Life is hard. Whenever I find myself whining over how things are difficult or praying for things to come to me without me having to expend any effort, I need to remind myself of this. We were never promised a simple existence. Life isn’t meant to be a gentle glide through calm waters.
When I say this, I don’t mean to say every day has to be a struggle where you’re left battered, bruised and exhausted, but I do believe that a good, satisfying life requires work, persistence and commitment. This realization is fairly new to me, and in some ways fairly ironic considering how much of my life I have spent in search of quick fixes in an attempt to avoid all work and effort. But I’ve come to understand that those successful people we all aspire to (‘successful’ here reads: fulfilled, happy and at peace with themselves and the world at large) those are the people that have grabbed what life has given them and run with it, these people have decided on who they want to be and they work on it, every single day.
If you really think about it, life is one big project. Everyday we’re creating a life we can be happy with, a version of ourselves we can be proud of, and this work never ends. There is always room for improvement and growth, adaptation to new situations and circumstances. I used to be depressed by this thought, I had (and some days still have) this burning desire to have it all now, to suddenly become this perfect version of myself, mind, body and soul, with no real effort or commitment. Now that I have begun to develop a greater understanding of who it is I really want to be, and what it is I want to accomplish in my life. I’ve realized that what I truly want from myself is to be someone who is diligent and hard-working, and can be proud of the work I put forth into the world, whatever that may be. When these realizations set in, it became pretty clear that wanting all of these things for myself but being willing to truly try to achieve them makes absolutely no sense.
I realise that everyone has different values and morals that shape their goals and ambitions. And that’s how it should be, if we all wanted the same things life would be pretty boring. But as I have begun to understand, assessing these ideals and beliefs and determining how they shape your decisions and your path is one of the most important things you can do to provide yourself with direction. Working each day to become a person I am proud of is what keeps me on track, it’s what grounds me and forces me to work hard and push myself forward. There are some days where I feel like I am so close to who I want to be, I can see those qualities in myself that make me proud and I can feel satisfied in the work I have done to get where I am. And then there are those other days, where everything I have ever done feels like a complete and utter waste, where I can’t understand why I bother at all, where I feel like a failure. Those are the days where I have to push through, where I have to force myself out of bed to work-out in the morning, where I have to sit down and get shit done at work, where I have to make an effort because I know tomorrow will be another day and a new chance to move closer to all of my goals.
So, yes, life is hard. But, for the second time on this blog, I find myself repeating the wise words of Theodore Roosevelt; “Nothing worth having comes easy.” So work for what you want, fight for it, because life is hard for everyone, it’s not some burden placed solely on your shoulders. Everyone struggles, everyone flounders, but it’s what we make of that struggle that determines who we are.