Life Is Hard...
Life is hard… wow, what a way to start a blog, I know. You’re probably sitting there saying – “And this guy is a ‘Life Coach,’ give me a break. Where’s the positivity!?” Wait for it, we’ll get there…
So, if life is hard, how are some people so damn happy all of the time despite this fact, while other’s struggle daily to find happiness and purpose? While mental illness can certainly play a role in life being filled with hardships and unhappy days, many of us who are ‘mentally healthy’ still experience unfulfilled, miserable days, weeks and months in which pessimism and self-doubt are king. Why… because life is hard. I will never be anything but honest in my blogs and in my client work and I believe that, the earlier one accepts this fact - that life is hard, the earlier they can actually begin to enjoy their life more each day.
So, why are these ‘others,’ who also have ‘hard lives,’ who work 50+ hours a week in a job they don’t particularly like, are navigating their way through a messy divorce or are going through cancer treatment, able to remain happy and exude a joyful energy each day despite their circumstances? No, it’s not because they're 'pretending,' have lots of money in their bank account, are 'on drugs' or are just ‘out of touch with reality’… it’s one basic thing they possess that many of us have failed to recognize and obtain ourselves... and that is true ACCEPTANCE. This is not to say that change in life is not necessary or achievable, because sometimes it is needed for one to feel fulfilled and happy, such as obtaining further education to work in a more rewarding and suitable career, but many times in life, it is a form of acceptance that allows us to become one of these ‘others’ ... and the type of acceptance I'm alluding to is acceptance that LIFE IS HARD.
As M. Scott Peck states in his renowned bestselling book – ‘The Road Less Traveled’ -
“Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
These ‘others’ don’t carry the weight and burdens of the world and their personal lives on their shoulders nearly as much as everyone else in society. Why? Because they fully accept the difficulties of life and therefore are capable of recognizing and acting upon what needs to be changed in their lives... or they are content and happy with their current situations because of this acceptance.
We’ve all had that school custodian growing up who, despite the difficult, repetitive and unpleasant aspects of their job, whistled while they worked each day while wearing a nice big smile. They had a love for being part of the school community and preparing the school each day so young minds could learn and flourish. But why were they so happy when, often times, they are cleaning up messes…including the consequences of being sick to ones stomach and being assigned mundane and repetitive duties day in and day out? It was because they fully accepted that life is hard... they not only found value and purpose in their work that other’s may not have seen, but were likely passionate about other aspects of their life outside of work - where they also found meaning and purpose. This ‘other,’ this custodian did not perceive the hard and unfortunate circumstances of his/her life as dictating their level of happiness… all because of their acceptance that life is hard... and when one fully accepts this, that makes it completely OK :) .