Our Daily Struggle

“Yard by yard, it’s hard. Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.” ~ Unknown

Each morning, with each new day starts our daily struggle. No matter where we live, how wealthy or healthy we are, how hard we work, how strong we are, or how connected we are, we all have our own personal daily struggle. If you have no problems all day, no struggle or worries at all, first I congratulate you on your achievement and second I ask that you take on a cause (there are many worthy causes) and begin your adventure.

People everywhere have problems. Do not ever think that your problems are the greatest, because someone next to you always has greater problems. Do not think that rich do not have problems. Do not think that people in some countries do not have problems. Life requires that we have problems. It is life’s way of creating opportunities for us to grow and exercise our abilities. Struggle is as required as the air we breathe; therefore, we create problems even in the rare cases when we have none.

Since we must have a struggle, then the only real issue is the composition of our problems. Couple dimensions come to mind when thinking of our daily problems. First, our problems range between those we create for ourselves and those dictated by our circumstances. People often confuse the self-created problems with those created by their environment. It’s absolutely critical that you understand what problems you have created for yourself because as you consider the needed changes, you must work on the causes rather than the pain points. For example, let’s say you can barely make ends meet. Is this because your income is low or because your expenses are high or both? Are you spending on bare necessities for your large family? Did you just buy a new house and didn’t anticipate all of the costs fully? One external reason is government forced income limits but even then I contend that you have some influence over your compensation via education or better connections.

Second, our problems range between those easily matched by our abilities and those far beyond our abilities. As we go through life, we experience much, learn much and grow to be able to address greater issues. Some of us create large problems to solve earlier in our lives before we are sufficiently skilled. A teenager (or sometimes even an adult lacking the skills or the needed support) having a child is an example. As you consider your actions and the challenges you create for yourself, always set the bar high enough so you can grow, but not too high so you get discouraged or worse fail (which leads to further discouragement). With external problems, you should take on causes that you are confident you can improve and leave the greater causes for later in your life when you are stronger and more experienced. In different stages of life the problems are different but so are we.

In sum, our daily struggle is critical for our survival. It keeps us sharp. Understand the sources of each problem and work on causes. Finally, do not take on too much more than you can effectively handle at each stage in your life.

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