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Gratitude Toward Struggle

The unknown is not always uncertain. Part of what makes trekking into the unknown such an anxiety-provoking experience is because, with some certainty, you can reasonably anticipate that you will incur some type of damage in the process. This reasonable anticipation is the direct result of past confirmed experiences. You have gone into the unknown before and, as a result, have been hurt either emotionally or physically. This is a process that has been repeated time and time again, yielding some type of blunder. With evidence of past mishaps, as entrepreneurs and start-up employees, a question emerges: why do we venture into this realm?


Despite a guarantee of struggle, there is also the potentiality of progress. The risk of staying still; or, refusal to make adequate changes, for the remainder of your life is far greater than challenging yourself to do something that you've never done before. The reason that this risk is so high is that if you do not attempt to do something that feels new, intimidating, or adventurous, then you cease to recognize the importance of exploring your potentiality. Finding comfort and holding onto it will provide solace for a while; however, eventually, life will pass you by to the point that you begin to recognize the guilt that exists within yourself causes you to formulate the question of "what if"?


The risk of staying still is never knowing your capabilities, the breadth of your personality, resilience to adversity, and perhaps most importantly, progress. The only way to progress is to do what's uncomfortable, learn, challenge yourself, go willing into life, as opposed to waiting for life to arrive at your doorstep. You will encounter resistance, as life tests anyone who has a dream and creates goals for its realization, but perseverance will reveal to you your strength of character. It will ultimately unveil the results of good fortune.


So how do you remind yourself of this truth? What is it that you can do to reduce anxiety when staring directly into some new endeavor? How can you guarantee your happiness? The answer is as straightforward or as complicated as you make it to be; have gratitude for the struggle. Thank yourself, a peer, a parent, a mentor, a higher power, or whoever/whatever for the opportunity to suffer. It is only when you recognize the validity of your pains that you can transform them into progress. Opportunities only emerge when you are provided a negative, primarily because you now have a choice with regard to how you can then turn it into a positive. You first need to recognize a problem before you even consider what it takes to solve it. For as long as time and life have presented itself, problems have consistently emerged; therefore, it is a tenet of existence to work toward a resolution.


Perhaps this mindset is difficult to accept. You may have difficulty accepting this because you have seen, heard about, or know someone who has experienced an immense tragedy. "How can I be grateful for so much ugliness and despair in the world"? Being grateful for the opportunity to solve a problem is very different than wishing harm toward yourself or others. It is only when we recognize tragedy do we have any responsibility to alleviate it. The duty associated with alleviation can only be a role given to someone who appreciates an all-encompassing life. Life is many things: it's joy, despair, hardship, growth, wonder, etc. Gratitude toward struggle can easily be translated to an appreciation of existence, through all of its marvel and through all of its wickedness. 

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