(Friday Filosophy 5/19/23)
Happy Freakin’ Friday!
Welcome to another issue of Friday Filosophy, my weekly postcard to you, where I suggest a question, topic, or challenge to think deeper about. This week let’s explore the concept of struggle.
We all pretty much hate to struggle. I’ve made millions of dollars writing books, doing seminars, consulting, and offering coaching programs to help people reduce the struggle they must endure to achieve what they desire in their businesses and lives. Then of course I recycle pretty much all of it buying other books, seminars, consultants, and coaches – as well as Uber Eats, Instacart, car detailers, dry cleaners, housekeepers, mechanics, and Amazon Prime – to reduce the friction in my own struggles.
I believe struggle provides two great lessons in life…
As much as you might hate struggle, some is definitely required to grow into your highest self. Show me a trust fund baby who jets around the world from Burning Man, to Coachella, to Ibiza, and the coast of France and I’ll show you a vapid, narcissistic, and miserable soul. A life without purpose is empty calories and you’re always hungry.
The secret to happiness and prosperity is discovering/creating the optimal ratio between struggle and triumph. Iron sharpens iron, and struggle helps you develop the character required to become the highest possible version of yourself. However, if your spouse cheats on you, your cat dies, your dad develops dementia, you receive a bad medical diagnosis, your favorite team chokes in the playoffs, your dog runs away, and a meteorite lands on your Lamborghini all in the same month – you might find it difficult to locate the silver lining in that cloud. (And if this does happen, you need to ask yourself the difficult question of what you are doing to attract so much of what you say you don’t want.)
Manifesting prosperity requires reducing the struggle friction you don’t need to grow yet be willing to confront the challenges that make you stronger and propel you forward.
Paying someone to mow your lawn reduces friction and allows you to redeploy that time to earn more than you’re paying the landscaper. Trying to outsource a difficult conversation you need to have with a loved one eliminates friction now but causes more struggle in the end. You can skip flossing your teeth, but you’ll pay later when they have to be extracted. Running a marathon is one of the toughest struggles you might choose. But the enhanced health and sense of achievement it provides you builds your character in ways that will reward you for decades.
The great news is that you don’t have to win every battle. You might have to amputate a few toes to beat cancer or bankrupt your first business to create a second one. But if you stay in the game, be mindful of the struggles to run away from and the ones to confront head on, there is a beautiful payoff in the end.
According to a double-blind research study conducted by Harvard University with 15,234 respondents, my new podcast this week is the best one I’ve ever done. Check It Out:
10 Questions that Can Make You Rich (Really.)
May all your struggles be productive.
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