Struggles Don’t Make You Weak — You Do
Stop blaming your struggles.
“The broken heart. You think you will die, but you keep living, day after a terrible day.” — Charles Dickens
My brother went to the United States in 2014. And asked for an asylum a few weeks later. His first and half year trying to survive in a foreign country was a living hell. He did not know a single person in Washington, D.C. Even if many Ethiopians are living there.
He has a Degree and a Masters. But that is not useful since he has to find a job to survive in the first place. And finding a job of any kind was tremendously difficult. Because he was new to the country and did not have a work permit yet.
He has type I diabetes. Since he was 17 years old. He takes insulin daily. So, he can’t go hungry. He has to have at least bread for breakfast. Otherwise, his sugar level would be so low that he would be hypoglycemic. And he did not know anyone who will take him to a hospital if that happens.
Almost every one of us has struggled in a big way at one point in our lives. Maybe, we are still struggling. Not knowing how to survive. Not knowing for how long this doom is going to stay with us. Wishing to crawl back into a hole and never get out.
Some people give up. Some people kneel on their knees and raise both of their hands in the air. And say, ‘I give up.’ They turn their back on the challenges they are facing. Becoming victims.
You hear them say often, ‘Why do I have to go through this hell?’ ‘I don’t deserve this struggle.’
They complain. Whine. They get angry with the universe for making their life hard. Possibly self-sabotage themselves. By under-performing.
Struggles are stepping stones
To something much better.
My brother changed nine different jobs in his first year in the States. Not because he was looking for something better after only a month or two at a job.
But because of his diabetes, he has terrible migraines. Once the pain starts attacking his body, he has to stay in bed for at least a week.
At those times, he could not even open his eyes — let alone do any kind of job.
His bosses did not understand. But, to be fair, no one is expected to continue hiring someone who might be absent from his job for a week or even more.
Those who see struggles as stepping stones will find a way to rise above it.
Like my brother did. When he got fired from a job that paid him $8/hour, he suffered. He struggled to make ends meet. He struggled to make rent, to have money, to keep his dollar bills.
He looked for another job. And found one. And he had to leave again because of his headache which constantly appeared. Like a guest who appears on your doorsteps without ever being invited. He looked for another job, again and again.
Without ever giving up.
Remember, your struggles will lessen in time if you do your work, consistently
It won’t always be like this. Sometimes, your struggles make you so tired. Something had to give before you crumple under the weight of it all.
But that darkness will pass.
The way to come out to the other side is to do your work. To rise in the morning and try again. Even when the weight on your shoulder is making you slump and even bend from your waist.
You don’t have a job. Go out and look for one. Polish your resume. Send it out there. Apply.
Your business is failing. Don’t throw the key and start watching Netflix. Go out and see how others who have businesses are thriving in their businesses. Ask for advice. Take notes.
Your relationship is not working. You are having unhealthy arguments. Or, you are not talking to each other at all.
You don’t know what to do to improve your relationship.
You do know what to do.
Do the hard work. Stop complaining about it. Turn off the television and switch off your phone. And go to your partner and say, ‘Let us have coffee and talk.’
Or, maybe you are struggling with finding yourself and what you want to do in life.
Good. It is good that you are struggling. It means that you are not following the pack. It means you are putting a much needed effort and energy. On finding who you are and what you want to do in life. Not what others want.
My brother gets this. In his struggle to survive in a foreign country, he did not complain to me when we talked on the phone.
He could have chosen to come back home, anytime. Where he has a family. Where he can ask his old boss to be the IT expert again. Where he has a bank account. Where it is home.
But, he didn’t.
He shared his struggles with me. But without complaining or whining.
Improve yourself daily while you are doing your work
We all like to believe that our day will come on its own — while we are doing a bare minimum.
You have to do extra work every day. You have to do a ton of inner work.
Even when you are having a struggle in your life.
One of the things my brother asked when his first boss in the States fired him was for his laptop. For us to send it from home. When I talked to him weeks later, he told me that he was taking free online courses. On things like coding and programming.
Even though he has a Masters in information technology, he knew that he was not going to get a job in his field. Without skills improvement that is especially needed in the IT industry.
Besides his two jobs, he studied on the latest software and technologies at night.
After months of doing physical labor, what he studied for months paid off. They called him for an interview.
And he got a job with a decent salary. On his field of study. On his computer skills. On what he has been preparing consistently for the whole year.
And a year later, that job opened an opportunity for him to work in Atlanta, Georgia. Where he currently works and lives well.
If you are facing a challenge right now, you are probably thinking that you will be patient. And let time show you what it brings.
Time will not bring you something that you have not put an effort on. That you have not worked on. That you have not improved on consistently.
There’s a way of rising above your struggles.
Bringing your inner strength and turning it into a snarling beast .When the struggle requires you to do so.
Finding different ways to climb your ladder. Finding ways of learning how to climb, a better way. Improving your old ways. Learning new tricks. Rising in the morning and walking outside your door.
Even when the storm is lurking outside at your door. And never giving up.
Thank you for reading …
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