EMAIL #125 - 20TH JUNE 2021 - "LOVE THE STRUGGLE"
The last couple of months have been a period of great change for me and my family. Initially we had the overwhelming task of selling our unique St Kilda house, and at the same time Maryanne and I were helping both of our adult children and their partners find and purchase their own apartments. Meanwhile at work, I was negotiating and signing up the biggest building contract of my 35-year building career (which after a 6-week delay thanks to the Stonnington Council is finally starting next week). Then more recently, we have been consumed with finding a new property to buy or rent, which is proving to be significantly more challenging than envisaged. However, this has also been the most personally fulfilling and enjoyable 3 or 4 months that I can remember because there was great purpose in all the chaos and deep down, I love the struggle.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself” George Bernard Shaw.
In fact if you stop and think about it, everything that is worthwhile and truly meaningful in your life, is a struggle. Marriage and long-term relationships are a struggle. Your health and fitness (especially as you get older) is a constant struggle. Raising teenage children is a challenge and rollercoaster struggle. Buying and owning a home is a struggle. Balancing your job/career and your family life is a struggle, etc. etc.
Something we all experience, is that most aspects of your life are constantly changing, and things don’t always turn out how you thought they would. This is because life is a trial-and-error process that has to be constantly worked on and adjusted. You make a decision, try something out, see how it makes you feel, then adjust and try again. In most aspects of your life (your relationships, your family, your career, where and how your live etc) you have to build meaning and purpose from scratch, piece by piece. To me it is now evident that the real long-term enjoyment and fulfillment in life, comes from this constant process of building and adjusting the meaningful parts of your life. To be happy you have to love the struggle!
“The secret of success is consistency of purpose” Benjamin Disraeli
Simon Sinek, (author of the hugely influential book “Start With Why” has the philosophy that to succeed in any aspect of your life you have to enjoy the process and not the result and that you inevitably only find happiness if you love the struggle and lean into the challenges that present themselves along the way. To me this makes perfect sense; success in any field comes from the training and the practice and you only stick with something long enough to be successful, if you love the practice and repetition.
“A basic component of life, our struggles, determine our success. So chose your struggles wisely.” Mark Manson
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and love the struggle.