Embrace the Struggle

… And You’ll Never Work A Day in Your Life

It’s supposed to hurt!

Andre Langteigne Drekon Martial Arts and MMaxout Fitness

Struggle in the Era of Convenience

It doesn’t seem logical, in an era where you can 1-click buy almost anything, that to get everything you’ll have to struggle. Honestly, it’s baffling that at the same time that you have access to over 40 million songs with just a few taps of your thumb, that success and fulfilment would not be just as easy. 

We have the polarization of our political landscape because people would prefer to blindly follow than to challenge themselves to fully understand the arguments of those seen as their opponents. Racism is seeing a renaissance as people decide that it is easier to blame their troubles on various other groups, nations and apparently Trudeau.

Saddest of all we see our youngest and most vulnerable suffer from hopelessness and despair because the struggles of life are seen as permanent states of being that are inescapable. When in truth, if we were willing to look at struggle as something to be engaged, to be actively dealt with, even as something to derive additional value from, our businesses, communities and lives would be all the stronger because of struggle.

The Struggle is Real” is one of my favourite memes, and more than that it is also one of my favourite mantras. It took me the better part of 30 years to figure this out, and maybe it just applies to me, but I have found, that in the struggle is where you discover the closest thing I can equate to fulfilment.

Struggle In Business

I can honestly say that over my brief 10 years as a professional the people that the only people who I’ve met that seem to find fulfilment in their jobs are not those that go into work and have an easy time or those who find it easy. More often than not, the people who get the most out of their career, are the people who have to struggle with it. I believe that this is why we see a correlation between career fulfillment and entrepreneurship.Here are a few hacks to help you embrace struggle and some examples of some greats and not so greats and how embracing struggle helped them.

You Have a Finite Number of F’s to Give

My copy of the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Wisdom from Prioritization

If you read Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, you are presented almost immediately with the idea that you have a finite amount of Fu*ks to give to any aspect of your life. The threshold of how successful you’ll be is determined by how much you’re willing to endure before you reach the I don’t give a F%$k moment.

The gist is that we struggle through a lot of things in our lives. We do so despite not gaining a whole hell of a lot from our effort. The struggle is important, and it’s worth it, to excel you have to give a F%^k, but you have to be selective about where those F’s are allotted. 

Successes Who Embrace(d) the Struggle

If you look at the world of business, those heroes of industry the Jobs’, Gates, Vaynerchuk and Neistats, they didn’t get where they are by accident, it was a struggle. In short, they gave a fuck.

Jobs launched a 10-year coup that involved multiple companies and embarrassing failures. Gates spent months of his life as a teenager in front of a giant archaic computer system that he had to bike to in the rain and forego social inclusion. Neistat and Vaynerchuk are current cultural icons but rest assured if they ever give up the grind, let it slip or stop giving the vast amount of F&(ks that they give, there is an army of people ready to take their place.

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They were all able to accomplish the impossible because they loved the struggle. All of these icons may have even been or are addicted to it. For the majority of these entrepreneurs and so many more, they stopped needing the money a long time ago. So what fuels them? What one would have to guess is they just love doing what they do. Unfortunately, that statement is only half right.

Yeah sure, Gary Vee loves speaking at conferences and people paying to hear his ideas on everything from sneakers to agriculture, but to say that he doesn’t get tired of the travel, tired of the production meetings, tired of struggle would be naive and false. You can watch his Daily Vee videos and on more than a few you can see that look of “I’ve had enough of this sh*t” clearly plastered across his face.

How Embracing the Struggle Helps Me

For my part, if it weren’t for a shift in my mentality of loving the struggle, I would have burned out by now. Contendo is really starting to come into its own, especially over the last six months. Morale is higher than I’ve seen it, new business continues to come in more readily, and we are really pushing the envelope on what we can deliver to our clients. But I can track this down to one critical decision I made, I decided that I was going to outwork the hurdles in front of the company and myself.

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It wasn’t that easy, and the work isn’t even close to being done. But, I decided that if I had to work 80 hour work weeks if I had to jump in the car and drive at least 300 kilometres to meet with someone that there was a possibility of doing some work with, I would do all of that. What’s more, I also made the commitment to myself that I would find ways to get better at it and enjoy doing all of these things.

The weirdest thing happened once I made this decision, it spilled over to the other labour intensive and can be frustrating areas of my life. “Cough” Council “Cough” I am now taking that mentality and applying it to something that has always challenged me, my health.

Conclusion

Wins are few and far between for most of us. As a kid who was routinely one of the last cuts from every team I tried out for, I can attest to this.

Has your business processes become stagnant? Do you wish you could break into a new market, or out of your current one? Do you want your community to be a better place to live? Do you want to live a healthier life? It’s really easy to look past the work and focus on the end goal, the issue with this is that when you don’t reach that goal fast enough it becomes harder and harder to persevere.

So, what if we take this a step further, deprioritize the outcome and give greater priority to the struggle. It generally isn’t the things that came easily to us that we value, nor, is it the things we gave up on. Nothing in life worth having comes easy.

So put in the work, and even better, enjoy the work. There is no shame in trying and failing, you’ll feel more shame if you’d never tried.


SK

 

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