This is a post about how to find meaning in everyday life despite (or, rather, thanks to) all our struggles. The article is based on a very deep, yet light interview of Marie Forleo with Mark Manson.
Foreword: I am in no way associated with the third-party content I mention in some of my posts, like in this one today – it’s just the things I find worthy of sharing.
This is a quick, but hopefully helpful post that contains a few inspiring highlights quoted from Mark Manson’s interview with Marie Forleo. You don’t even have to know who either of these people are to appreciate their discussion about how we can embrace our struggles and see their help in shaping our life’s meaning.
“You’re never going to get away from your problems.”
We have all imagined at some point how much easier life would be if only our current problems were magically solved. The funny thing is that not only do we not have the option to resolve any issue just by wish, but also overcoming a problem inevitably leads to a set of new ones. And it’s not surprising, because problems are imperfections or voids we notice in our life. Reality is never going to be perfect. Where there is presence, there is going to be void by its side, to balance it out. So, running away from problems is not an option. But seeing them as a good thing is.
“You always have the power to A) react to whatever is going on with your life, or B) create the meaning around whatever’s happening.”
In other words, you can see problems as weeds in your garden, or seeds of opportunity. Whatever problems you are having right now are bound to shape your life, whether you like it or not. But they may bring you either suffering or understanding of what is not working so that you can put more effort towards making it work – the choice is yours.
“Problems are the building blocks of happiness.”
Remember the biggest change you have made in your life so far. Whatever it was, the only reason it happened was because you recognised an issue and found a way to resolve it. Problems are drivers of positive change, because they make it obvious we need to improve. As the pain you feel from an unresolved issue becomes harder and harder to ignore, you are forced to solve the problem and make your life better.
“To try and get rid of problems is not really the goal, because it’s not possible, and because so much happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment comes from the solving of problems. If you eliminated that, you would be doing yourself a disservice.”
A problemless life is one without drive and desire. It’s life without improvement, change and hope for a better future.It’s life without satisfaction, and most likely without happiness. Making your life work despite all the challenges is a million times more rewarding than smooth sailing. If you got what you wished for tomorrow at your doorstep, without lifting a finger to get it – be it a contract for your dream job, an Oscar, or a key to your own seaside condo in Miami – you would lose interest in it by the end of the week.
“We need some sort of struggle in our lives.”
We need the chase. Chase is 80% of the fun. And chase is what we will be looking back on, long after we have forgotten most things we’ve struggled for.
“The key to living a good life isn’t getting rid of struggle, it’s finding good struggles. Struggles that invigorate you, struggles that feel important to you, struggles that can contribute to the people around you, because that’s where meaning comes from, and ultimately meaning is what we all need.”
It all ultimately comes down to focusing on the things worth struggling for. Your problems will never end. There will never be a more favourable time to go after what you want than right now. Knowing that struggles will be present every step of the way, which ones will you allow to become the focus of your life?
Enjoy your journey!
Have you ever struggled with pursuing your purpose in life with so many other things going on around you, putting demands on your time and stressing you out? It would be lovely to hear your story! ❤