Have you ever struggled before? Of course you have, we all struggle from time to time. Growing up struggling is an essential part of the learning process. These days, however, it seems society has developed an aversion to struggling. Look around you. We’ve got parents raising kids in invisible bubbles afraid to let them scrape their knees. There are parents supplementing the rent payments of their adult children. Hell, a couple weeks ago I saw a parent on Facebook looking for a job for her 23 year old son.
Nationwide there are cries for free college and debt forgiveness. And it’s not uncommon to see kids living at home well into their 30s. On one hand some of this can be smart, living at home longer to pay off student loan debt is not a bad idea. On the other hand, society has gone bonkers, when did we forget about the benefits of struggling? Depending on how you look at it not only is the struggle real but it’s a gift as well.
Our earliest struggles are likely physical.
As a newborn we’re faced with our first challenge, supporting the weight of our massive heads with our neck! We’re helpless for the first few months needing others to provide that support. After we learn how to literally hold our heads up we are faced with a new challenge, mobility. Ever notice how babies learn how to crawl and later walk? There’s no blueprint for this stuff you know. If we are lucky we witness older babies crawling first hand. Otherwise we just kind of figure it out through trial and error. We learn to walk by watching the older people around us. Funny how as babies no one stops us from crawling or walking because it’s difficult.
As we get older we continue to face new struggles.
Some of us go on to try out sports. Yet again you don’t see many lining up to stop kids from athletics. Further, in our early adulthood we learn the importance of physical fitness. Exercise and physical fitness embodies the essence of struggle. In order to improve we must push through barriers and limits we once thought were insurmountable. Through embracing these physical struggles we learn to become better than we were.
What about mental struggles?
For some Academics prove to be a challenge. Let’s face it learning isn’t exactly easy, yet growing up we’re told that school is the key to a great life. Many of us don’t make it. I’m a college dropout by the way! I stopped going to school years ago, right around my 26th birthday. I’d been going to community college for years, off and on.
Of course my situation is a little different than most. I didn’t stop because it was difficult or too expensive. One day I just realized school wasn’t necessary for what I wanted to do with my life. For others school is something that can improve their life in a major way. Yet the challenge of cost and difficulty force them to quit.
And then you have those that stick it out. Think about the Doctors, Lawyers, and Dentists of the future. They face many years of school, sacrifice all the things we often take for granted, and rake up tons of debt. All for the CHANCE of a great career. Yes that’s right, 100s of thousands of dollars of debt and 5+ years of school doesn’t always equal a job. Still even if a job isn’t guaranteed the benefits far outweigh the years it took to get to this point. And what parent doesn’t want their kid to get a well paying career?
Emotional struggles anyone?
I bet you’ve experienced these types of struggles. That is if you’re not one of few people that fell in love with, married, and stayed with the first person you ever dated. Dating is hard isn’t it? Still we keep doing it like there aren’t better ways to spend our time. My friend used to tell me, just because your relationship doesn’t work out that doesn’t mean you never date again.
Friendships come and go, people we know and love leave this world prematurely. It sucks and it hurts to go through but no one tells you it’s not worth getting to know people. If we didn’t there would be no thing called a society.
Lets touch on financial struggles real quick.
If you’re like millions of people in this world your bank account isn’t that fat. Some manage their debt and others drown in it. At times I wonder why someone came up with the idea of credit. Like someone decided that you could buy something even though you didn’t have the money for it like that was a good idea. And then others agreed this was a good idea like no one would ever take advantage of it #eyeroll. I get it though. It would be a good thing if every person utilized credit without over extending themselves to the point they couldn’t recover.
Good debt helps us buy things like cars and homes. Its part of the American dream to own a car and house. Society encourages it as an every man’s goal. Some people work for 10-20 years or more just get to the point where they own both. Then spend another 20+ years to pay them both off (wait… what?) And that’s if we keep the same car and house forever, which often we don’t. But you get an amazing sense of accomplishment when you finally do.
It’s a gift!
Look at all the things we struggle to accomplish and the #gains that come from them. Yet some want to eliminate or alleviate the struggle as much as possible. It’s almost like they selectively forget what kind of benefit struggle provides. Without challenges, without “the struggle” life becomes a stand still. We literally need it in order to progress. Plus struggling adds a degree of appreciation to life. And it makes that which you seek more valuable. So do me a favor will ya? The next time someone tries to rob you of your struggle say “No Thank You, I got this!” Keep pushing for you goals and dreams. Because I promise you the struggle is less painful than the regret of never trying.
See you soon.