In life we tend to spend a lot of time searching for the easy roads; the least painful paths to success. This doesn't work and we end up not getting very far. Why? Because, as the saying goes: no mud, no lotus. We admire the lotus, the beauty of it, and we are happy for its existence.
But we forget the mud, without which the lotus would not exist. Without the difficulties we face in life- the fear, doubt, heartache, failure, discomfort, loss- without the suffering, happiness would not be possible.
We forget the value of the hard stuff. But what if you decided to embrace it instead? What if you began to appreciate the struggle- how would your life change? One way to allow ourselves to welcome the inevitable struggles that growth and change present is to learn how to struggle. Many of us fear the challenges because we don't know how to deal with them.
When things get hard, we run. But we should stay! We need to learn to slog through the mud, not avoid it. After all, the only way to is through! So the first step is to simply choose to accept it- to welcome it! When struggle arrives, say to yourself: you're here. I expected you. And because you are here, I know I am on the right track.
When faced with hardship on the journey to success, it's tremendously helpful to remind yourself that it's ok, and that it's the way it needs to be. Anyone who ever achieved anything worthwhile struggled. And you will too! Forget ease. Forget it! The sweetness of accomplishment is only sweet because of those moments that you look back at all you went through, all you overcame, how you were scared shitless, how you never thought you could do it, and you made it. At that moment, the struggle is everything. At that moment, you know that the lotus is nothing without the mud.
And this doesn't mean that you have to suffer. Suffering will result if your view of the struggle is that it's a bad thing, something that could take you down, something you can't overcome. You can struggle and enjoy the process- yes, enjoy it!- if you choose to continually remind yourself that this is the what the path to success looks and feels like. And not just for you but for all of those who succeeded before you, for those succeeding right now, and those who will achieve greatness in the future.
When things get hard, train yourself to ask: what can I learn from this difficulty? What is it here to teach me? Why is it important that I move through this? This will remind you of the potential for where you could end up once you move through the current ones. But the most profound thing you'll discover is that the pursuit, including the struggle, is truly where your satisfaction lies. Not in any destination.
The process- the journey- is what brings joy. So just keep going.