One of the most seductive lies we’re told is: you have to struggle to get what you want.
We are taught at a young age that we must fight for what we want–as if life is a battle and we are waging our own personal war. This defensive and fearful attitude sets us up for pain and suffering, no? It teaches us we must always be prepared to engage in combat in order to be happy. Coming from this perspective, we forget that things can happen easily and effortlessly in life.
If we are constantly reinforcing thoughts about struggle and hardship, how can anything else show up?
I know in my own life when I am trying too hard to make something happen or if I’m white-knuckling it, the object of my desire usually eludes me. It’s doubly frustrating because I see what I’m doing, but I just can’t get out of my own way.
During these times, if I take a step back and relax a little, things often fall into place. It’s only when I evaluate what the struggle really means to me does it become clear why I’m pushing through it so hard to begin with. Am I coming from a place of lack or insecurity? Struggles are often rooted in fear–taking a deeper look helps me stop making choices out of fear. When I remember this, I can step back and see where I can choose ease instead.
No matter how you slice it, challenges are a part of life; they build character and confidence. And when kept in check, these growth experiences can bring us to the next level. The key is knowing the difference between challenges and true struggle; only you can determine that. One is helpful while the other instills fear and can ultimately hold you back.
Here are some ways to flow effortlessly through struggles:
1) Live in the moment. Getting what you want out of life comes from living in the moment and enjoying the pleasures that it brings. Accepting what’s happening NOW and not living in the past or future allows us to enjoy the ease of living for today.
2) Find pleasure in simple things. “The best things in life are free” was a popular song for a reason. When you enjoy the simple pleasures of life, it fills you with ease. Life becomes fun again.
3) Be helpful to others. When you come from a mindset of giving, the universe delivers it back to you ten-fold; Karma is what makes the world go around. Helpful people always see solutions rather than problems + often receive help as much as they give it.
4) Be open to different alternatives. If you get stuck thinking that only one way will do, it sure limits your options! People that live with ease are open to doing one thing many ways; they are open to the idea that their way may not be best + are open to try new things.
I know a lot of times when I’m out of my own flow and buying into the struggle, it’s because of pressure from external factors: society telling me where I’m supposed to be by a certain time of life, what kind of work I should be doing, what environment I should be in etc. It’s in these murky waters that my own dreams and wishes can get lost.
Struggle depletes the inner joy we naturally possess because it is not our instinctive default; happiness is.
Happiness is the antidote to struggle. Happiness cultivates moments of ease, especially when we follow our gut because it helps us move forward. With a happiness mindset, things happen effortlessly. We are meant to be happy.
When I’m happy, I pick the ease-ier way. I follow my gut, I trust the flow of life. I don’t get caught up in the keeping-up-with-anyone and I just focus on what my heart is saying. The struggles seem to disappear. Choosing happiness brings me back to focusing on who I am and who I am becoming. And that’s the best place to be.