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Life is challenging for everyone

We tend to understand struggle in a self-referential manner.

If I feel overworked, then the people who don’t have to work seem to have it easy from my point of view.

If I feel underpaid, then people who have lots of money are living THE dream.

If my love life stinks, then people who are in happy relationships are so much luckier than I am.

If I have physical ailments, then people with healthy bodies are better off than me.

Here’s today’s two cents:

Life is challenging for everyone.

E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E!

Everyone doesn’t have YOUR challenges, but they certainly have their own.

Everyone has demons they’ve got to defeat.

Everyone has obstacles they need to overcome.

Everyone has illusions they need to see through.

If you can think of someone you know that has it easy, then you’re probably defining the word “challenge” solely in terms of the problems YOU identify with.

That’s a problem because theĀ problems you identify with are only a small fraction of the challenges that exist in the world.

To state it inversely, there are a plethora of challenges that, regardless of who you are, you will never experience in this lifetime.

If you need proof for the above statement, request it in the comments. I’ll be happy to list off a string of problems that you’ve never experienced. Just be sure to tell me your gender, your ethnicity, and the country you live in (or the countries you’ve lived in), and I’ll give you AT LEAST three examples based on that information alone.

With that having been said, here’s an important distinction:

There’s a difference between acknowledging another person’s struggles and feeling pity for them.

I’m not asking you to feel pity for the people who seem to have it easy, but I am asking you to recognize that contrast is a part of all our lives.

This recognition offers you two benefits

1) It protects you from the destructive force of self-pity.

Nothing is more self-stultifying than the belief that your experience of difficulty is unparalleled and unprecedented.

2) It motivates you to handle YOUR business.

When you know that everyone else is busting their butt to get through the day, it’s a lot harder to use your own problems as excuses for not doing the same.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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  1. “Nothing is more self-stultifying” Oh T.K What a terrific word! I love that! I am going to use that word on many people hahaha I know too many who fall into that category and can’t wait to use it.
    By the way, Great post! šŸ™‚

  2. Very good post! It’s a theme that comes up often in your posts, so I’m surmising it’s because it comes up often in communications with people?

    We’re all born with differing sensibilities and sensitivities. What might be easy for one person to bear, might not be so easy for another. And there are those who bear up under heavy burdens with amazing grace and poise and seeming ease, so we ought not to suppose they’re exempt from life’s struggles. And deserving of our empathy,
    not pity. Our admiration, not envy. “Acknowleging another person’s struggles.”

    A better mental exercize would be spent in digging for the truth rather tan jumping to conclusions.

    And discovering that there are others who have had serious obstacles can give us a sense of proportion regarding
    our own. I could feel sad/angry/depressed about losing a good job, but not at all to the same degree as someone else losing a child.

    There are many varied support groups that have evolved out of people sharing simiar griefs (death/addition/victims
    of violence/strokes, etc.) Rather than competing for the pity platform, this suggests that griefs shared are halved, and happiness shared is doubled.

    In some parts of the world, the main struggle is for food and fresh water, and avoiding starvation and oppression.
    There will always be someone better off or worse off than us. Let’s not define ourselves that way.

    We are, indeed, blessed.

    Regards,

    Alana

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