What separates the successful from those who are not? Is it circumstantial? Is it genetics? Generational? What disadvantages come to mind when you see people who seem farther in life than you?
Without any context, popular opinion and conventional wisdom, you might believe that the one percent — celebrities and successful businessmen and women — are people who have never had to face adversity. That, somehow, they’ve just come about their fortune.
Granted, there are some who haven’t had to lift a pinky for what they have, but when it comes to success and it’s pursuit the same goes for each and every individual: there was hardship.
The truth of the matter is that the successful people we find ourselves getting caught up hating on and envying are where they’ve gotten because they’ve grown immune to failure — not because they don’t face it.
There is beauty in struggle. There’s something about being knocked down and not being able to figure it out immediately. It’s almost as if you’re proving your worthy of its possession. Whatever “it” is for you.
We’ll never progress or make it far until we get familiar and comfortable with our bums being on the ground. That doesn’t mean accepting defeat per se, but it means getting to a point where disappointment rolls off our shoulder.
Even if you don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, I’m positive we can all agree that there is a lesson in every loss. In every setback, there’s something to be gathered in order to get back on the horse to try again.
We, too, can be like the one percent. All it takes is not letting our shortcomings determine our future, and that’s up to nobody but us.
The beauty of the bottom
Instead of being shocked, dismayed and depressed from the losses we take in life, what if we took it as a sign to take action instead?
There will never be a time where you get it right at all times. Even your heroes still find themselves struggling, occasionally finding themselves on the ground.
Because we will always fail for the rest of our lives until we’re deceased, why not become immune to your imperfections? In fact, the first step to a comeback is not letting the initial blow rock your world.
The beauty at the bottom is the opportunity that lies there as well.
Not only is it a reminder that we’re human and that we’re not impervious to mistakes, but it allows us to strip ourselves down and get back to the basics — to remind ourselves that it wasn’t solely us that got us to where we are in the first place.
Next time you find yourself in the midst of a setback, instead of complaining or even giving in, use it as a time to hone your fundamentals and plot a new approach.
Success & struggle
You cannot get good ideas without bad ones, you don’t develop a crisp jump shot without first bricking thousands, and you don’t land a movie role without experiencing not being called back.
There is a unique relationship between success and struggle that once understood can elevate us in any circumstance, no matter its nature. Struggle, strife, tension, or however you want to categorize the low moments of your career/life are all just as natural as the highs.
Yet, the majority of people want one without the other or think if they are experiencing the former they’re absolved from latter.
The struggle is not something we should expect or prepare for, but it’s also something we shouldn’t fear. The tension of the hustle is all a part of the sweat of the climb, which helps us remember that glory requires sacrifice.
Sometimes we have to be reminded that anything worth attaining takes hard work and our setbacks are nothing more than reminders of such. There’s nothing wrong with struggle. If anything, if taken head on, it means something worthwhile is on the opposite end.
The main thing
What trips most people up about failure, loss, hardship, struggle, and all the unsavory things about the road to success is that they lose focus of their objective in the process. A bad grade on a test doesn’t mean tank the class and a bad go at a class doesn’t mean tank the entire semester.
No matter the circumstance, if we’re able to lock in on the greater purpose, a setback will never stop us. If anything, it should motivate us to try again, harder, no matter how many times we’ve fallen.
It’s imperative to keep the main thing the main thing because that is our beacon — it’s our bat symbol in the dark. No matter how bleak things may be or how far behind we think we’ve slid, if our desires ring true and if we can still tap into our ambition, we’ll never let ourselves stay down.
Your struggle is not the end of the world, it’s the start of something fresh — an opportunity to be better and to go harder.
When we learn to adopt this approach we will not be dismayed at the hand we’re dealt. Ever.