If there is a true “secret” to life and success, this is it.
Life is difficult.
This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead the moan more or less incessantly , noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life SHOULD be easy. They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them, or else upon their families, their tribe, their class, their nation, their race or even their species, and not upon others.
Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them?
What makes life difficult is that the process of solving problems is a painful one. Problems, depending upon their nature, evoke in us frustration or grief or sandess or loneliness or guilt or regret or anger or fear or anxiety or anguish or despair. These are uncomfortable feelings, often very uncomfortable, often as painful as any kind of physical pain, sometimes equaling the very worst kind of physical pain. Indeed, it is BECAUSE of the pain that events or conflicts engender in us all that we call them problems. And since life poses an endless series of problems, life is always difficult and is full of pain as well as joy.
Yet it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has it’s meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually When we desire to encourage the growth of the human spirit, we challenge and encourage the human capacity to solve problems, just as in school we deliberately set problems for our children to solve. It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct.” It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.*
There it is . . . the secret to success!
It’s not pretty. It’s not fantastical. It doesn’t feel good. It’s not whimsical or touchy feely. It doesn’t fit well on a poster or on motivational card. But what it is, is even better. It’s a hard hitting truth. It’s an in your face, it is what it is, whether you like or not, take it or leave it truth. Life is hard and for those who accept it, life suddenly isn’t so hard.
Do you accept that life is hard or moan incessantly about the enormity of your problems?
Go solve your problems!
(*excerpt from The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck. A must “life” read)