If there’s one thing that unites us all, it’s that we all suffer. We all triumph. We face obstacles in our lives and encounter things that throw us off our course and challenge our inner strength. That’s life, with the lesson often seen in retrospect. Without the difficult times, there would be no great times. Everything would just seem flat and uneventful, plain and boring.
There would be no impactful change without struggle. The beauty of life is overcoming what we think we cannot. Our self-esteem grows and we find strength in ourselves that we never knew existed.
This very point had me thinking about various struggles that I’ve been through in my life. I remember focusing mostly on the negative aspects of the situation. How badly I felt, how crappy the situation was, and how much I didn’t think things would ever change. Blah, blah, blah. It’s a vicious cycle.
But what if we focus on how our struggles change us and our lives for the better?
Would it be possible to improve negative situations, if we thought about how we might benefit from them?
When I was unhappy with my research career, all I could think about was how much I screwed up my life. I went to university for 7 years training as a researcher only to discover that I basically loathed it. So many days I would curse myself for making such a huge mistake in my life and going down the wrong path.
My negative thoughts were so powerful, I almost convinced myself that it was better to just live the rest of my life unfulfilled than face the alternative (change). I told myself that I could do what I wanted when I retired. I was 25 years old at the time!
That’s when I realized that I could rot in my own negativity or I could see things in a different light. Instead of cursing myself and “mistakes” (I’d rather call them “learning experiences”), I searched for lessons and meaning.
What was my unhappiness trying to tell me?
How was this discomfort nudging me to make a change in my life?
Without taking the wrong career path, I wouldn’t have found the happiness I have with my career today. I started this blog as a hobby while I worked as a researcher. It was something I could work on during my own free time and it brought me so much happiness that I spent most of my free time working on it. What started as a distraction from my real life became the thing that gave me life.
Little did I know, this hobby would not only serve as the catalyst for eventually leaving my unfulfilling career and starting my own business, but it would also lead me to discover my real passions in life.
Most surprisingly of all, I now see struggles in a new light. Instead of cursing an uncomfortable time, I see it as a message to change. Whether I listen or not is up to me.
Previous Daily Glow posts: What is Daily Glow?, Graduation Fears, The Silly Things We Say, Do What You Can…Today, What’s Your 6-Word Love Story?, Without Self-Love, I Have Nothing., Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, Kicking the Pop Habit: Eric 1 Year Later, Weekend Inspiration