Struggles. . .

Most of us do not embrace our struggles. maybe we see it in a less favorable light. Maybe we were raised to avoid struggles. In my own writings here at The Daily Buddha I even wrote about moving on from our struggles.

The real key is not elimination of our struggles, but growth and understanding from them.

Research shows that struggling is absolutely pivotal to mastery and that the highest achieving people in the world are those who have struggled the most. Neuroscientists have found that mistakes are helpful for brain growth and connectivity and if we are not struggling, we are not learning. 

Our biggest points of struggle are often circled around not knowing. Not knowing the right answers at work, not knowing the right paths to take for our children, our partners or ourselves. Unfortunately we often hide these points and our struggles form others. Yet, once we stop the charade of knowing everything, and embrace knowing less, with a willingness to sit with uncertainty, unexpected things happen.

In my career as a college mentor I often would tell students that struggle and mistakes are the best points for our brains. That in our struggles are hints of what we need to work on, to embrace and to grow from. Students no longer give up on problems when they find them hard – they push through the struggle to the wonderful places on the other side. I would remind them that feeling of ‘hard’ is the feeling of your brain developing, strengthening and growing.

Knowledge is less important than a mindset of discovery and curiosity. We cannot achieve anything of depth or meaning without being comfortable with mistakes and struggle. We should all embrace times of struggle, knowing they are helping our brains. When we adopt a limitless perspective, approaching different jobs and tough moments with a understanding of our uncertainty and struggles, our willingness to learn from our struggles with a flexible approach to problems and outcomes improve in both our learning and in our life.

Peace and Love, Jim

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