The Significance of Struggle

Photo Credit: jordan mcqueen / CC0 1.0
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."
- Muhammad Ali

Progress doesn't happen by accident. Frederick Douglass, former slave, abolitionist, and politician, is most known for saying, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." The implication of this is that in order to be successful, there are going to be periods of struggle.

That may sound intimidating, but struggle doesn't necessarily mean "hard times," although you can struggle through hard times. To struggle means to face a challenge, be taken out of your comfort zone, and stretched beyond your limits. Its when you push yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally harder than you are normally used to.

Think of struggle also as an investment. It's a temporary sacrifice now for better results in the long run. Athletes push themselves hard during training and practice so that they can meet (or exceed) the challenges they face on the field during games.

As an educator, I push my students as hard as I can through rigorous and meaningful material. Anything less would be a disservice. My intention for putting them through an intense (and fun) class, is so that they are equipped with the knowledge, skills (critical and academic), wisdom, and discipline to be successful in everything that they do.  Even if they don't see now why they need these skills, working hard now will benefit them in the long run.

Now think of what you've been avoiding because of the struggle you'll have to face. I'll admit it; struggle can be scary, but it can also be exciting. You have an opportunity right in front of you. Overcoming struggle is the process of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and into a new realm of possibility.

Roderick Conwi writes at about lifestyle development. To get helpful insights that enhance your day, join his free newsletter.  

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