Sunday, November 01, 2009

Challenges should not be Struggles

We all know that there is suffering in Life. We often use it as an excuse to stop trying, or to not believe in something bigger than ourselves. There used to be a popular saying "No Pain, No Gain" but if something really hurts, it's just not right.

Just because Life can be tough, that doesn't mean that everything we do has to be painful.

They look alike

Challenges and Struggles have a lot in common. It's often impossible to tell the difference when you're in the middle of it. There are differences though, and recognizing them early can save you a lot of frustration and pain.

The difference is in the goal

What often sets a challenge apart is a specific attainable goal. Struggling happens when you lose focus and your sense of direction and purpose.

The difference is attitude

A challenger doesn't give up hope, even when faced with impossible odds. A Struggler doubts.

The difference is in the progress

Progress is measured by how much closer we move towards our goal. It might be a lot of so little it's hard to tell. If we find ourselves going in all different directions, that's a good indication of a struggle.

The difference is in the results

Basically results tell it all. "The proof is in the pudding" as the saying goes. Does all this effort pay off with an enriching reward? It is fulfilling all by itself? Are we better for doing it? Then the challenge is worth it.

Guru-cize it

Choose something that you're going through now; anything that takes effort. Then ask yourself these questions:

• Is it rewarding?

• Is it lofty / noble?

• Is it attainable?

• Is it enriching to myself or to those I love?

• Is the reward ultimately larger than the effort?

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