Suffering vs Struggling
In this video, I want to talk about suffering vs struggling. A lot of times of times, I hear people use THE words ‘suffering’ and ‘struggling’ in their sentences, but its not always coming through the right way. I’ll explain.
A lot of times people say I’m suffering over here, why so much suffering over there, (but) in reality it’s not really “suffering.” They mean to say they’re “struggling” – that’s a more positive word versus using “suffering.” “Suffering,” in my mind (Again, I could be wrong you don’t have to agree with me), without being too judgmental or harsh, (“suffering” basically), I’ll give you an example: someone gets hit by a car. And they get paralyzed and there is no hope for the person. So he’s on his bed, not to be able to do anything, he’s not productive so he could be suffering mentally and physically. Eventually when the pain goes away, it’s going to be mostly mental (that’s suffering) because there’s nothing a person can do anymore. From being so productive and not being able even to get their own glass of water or use the bathroom without somebody’s help. They feel hopeless and useless and it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of suffering.
Now, another example would be someone for example somebody who is challenged mentally. They have dis-balance in their head (physical) so they have to take pills to balance the chemicals to make sure that they can think straight and do things the right way. A lot of times I would see those of type of people – you would give them knowledge and they themselves would say it, but then it’s very easy for them to fall into a trap. Once they’re challenged in that subject, they would fall again. So it’s not a struggle, to me that’s suffering because there’s nothing you can do about it. This is just the way it is.
Now, all other cases, I consider a struggle. And struggle a lot of times comes from your attitude towards whatever you’re doing. It actually could mean very positive. If you think about it, a seed, before it sprouts after being planted, it has to deteriorate. It has to become nothing first.
Now, mother has to go through labor pains before the baby would be born. In all those cases you will see that there’s a result. Another example that comes to my head would be a butterfly. A butterfly before it can fly it’s in a cocoon trying to break out. So it’s struggle to break out from that cocoon is actually building strength. If we open the cocoon for the butterfly, it won’t be able to fly.
So the same thing with us – we being prepared for something bigger always, that’s just the way life is. We cannot just go and perform this major task and succeed if we were not prepared. So we get a little challenges in life little by little and to build our confidence and to build our competence that in our mind mentally and physically we’ll be able to pull this off.
So it all comes down to our head, how do we see it. I’ll give you an example. For example, I’m going to the gym, currently bench pressing 225. Let’s say I want to bench press 275. Will this happen? Not so quick, I need to work out. To work out it’s a struggle because you have to wake up on time, you got to eat right, you got to do your exercises. Every time you’re doing your exercises, your muscles are actually in pain afterwards. So you’re going through all this pain but that’s not suffering – you actually enjoy that pain. You want to stretch AND sometimes you feel like you want to fall asleep, but all this is just part of the process for you to bench press 275.
And you do it with pleasure – you look forward to go to the gym. Why? Because you really want to achieve that goal. So any goal that we pick for ourselves, we could enjoy it even though we would be struggling and there would be pain as well, whether its physical pain or mental pain, we eventually get there. So if the attitude works in not the right way, what we do is we start to compare things. We start to say, “How come this guy got it faster than I did?” or “I think it’s a talent, it’s this.” We come up with all kinds of excuses why we cannot do it and we start to think that it’s a much bigger investment from our end. And we don’t want to go through this and we look at it as suffering and little by little, we give up.
So I encourage everybody to really think about it – what really suffering in your life and what’s really struggle in your life. How can you make this struggle a better experience, because all it is, it’s this little switch in your mind where you start to embrace this struggle. Eventually it’s not a struggle anymore because you’re enjoying the process. So it’s all about enjoy the growth that you get from your struggle. Your struggle basically is your training partner – it makes you better, it makes you bigger, it makes you more confident. So you can do what you need to do.