Have you ever wanted to SCREAM when you were talking to someone about a particular struggle that you are having
They tell you that everything will be okay, “You just have to hang in there?”
People tell us struggling builds character.
People tell us struggle makes us better leaders, better people.
They tell us struggling is good for us.
People tell us struggling has lessons for us, lessons we cannot learn any other way.
They say struggle reveals valuable truths about perseverance and how much we value what we value.
People tell us struggling helps us become stronger.
But I can’t help but ask myself these questions:
Could we become stronger without struggling?
Could we ever dream of becoming a leader without first learning to struggle?
What would a person be like who never struggled?
If struggling helps us become stronger, does the lack of struggling make us weaker?
Even Christ himself came here and experienced struggle!
So what is it EXACTLY, that we are supposed to learn from our struggles?
Maybe the answer lies in this powerful quote from Maya Angelou.
If we are being honest…
Most of us DO NOT see a potential struggle as a positive opportunity.
We may say we appreciate a good competition…
But I think what we really enjoy is winning.
For most of us, a “GOOD” struggle is one from which we emerge victorious.
For most of us, When we are looking forward to our future…
The thing we are dreaming about is NOT our next struggle,
We are dreaming of the day when we can finally put struggling behind us.
With all that being said however, I have to admit that the leaders who inspire me have learned how to appreciate the gifts of struggling.
They work hard to be their best, and even harder to learn the lessons struggling has for them.
They see a “GOOD” struggle as the one, that has somehow managed to teach them a valuable lesson.
And then a good leader will immediately begin to put those lessons to work for them in their own lives.
The leaders who inspire us have shown us how struggles shape us.
They help us face struggles that may seem insurmountable.
They help us find the strength our struggles have built into us.
They show us why and how we can embrace our struggles.
Without struggles, we would not be the people we are today.
Here is one truth I have learned in my own life:
Even if struggle may not seem necessary,
It’s lesson is almost ALWAYS helpful.
Can you look back over your life and identify those pivotal moments when struggle changed who you were for the better?
The moment that changed everything for me was when I got the phone call to come home because something really bad had just happened.
The moment I walked in my house and saw my son’s lifeless body laying on his bed,
Was the moment
That life as I knew it ended
And a brand new world began.
In this new world, I now know how fragile life can be,
So I love deeply and with passion and purpose.
I don’t take those little moments with my loved ones for granted,
Because I have learned the hard way how quickly they can be gone forever.
This particular struggle showed me that I could survive the loss of one of the most precious treasures in life:
My own child.
I found my strength,
and my faith
during this difficult time in my life.
As I look back at that sad time in my life,
I wish I could just sit with my sweet boy one more time and tell him how much his death taught me.
I would give anything to have him back with me.
But I know that is not possible,
So I have learned how to have the next best thing.
I have learned how to take the worst tragedy of my life and create miracles out of it.
In that way, I can honor the beautiful person that Victor was,
And hopefully in the process help others to see that there is life after the death of a loved one.
I hate having to struggle.
We all do!
It is up to us to find the lessons in our struggles and then use those lessons to improve our lives.