Struggle has its value

Modernisation may have made things easier but that may not be necessarily good for personal growth, says Chitra Jha
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Updated on May 26, 2010 09:29 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Chitra Jha, New Delhi

In today’s world most things have been made easy and convenient for us. We get pre-cooked meals; we just need to heat them in a microwave oven. We have remote control for most gadgets, so we don’t even need to move from our couc- hes. More and more conveniences are being invented every day. It seems that every one is preoccupied with making things easier for oneself and humanity. We have got used to this easy way of life and now take it for granted.

But is this ‘easy’ way really good for us? Anything that is not used over a period of time gets rusted, shrivels or dries up and stops functioning. The same is true for our body and brain, just as the adage goes: ‘use it or lose it’.

Diligence and determination are two very important characteristics of a successful person. An easy life destroys these two elements. A little struggle to achieve something makes life worthwhile and important. You realise the value of success only if there is effort involved in achieving it.

Unfortunately, our parents unintentionally weaken us by offering everything to us on a platter. By not allowing us to struggle they take away the opportunity that would help us gain strength. An English proverb rightly says, ‘A smooth sea never makes a successful mariner’. People who overcome obstacles are stronger than the ones who have never faced any.

Have you ever seen a butterfly coming out of its cocoon? It struggles hard, gets completely exhausted in its efforts, and takes rest only to start struggling again. It is this very struggle that gives strength to its wings. If you were to help a butterfly cut short its struggle by opening the cocoon, it won’t be able to fly and will eventually die. That struggle is essential for its existence.

Humans are not too different. Struggles are essential for our growth, too. There is historical evidence that the average life cycle of a great civilisation, country or family is about 200 years. Through courage, conviction, hard work and the faith of a generation, a family or country flourishes. In the next generation, abundance and liberty abound. These are followed by selfishness and complacency. Complacency leads to laziness, apathy, dependency and finally dependence. The cycle continues and another generation rises to the challenges of struggle, courage, conviction, hard work and faith. Where are you in this cycle? At this very moment you can make a choice to willingly let go of your love for an easy life. Instead prepare for a life full of challenges and pray for the strength and the courage of conviction to come to your aid. Face these challenges calmly and confidently. These have come your way to help you grow.

It is the people who seek challenges truly enrich this world. The choice is always yours.

So start working instead of playing; start doing instead of talking; start planning; start getting serious about your dreams. Big dream means big effort. It means struggle and sacrifice. It means paying a price. Triumphs don’t come without effort.

Henry Ford said, ‘The harder we work, the luckier we get.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Motivational speaker Shiv Khera echoes this thought in his own way. He says there are two ways to remove weeds from a lawn: the easy way and the not-so-easy way. The easy way is to mow the lawn. Along with the weeds the grass will also be mowed. However, the problem is that the weeds will grow back faster than the grass will. The not-so-easy way is to get down on your knees and pull each weed by its roots. The reward is that the weeds will be taken care of for a very long time. Which method would you choose? Your answer speaks a lot about you. The answer is yours to ponder over.

The author is a life-skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer. Contact:

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