Life isn’t a box of roses.
Very rarely do you get handed everything on a platter, silver or otherwise. Life is hard.
So is climbing a mountain.
And running a marathon.
Not to mention baking a cake.
In fact, everything you could possibly do can be considered hard. How difficult was learning to walk, for example? How many months of daily practise did it take to master that little feat?
Fortunately, most of us learned to walk and talk while we were still in that childlike growth mindset. Unfortunately, too many of us lost that mindset or had it bred out of us as we aged.
“[Children] get frustrated, sure. But giving up is never an option, not even for a moment. They’re driven by that quest for mastery. No one fails to learn to walk or talk because we get depressed and think it’s too hard or we aren’t “talented” enough.”
How hard is running a marathon when you’ve trained up for it? And when you’ve already run five races previously?
It’s very hard, and very challenging, and it takes a lot out of you. And, yet, as a seasoned runner, you’re more than able to overcome the challenges and push yourself to the end.
The more and the longer we train and do an activity, the more confident and proficient we become in it. The activity in itself has not become easier. We have just become better. This can be extended to any facet of life and includes life as a whole. The more hardships a person endures, the more capable he or she is of dealing with anything life throws at him or her.
One of my mentors vehemently encourages doing at least one scary activity every single day. He knows that the more we face our known fears, the better we will be able to face an unknown fear in the future. Essentially, this is how we train for life. It’s how we master life.
I’m a big fan of the satirical fantasy author, Terry Pratchett. In one of his books, a character was asked, “Do you know how to drive a ship?”
Her response, “Probably. I’ve never tried.”
I’ve grown and learned the most when thrown into the deep end. Just get in and do it.
Think about the skills and talents that you possess. Consider how many of them was attained because you were passionate enough about them, and how many you mastered purely because you had to. We all crave an easy life, yet research shows that the easier life becomes, the more prone our species is to making it difficult. Suicide rates go down in times of hardship. Slovenia, a very successful and rich country that takes exquisite care of its citizens, has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. We crave challenge and, yet, for the most part we try our best to avoid it. But I assure you a simple life free of problems will quickly bore you. Even the richest people in the world continue to challenge themselves purposefully. Thrill-seekers like Richard Branson take it to extreme levels!
I dare you to challenge yourself today. Do something that scares you. Do something you’ve never done before. Push your boundaries. And, in doing so, set new ones.