The Lesson in Struggle

The Universe is trying to teach me something. Why else have I been struggling so much these past two years? What started out as a leap of faith into the unknown has been one lesson after the other - on dealing with uncertainty, facing fear and managing struggle. It's been so difficult that a friend recently said: "I see you feeling really uncomfortable and then thinking that’s wrong because other people around you don’t experience that. But the difference is you are willing to go through that phase of learning. Others are not."

His words helped and so did this article on learning:

"In Eastern cultures, Stigler says, it's just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle....

All of this matters because the way you conceptualize the act of struggling with something profoundly affects your actual behavior.

Obviously if struggle indicates weakness — a lack of intelligence — it makes you feel bad, and so you're less likely to put up with it. But if struggle indicates strength — an ability to face down the challenges that inevitably occur when you are trying to learn something — you're more willing to accept it."


Mother to Son

Well, son, I'll tell you:Life for me ain't been no crystal stair. It's had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor -- Bare. But all the time I'se been a-climbin' on, And reachin' landin's, And turnin' corners, And sometimes goin' in the dark Where there ain't been no light. So boy, don't you turn back. Don't you set down on the steps 'Cause you finds it's kinder hard. Don't you fall now -- For I'se still goin', honey, I'se still climbin', And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

~ Langston Hughes