Have you ever struggled in life, and wondered if life was really supposed to be hard? Maybe you’ve also heard how life should be easy and effortless. Wait, huh… what’s the deal? Do we have to struggle, or can life flow smoothly? As my mom would say “make up my mind!”
If so, how do we grow, learn, and develop our character without struggle? I mean, after all, there’s not testimony without a test… but what if we could separate our life “tests” from our “struggles”? Perhaps the lesson from struggle is to stop struggling (quicksand comes to mind).
I was on the phone a few hours ago with a client, and was coaching him through this very idea (so thank him for the inspiration for this post!)
Here’s the basic rundown of some thoughts:
- Our beliefs greatly influence how we perceive life, therefore experience reality.
- While we can’t control external difficulties, we can control how we approach them.
- Struggle and hard work is different than challenge and putting in time, effort, and energy.
- We can learn the easy way or hard way, heal through struggle or love – either way is right and perfect for us.
- Life is challenging enough for most of us, why are we adding to the difficulty by not letting it be easier? As if things will even get so easy we master areas of life in a blink – not gonna happen, I don’t care how many “downloads” you get, there will always be a process. So it’s about “how do we make this process more enjoyable and efficient?”
- We are taught the value of hard work– and it’s true there’s lessons to be learned from that idea relating to character versus trying to take the easy way out – but it’s still simply teaching us things about our character. And by the way, what’s wrong with easy?
- What would it feel like to work soft, not hard?
- The word “hard” presupposes resistance inherently, just like there’s a lot more resistance from a hard rock than a soft pillow.
- What notions of masculinity and manliness does your ego throw in your face around ideas such as “soft”, “ease”, “grace”, “effortlessness”? How is that making your life more difficult than it needs to be?
- What’s the relationship between being on your purpose and the amount of struggle? There’s a difference between struggling and overcoming challenges; one’s a choice.
For both of us, my client and I, some of these ideas felt weird. For example, the idea of “working soft” was totally foreign. Luckily, it conjured up ideas of an artisan craftsman building and creating with great care and artistry, rather than an improper association of weakness. For many, making work “easy” has a lot of resistance to it, and hell, even the word “work” is doesn’t feel good to many. The idea of softness is a great way to look at this differently, and still lax on the “hard” part.
In the image above, I created a diagram where I illustrated how being on path, purpose, and not where you need to be relates to struggle. Here’s the breakdown of that:
- Everyone is at the perfect place for them, and is exactly where they need to be (whole image)
- That being said, within that area is a place where they’re “on their path”, as opposed to being destructive and tossing their life away (on path)
- Most people are on this “path”, where they’re living their life’s journey and learning lessons (on path)
- When you’re on path and are getting closer to your true purpose, and even those on purpose whom are shifting, feel rapid release of struggle and see the universe conspiring to help (finding purpose)
- However, very few are on their “purpose”, where they’re reaching their full potential as humans and fulfilling their mission here on earth… whatever that means. (on purpose, red line)
- The further one is away from their “purpose”, the more struggle there is, and vice versa (more struggle, less struggle)
- This is not to say there will not be challenges and healing need on “path” or “purpose”, but there will not be a struggle – there will be support and resources available provided by the universe to assist the fulfillment of the person who’s aligned with their purpose.
So what can you do switch from struggle to ease, from hard work to soft work, from distraction to purpose? Here are some steps to get you started:
- Determine if you have limiting beliefs that say “you must struggle to learn”, “it’s admirable to triumph”, “I must work hard”, “life is difficult”, “it’s wrong to do easy work”, “I can’t let it be easy”, etc. These are lessons you need to learn, as they aren’t serving you in getting what you want. Where did these come from: parents, friends, culture, co‐workers?
- Begin to align with your “purpose”. Here’s a hint: it’ll feel right, feel fulfilling, and will serve others in some way.
- Discover any fears you have around things being easy or being successful. Sounds crazy, but most of us have these hidden deep in our subconscious.
- Ask yourself why you’re making things hard. What would happen if things were easy? What would your life look like (change of friends, family, social status, responsibility, health, association, location, etc.) if you gave up your struggle? What do you have to gain from struggling so much?
I know it may challenge what you’ve been raised to value your entire life, but these questions and ideas can totally transform your life from struggle to success. If you had an “ah‐ha!” moment, please share them with me in the comments below!
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