The Competition for Struggle – is the Struggle Real?

I think we all do it, well, at least, I know that I’m guilty.  I stand back and look at something that’s taken me a few weeks to complete, maybe I’ve even sacrificed a bit, but it’s all worth it as I stand back and see the results.   Remembering the work, and time invested I feel good, I feel proud…. then someone comes along and says something like, “Looks good, I wish I had as much time as you to do stuff like that.”  or   “Nice Job, if only I had someone around to help out, I could do that too” or worse, “Must be nice to have that kind of time and money to sit around and do that all day.”

My knee jerk reaction is to enter into what I call, “The Battle of Who Has it Worse.” Instead of simply let's stop competing for joysaying, “Yes, it is awesome isn’t it” and just kind of milking that great feeling of abundance and having time, money, energy… I mentally throw down the glove and say things like, “Thanks, it was pretty hard to carve out the time” or “Thanks, I had to get up a few hours earlier every day so it wouldn’t affect my day job” or even worse, “Actually, it was pretty hard and there were weeks that we had to go without while I finished this project.”  What is the truth?

The truth is we are taught from a very young age that “hard work” is more valuable than … well than easy work.  Seriously, right?  If the “struggle is real” it is more valuable than if it came easily.  Artists that remained unknown for 20 years then finally catch a break and receive their celebrity status make sure to let us all know that it was hard work that go them there, and I appreciate that.  And I LOVE that thing that Ashton Kutcher said at the nickelodeon awards about “Success looking a lot like hard work”… and it’s true.  The difference is… if you love something, and love doing it… it may not feel like hard work.

Spending 8 hours coding a programming project, may seem like 1 hour if you love what you’re doing.Spending 9 hours writing your book, or painting or gardening or preparing for a workshop or seminar… all of these things require skill, and dedication and persistence…. umm…. hard work.  They are not easy… unless you love what you’re doing…when you love what you’re doing it may FEEL easy.

Don’t allow other people’s judgment of their abilities to achieve your success mar the success story you tell yourself. Other people say things for a million reasons.  Let’s not pretend that we can read minds.  Let’s just pay attention to the outcome of the conversations and avoid throwing your hat into the ring when they WANT to have that Battle about Who Has It Harder.

Let them win.   Always let them win that battle.

You just enjoy your ‘easy’ success.




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