Almost without exception every single one of us has to struggle in life. We know all too well that nothing that we have ever achieved of meaning has been easy, and understand that the way we learned to appreciate its value was because of the sacrifices made.
One could say its not that intuitive. We want to be happy, we want to live a life of peace, but the way that we understand value and appreciation is with contrast.
Try to think about this for a second, if you had no reference of cold, How could you know what heat means? If you had no reference for colors, if you were blind, How could you tell blue from green? In many ways the experiences we collect work as contrasts to help us understand.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
As a mental exercise picture yourself right now having everything you want. All your problems taken care of, your debt, everything. Try to reach inside your mind and ask yourself if that sensation of relief, or joy is becoming reality or your tricked perception is just as effective. Can you see what I mean? For a split second your ability to leave your current situation and have that contrast made you smile.
Some might say that appreciating the bad times sounds a little ridiculous. Why would they be called bad if there was anything good about them? But if we accept them, and try to learn from those experiences, not only will we become more effective but hopefully more grateful.
There is a famous quote I constantly like to remember when thinking about this:
“It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.” – Herbie Hancock
I can’t seem to find a single flaw with that line of thinking because I’ve come to accept that there is no such thing as an easy life. Even those who we think have one, have their own struggles to deal with as well.
This is exactly why when I’m feeling a little down, I try to remember this truth I learned so many years ago. I try to think about the fact that everything worth achieving always had a cost to be paid and carry on. Maybe the magic trick here is just learning to appreciate the grind as they say…
Almost always less is more and life is really that simple, we just tend to complicate ourselves.