Hardship

Perspective is everything. One world can actually be many different things, depending on the ways people see it. If you open up to different perspectives, you can learn so many things. Heck, your world could be flipped upside. That happened when I had a conversation with someone.
It started out with me asking, “Do you believe that all hardship will eventually lead to an equal reward?”
“No” he said. Boom. Just that was enough to shake me a bit. I thought, that sucks.
“The one thing I do believe,” he continued, “is that hard work and hardship are two very different things. Very successful people can live in the lap of luxury while still working hard”. Well, that’s obvious. But I never really thought about it that much.
“But I had always thought that in order to be strong in this world, you have to face hardship.” I replied curiously.
“Yes, you can face hardship. But you shouldn’t go around looking for hardship”. Let’s hear that again: you shouldn’t go around looking for hardship. That’s a great way of putting it. So many times, I have tried hard to be my very best self. I have learned so many (unexpected) things, but I have fallen. I have cried so many times over something so stupid as not reaching my highest expectations. At first, I thought it was natural. Everyone needs some sort of frustration to push yourself to be better. But after a while, I seemed decide that it’s not worth it. Every time I would think about my “failure”, tears would spring into my eyes. I couldn’t help it; I felt like a baby. It sucked. I ended up thinking that it was my hard work that put me in the pool of doubt.
But, was I looking for those tears? Maybe all I needed hard work instead of hardship. Big difference. If I had just enjoyed the practice of actively improving instead of caring about the result, then I probably wouldn’t have stopped trying.
Although, something puzzled me. I asked him, “If you can learn how to push past hardship and deal with hardship, then it would make you stronger, right?”
“Yes,” he said thoughtfully. “But everyone deals with hardship in their life. The difference is whether or not you’re looking for it”. Let’s think about this; Naturally, I would be at least a little sad if I felt things weren’t going my way. I could have pushed past the hardship and kept going. But I chose to dwell on it. I chose to knock myself down when I didn’t need to. That was the end of my motivation.
I don’t think I realized that when I was talking to him. I replied, “If hardship makes you stronger, then why are children allowed to live in paradise?”
“Children don’t live in paradise” is all he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *