Are You Willing To Struggle For Your Happiness? There's Pain in Happiness
January 18, 2018
Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself. – Alice Walker
Happiness is not the destination, it’s the journey. We all need to expect and embrace our personal struggle to define purpose in life. There are and will be headaches, heartbreaks, setbacks, and meltdowns, and even outright failures in the journey toward success regardless of how you define your goals. That’s the definition of the “hard work”. All these things can be incredibly painful and off-putting, persuading some to stop, turn away, and even run away! It’s not just what we experience, and how we feel about it, but what we tell ourselves about it.
So how much hard work are you willing to do for your dreams? What are you willing to sacrifice? Are you prepared to do the things that go beyond your current knowledge, skills, and overall natural ability? Are you able to buckle up, and brace yourself for the rough ride that takes you to the next level?
As such, one of the best ways to deal with the inevitable struggles of life is to develop a sincere focus and to take on challenges, welcoming the difficulties that stretch our creativity and push our tolerance to the limit. Always remember to include some healthy pleasures in your daily life. Let go and get into the joy and flow of mental, physical, and emotional pleasures. They will add to your happiness journey and enhance your resilience and tolerance.
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Let’s take your health for example. So, you want to lose say 15 pounds in 3 months. That’s a fairly reasonable goal. You may believe that if you lose 15 pounds, you will somehow achieve the happiness that has somehow alluded you. But to reach this goal you’ll have to exercise mental and physical discipline. You’ll actually have to struggle through the doubts and self-sabotaging mental anguish.
Then there’s the physical work, to actually move your ass! In case you don’t know be prepared to work your ass off, change your eating habits, let go of some of the sweet and savory foods you have come to love. Through physical pain and stress in the gym, you know you’ll be successful and one day all that hard work pays off. Like magic, through sacrifice and hard work, you lost the 15 pounds, congrats! But the thrill of success is short-lived and only temporary because you suddenly realize that your real goal is to be healthier, you really want to develop a healthier lifestyle. Now that’s gonna take more discipline, consistency, and resilience. Yes, once again, the focus to see your higher purpose and the meaning it gives your life. The joy in the journey the thrill of success and the increased happiness as you embrace and fulfill that goal!
One of the things that can stifle your joy and impede your happiness is to compare yourself to other people. Some people get in the habit of comparing themselves or their outcomes to others thinking like “hey, they’re happy, why can’t I achieve that level of happiness as well?” It’s childish and naïve to interpret happiness out of our perceptions of others. You cannot have any idea of what type of struggles or internal challenges and sacrifices others have endured getting to their current place in life. I spent far too much time questioning why my happiness never quite met my expectations. One person’s joy is another person’s anguish. One person’s happiness is another person’s despair. What we see is subject to interpretation, and even with advice, we can only speculate. Our personal joy, happiness, and pleasure isn’t something we can compare and contrast. It’s to be experienced and enjoyed, not measured and scored!
I see close friends and friends from high school who I haven’t spoken to in years and they are getting married and having children and find myself questioning “Where are my prince charming and our two beautiful sons, Elijah and Conor? (A girl can dream okay, so don’t judge.) Then I think that maybe I’m focusing on the wrong things. Maybe I should be focusing on understanding more about myself. Maybe learning to accept and love myself more fully, without judgment or preconditions.
It’s important to take care of me today, recognizing and embracing the joys of today, and let my tomorrows take shape from the decisions and choices I’m inspired to pursue today. Life happens one moment at a time, as a culmination of the options we encounter and the outcomes we embrace. The prince charming, the husband, the kids I see for my future are part of my destiny. Through patience, and sound judgment today, the joy of my destiny is in store for my tomorrows. Until then, I’m committed to never settle and to always stay focus on my higher purpose and the meaning it gives to my life.
It’s clear that struggles not only make you stronger but they as well affirm your desires. When we face difficulty and overcome challenges, we grow. We grow in faith, in confidence, and in the assurance of our capabilities. Our struggles tell us how much we are committed to what we think we want in life. It goes without saying that everybody enjoys what feels good to them. Everyone wants a happy, carefree, easy life. You welcome the reward and spurn the struggle. The results or outcomes that favor us are always welcome, but the journey full of twist and turns, ups and downs, anguish and stress just don’t suit anyone. Until that journey is behind us and we can relate to the growth, the maturity, and the development of the sense of ourselves that prepared us for today.
Who we are is defined by what you’ve been through and what we are willing to struggle for. People don’t mind struggling to be the boss if they can convince themselves to put in the long hours, the stress, and the lifelong commitment. One has to choose what pain you are willing to endure. Success involves failure and recovery, honors and humiliation, acceptance and rejection, pride and shame, and being broken and mended. The first question is “Do you actually want what you are pursuing?” “Are you willing to accept the amount of struggle that comes with the journey?” “What would persuade you to take a different course?” These are the terms of struggling for a fulfilling life. The cost of success!