If there is no struggle, there is no progress. – Frederick Douglass
It’s been a long little-more-than-first-half-of-the-year, or should I say it has felt very long. I’m pretty sure it should be 2018 by now. I’ve been involved in quite a few things during this time – some challenging and rewarding, others challenging but not at all rewarding.
Here enters the above quote.
It’s not often that we use the word struggle these days except in the context of “the struggle is real” – which has become just another cliche. How often do we actually take the time to struggle? We fight over irrelevant things, distract ourselves, live in denial, ignore, make ourselves super-busy, live in self-pity, cop out, anything to avoid really struggling with an actual situation that requires change. Because that’s the whole point of a struggle – change! To struggle is to make a great or forceful effort to get free of restraint or resist attack; to try very hard to deal with something that is very difficult. The struggle really is real! Let’s not fool ourselves, we’d rather do anything BUT struggle. It’s just too hard, and change is often difficult as well. The thing is, it may be worth it.
So looking back at my year so far, I am forced to look at the different challenges I have faced and am still facing and ask myself, “Which did I really struggle, or am I really struggling with, and which ones did I simply go through coming out unchanged and without effecting any change?” I must also ask myself, “Do I really want to invest time in activities that don’t result in any real progress?”
Don’t be afraid to really struggle for a while if there is a purpose to your struggle, if there’s progress to be made. Progress is necessary to quality of life. Without it we become stagnant. Progress will not just happen either in us or around us. We must exert great effort to see it come about. On the other hand, pause before you spend precious time, energy, and resources on things and situations and ask yourself, “Is this a struggle, or is it quicksand?” Remember, the STRUGGLE IS REAL! Keep it that way.