It’s frustrating when things don’t go smoothly and work out exactly the way we plan for them to or the way we want them too. It’s maddening when we find ourselves banging our heads against a wall trying to unravel the mystery of why things aren’t working out the way they SHOULD… the way we are promised they will if we just do “X,” “Y,” and “Z.” I get it!  BELIEVE me when I say, I GET IT!

I also know that I am approaching the middle of my 5th decade on this planet, but please allow me to quote Miss Miley Cyrus:

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb…

I don’t know about you, but when I sit down and really think about the way my life has unfolded, I find that I’ve always learned so much more through the struggle – through “the climb” – than I ever did when things went exactly as planned, step-by-step to the desired conclusion. Think about it, when something doesn’t go the way we plan for it to go, we basically have two choices:  We can quit or we can try a different approach, right? Whenever life has thrown me a curveball (and it has more times than I care to recall), that’s when the process of trial and error and the “well, what would happen if I do THIS?” and the retracing our steps and so on starts. That’s when the DISCOVERY happens.

Oh sure, it is WAY less hair-pullingly aggravating when our plans go off without a hitch, but again, think back… Don’t we feel the “rush” and the huge sense of accomplishment far more profoundly when we’ve had to tease apart the puzzle and find a way to make the pieces fit? I think that the reward comes from the resolution of the struggle – from the climb and finally reaching the summit. There is a satisfaction in the knowledge that we persisted, we never gave up, and we just kept tweaking and adjusting our approach until the pieces finally clicked into place.

So, dear reader, relish in the climb – the struggle to overcome the obstacles that threaten to block your path. Let the journey to find a way over, under, around, or through each roadblock serve to hone your craft, to make you better, and to make the eventual win (because we WILL eventually win if we try long enough and don’t quit) all the more satisfying. Don’t look for the easy road… the quick fix… the magic bullet… It may get the job done (at least in the short term), but it won’t make you BETTER for the climb. The climb to succeed (at anything) almost always makes us better at what we do along the way.

Think back over your own life. Think about the times when you have wanted something really bad and it has just fallen into your lap. Now, think about the times you have had to overcome obstacle after obstacle to get what you wanted.

Which made you feel more accomplished? Which gave you a greater sense of satisfaction? Now, think about the journey you’re currently on … You’ve struggled – Lord knows, we all have. Think how AMAZING you will feel when you’ve conquered all of the obstacles on your path to your goal. You’ve GOT this! I have faith in you!

And – if I may quote another musical lady, Miss Kelly Clarkson – “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” 😉

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