meaning and I was making no impact. The sugar diet made me sick and I ended up becoming bedridden.
The struggle is the beginning.
Looking back, without the struggle, I would have never got off my lazy ass and actually taken action. When I say “It’s what you do with the struggle,”what I mean is this:
Having it tough and struggling — like trying to walk up a hill while there’s a mudslide happening at the exact same time — is a big fat signal that you’re onto something.
The motivation and momentum you need to get started is right there in front of your blue eyes.
“You can’t get started on some mammoth task to change your life unless you get pissed off and do it tough”
If you were doing it easy, there’d be no urgent reason to take action.
When you’re like me and you are about to be unemployed, have lots of tough decisions to make and are unsatisfied with your career progression to date, you have to embrace your circumstances.
Now, this sounds like a lot of big words that you’d read in some 2000-page self-help book that repeats the same ideas over and over.
I’m going to dumb it right down:
The struggle is a sign to get started. When you struggle, things can’t really get much worse. What you’re left with is nothing but upside.
What action do we take then when we’re struggling?
Let’s use my situation as an example. Here are the action steps I’m using and implementing this week:
1. Accept where you are right now
– This will give you a reality check.
2. Meditate to relax your busy brain
– Stress will force you to make dumb decisions.
3. Get really uncomfortable
– I said yes to a new business venture that involves a lot of public speaking.
4. Resist the temptation to be pissed off
– Getting angry is only going to make things worse. Reserve your energy.
5. Write three things a day you’re grateful for
– This will force you to find the positive.
6. Delete whingers, sooks, liars and complainers from your contact list
– You’ve got enough issues; it’s hard enough to be positive without having toxic people talk nonsense and distract you.
Final step: Chill out amigo.
Image Credit: Anthony Varrecchia
Your world is not going to end tomorrow. You can always start again. You can always fall down and get straight back up. Don’t be so angry with yourself. We all struggle and you’re doing the best that you can. Focus your energy on building your confidence and supporting your growth mindset.
“My future looks like a nuclear apocalypse right now but I’ve learned through the struggles that I always come out the other side on top”
Being impatient and stressing will only bring on more problems for you. It’s not that bad. Things always turn around. This moment of struggle and how you handle it will define who you become.
All of us have unlimited potential and we’re all struggling every day.
Once you learn to accept the struggle, embrace it and see it as a seed to something better, you’ll be well on your way to becoming someone you’re proud of.
Wish me luck with the struggles coming in the next few weeks. We’re in this together don’t forget.
Peace, love, respect.