Yes, struggle is good news. Most of the time. This might sound a crazy thing to say in a day and age when convenience is all the rage. We are accustomed to being able to do pretty much everything easily, from the comfort of our home if we want to: shopping (grocery or otherwise), learning (Online courses or…Google or Youtube! ), communicating (snail mail is out, email and social media are in), even working.
The danger with all this comfort is that before long, we may develop an aversion to struggle. We may subconsciously equate struggle with failure. But here are 3 reasons why struggle is actually our friend.
- Struggle = Learning opportunity.
Every struggle is triggered by something. Sometimes it is caused by something that we have no control over. But often it is caused by something we had control over but failed to realise this.
Say we have accumulated some credit card debt. We may not have fully grasped the power of APR before and assumed our repayments would always be about the same amount . Now we realise the real import of the concept as the minimum payments increase each month and we struggle to keep up.
Now, we are not naive anymore and our eyes are opened to how the system actually works: when you take the easy road, you end up making your life harder, even when you are encouraged to do so.
Another example: say we have started our business but struggle to make it profitable. We have tried different things to gain more exposure but the ROI (return on investment ) is poor.
It’s just an opportunity to take stock, find out how others do better and model them. Another learning curve. It’s a journey.
2. Struggle = growth opportunity
Knowledge is so easy to find that information overload is more prevalent than lack of knowledge. But it’s the application of knowledge that can be a struggle. Our subconscious resists the change. Every change is perceived as dangerous so it’s a struggle when we want to apply newly found knowledge. It’s easy to quit. But if we do, this is what we miss out on:
An opportunity to make better decisions, improve ourselves and our lives.
It’s like bodybuilding. When you work out, you ache because of lactic acid build up in your muscles, then your muscles tear. They re-build themselves to be tighter, stronger, eventually bigger. If you stop the process, you go back to being unfit, weak, rounder.
In case of debt, the knowledge will help you develop better discipline with money. You will learn to live under your means rather than above your means. It may hurt at first, you may find it hard to make sacrifices but you certainly will grow as a person.
The same applies with your business. You will be a better business person if you apply insights by successful business people.
3. Struggling expands your skill set
The majority of people, at least in the west, are averse to risk and struggle. Everything is geared towards catering to their need for predictability and safety. It’s not wrong in itself but that means most people’s lives are boring and predictable. And if something happens to shake them out of their comfort zone, it’s likely that they will be ill equipped.
But if you are struggling, you are in a position that challenges your brain, pushes you to grow undeveloped muscles.
It’s your time to develop your problem solving skills, resilience, creativity and resourcefulness.
If you take this opportunity and roll with it, you will stand out. You will have to learn new things, experiment, rectify… And ultimately, the more skills you develop, the more opportunities you will attract.
So embrace the struggle!
P.S: What is YOUR take on struggle? Let me know in the comments!
Reflect, Redefine, Rise!