Photo by Holly Mandarich from Unsplash
When life goes south, the circumstances force us to feel helpless and weak. All we see is a never-ending phase of darkness. During these times, we lose confidence in our abilities because we blame ourselves for being in a situation that’s out of our control. It feels like we’re running an endless marathon with the whole world on our shoulders. We stand and watch our future slowly burning before us, and we have no choice but to hope all our problems would disappear.
This may seem like the worst nightmare that comes only once for most of us. But for some people, this is real life. This nightmare plays day-in and night, without any hint of stopping. In our twenties, we experience many, different kinds of struggles. Every passing day, we think we’re already used to facing difficulties until another one comes and convinces us otherwise. If you ask anybody if they would want to live a life where they can have anything they desire, hypothetically speaking, I guarantee an easy yes.
But if that arbitrary life does exist, I doubt would agree. You see, what people fear the most isn’t their problems, per se, but uncertainty. People are scared that they don’t know what kind of problem they’re going to face. They don’t know how this problem would change their life or how long they would be troubled along with its consequences. And most importantly, they don’t know if they can surpass them.
The fear of the unknown scares people so much that they avoid anything that leads them to that state of mind, in which case, are problems. Most of us don’t want problems in our lives because we have suffered enough. Of course, they’re going to cling to a fantasy that allows them to rest and get what they want. But when they do, they would realize them achieving their goals wasn’t as satisfying as they thought.
What they wanted was to feel the contentment and pleasure of getting through all the pain and waiting. But without the essence of struggle, this satisfaction is taken away. People would rather live a struggle-free life because they’ve been through a lot already in their lifetime. They may have different experiences and coping mechanisms with their problems, but everyone has had been hurt.
People avoid problems because they associate problems with feelings of hurt and pain. As a result, they don’t realize the real significance behind their problems. They don’t understand that success and joy exist because there is failure and despair. People fail to realize that the hurt and suffering they feel is the gateway to the other side of the problem: the positive, rewarding feelings and lessons.
HOW I PERCEIVE LIFE STRUGGLES:
I have this odd mentality where I feel jealous about other people’s suffering in life. I like hearing about other people’s heart-wrenching stories, like how their whole life is all pain and suffering. I enjoy asking questions about their fears, triggers, and pushbacks. Hearing their stories makes me feel grateful for not going through their life and feel wise for receiving counsel from brave people who experienced rock bottom.
I idolize them—the very few people who have experienced this extreme level of suffering but still came through. I’m much interested in how they perceive every dilemma, how they make decisions, how they interact with people after a traumatic experience, etc. One reason is probably that I know they have a huge advantage on succeeding in life more than me. I know the chips on their shoulders, if they know how to use them to an advantage, are their one-way ticket to the finest things in life.
They have experienced the harshest, most depressing circumstances since they were born, and yet they’re still breathing, standing, and succeeding. That is a journey you don’t see every day, and it’s worthy of your time and attention. I don’t want to know what it’s like to lose a parent, a daughter/son, a friend. I don’t want to know what it’s like to have your business torn down, leaving you with hundreds of thousands in debt.
I don’t know to want to know what it’s like to be on the brink of taking your life for having people literally abhor everything that you do and everything that you are, something which you have no control over. But, what I want is to experience the same level of pain other people have, but not just in the same situations. What I want is to challenge myself way past my limit and see if I have what it takes to truly master the art of gratitude and optimism.
I’m not entirely sure if I want I’m jealous of their painful life, or just the fact that they’ve overcome something I never would think I could. I’m jealous of their strength, resilience, and wisdom. I’m jealous they have amazing, awe-inspiring stories to tell to their grandchildren around the dinner table or to a room full of strangers who trust in them.
I’m jealous they have the confidence and approval of others that they are where they are now because they grew from the cliché story they were once judged into. Maybe one reason is also I don’t want my successes and my life as a whole to be undermined by those who have had real, intense struggles towards grasping the same level of success.
WHAT WOULD LIFE BE WITHOUT PROBLEMS?
Life without problems is a life without meaning; everything would be senseless. It would be boring and uneventful, like watching an anti-climactic, predictable 3-hour movie on loop. It’s like being brought into life only to think about the near possibility of death and what happens after that. We wouldn’t have a purpose to search for, goals to achieve, or even a self-identity to build because everything is simply linear and insignificant.
Having no problems is like having nothing in between hello and goodbye; no sense of living. It would be a life filled with mundane days lived by people with no hopes and dreams. Everyone would get exactly what they want in the way they wish while everyone else would concede to it. Despite this, people wouldn’t feel any sense of accomplishment or feeling of success because there weren’t hardships, ordeals, and adversities that shook them hard before achieving their success. A life without problems wouldn’t technically be called life.
WHY DO WE NEED TO EXPERIENCE STRUGGLE IN LIFE?
We need to experience struggle in life because as humans, that’s what we’re made for. We’re brought into this world to suffer, love, and overcome the demons that walk among us. We need to experience the sheer irony of life and every good and bad thing it has to offer. Without any problems, we wouldn’t learn or know anything new on any matter. We wouldn’t know how to interact with other people and how to communicate with them.
We wouldn’t know how to begin our journey to self-awareness and self-actualization. Going through problems in life is imperative as it makes us appreciate and care for the temporary things that would be taken away from us. Without struggles, we wouldn’t fully understand the concept and essence of living. Struggling is an indispensable part of living. Struggling is living.
10 ENLIGHTENING REASONS WE NEED PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES IN LIFE:
PROBLEMS HELP US DISCOVER HIDDEN PARTS OF OURSELVES
The problems we face bring out different types of personalities in us that we never thought we had. Our problems urge us to exhibit behavior that may or may not be helpful to solving them. For instance, when faced with a road accident, you may feel angry. You may either act impulsively and kick the car you hit or you would have walked up to the car owner and take responsibility.
Without these problems, you wouldn’t know how you would act in a particular situation. Difficulties are there to question our intelligence, priorities, dreams, and attitude; each aspect helps us grow more curious about the other complex facets of our being. Also, these difficulties make us realize we’re more than what we were yesterday. We can most definitely learn from our mistakes and do the right thing next time. From our experiences, we can learn to love hidden parts of ourselves.
PROBLEMS PAVE THE ROAD TOWARDS HAPPINESS
Although happiness usually comes during good days, you can also be happy on bad days. Satisfaction presents itself when you’ve found the meaning in your suffering; a reward for your efforts. Our problems can lead us to happiness because the pleasure of having overcome them trumps all the battles we lost. The painstaking journey towards looking for a solution to your problem makes the sacrifices worthwhile. If we remain optimistic despite the hurdles, we learn to make the best out of all the bad days.
We learn to live life not terrified of problems but rather prepared and hopeful for the lessons they will impart to us. When you finally outgrow your problems, you understand why they had to happen to you. Without problems in life, we don’t get to experience this kind of satisfaction and relief that only comes in adversities. Without challenges to test our patience and capacity, it would be too easy to live life, so it wouldn’t be worth living at all.
PROBLEMS FORCE US TO GROW BEYOND OUR COMFORT ZONE
Problems come into our lives without warning and care for our feelings. When they come, they come at varying degrees. Along the way, we wouldn’t know the sizes of the stumbling rocks blocking the road. But the good thing is, we learn to improvise and be resourceful with our ways. We learn to think outside of the box and take risks to get to the other side. Our problems urge us to step out of our comfort zone. Taking risks is one of the most underrated benefits of life’s obstacles because not all of us want to feel uneasy and uncertain.
But if you stop seeing them as a nuisance but as a springboard to get you to your destination quicker, you get there wiser and way ahead of others. The discomfort they bring into our lives is our secret weapon to withstand any similar inconveniences. In the restless world we live in, our problems teach us to be focused at all times. These obstacles exist not only to hone our thinking and skill but also to give a deeper meaning to our purpose.
PROBLEMS CREATE A REALISTIC ENVIRONMENT
Problems are a manifestation that the world we live in is imperfect and hostile. They are proof that every person has a rational mind and free will to do anything he wants. Most times, others’ desires clash with ours. When this happens, friction is created and so is conflict. Our disagreements with other people pattern the survival-of-the-fittest type of environment in nature which makes it precisely realistic.
If we both want the same thing and (usually) can’t be settled by friendly talking, then we’d have to fight for it competitively. Without problems, there wouldn’t be competition. And without rivalry, there wouldn’t be a constant reminder of the fickleness of everything. There wouldn’t be a convincing motivator to appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Thus, people would be complacent and aimless throughout life. We wouldn’t value our possessions and loved ones so much because we wouldn’t have any fears of losing them.
PROBLEMS SHAPE OUR CHARACTER
Problems urge us to undergo a journey that completely changes who we are as a person. The struggles we encounter either shape us into whom we are destined to become or lead us to get lost and astray. They help shape our character in a way where hurdles can completely rewire the way we think or eradicate all the important values and beliefs we learned and replace them with foreign ones. Whether we easily give in or refuse to get sucked into this ruse speaks a lot about our character.
If you quickly abandon your philosophies, it says a lot about your self-esteem and awareness. It means you either don’t know who you are or you are too gullible to not make a conviction. Everyone goes about his life differently, and how we act and respond to these difficulties must be well handled. The process towards becoming the best versions of ourselves is full of struggle, affliction, and discomfort. If not for our problems, we would all just be spineless and purposeless cowards.
PROBLEMS PUT OUR FAITH TO THE TEST
When the gravity of the situation gets too overwhelming, we are tempted to go down the rabbit hole. During these hard times, problems test the steadfastness of our faith. They measure to what extent your faith can go, and so every fiber of your being is challenged. They destroy every opportunity to hold on to our faith which makes it harder but necessary to connect our actions with pure intentions. If we’re only led with blind faith, we’re only fooling ourselves.
Telling yourself you can do it without genuinely believing you can is an entirely different story on betrayal. You can’t say something and believe another. When push comes to shove, our chances of making it through lying on how much we believe in our capabilities. Our future depends on how much we truly trust in God. Without these problems, we can’t prove the truthfulness of our faith. This means we wouldn’t understand the meaning of every belief and value we practice daily.
PROBLEMS REDIRECT US TO OUR PURPOSE
Sometimes, no matter how much we want something to go down in a certain way, life manages to screw it up. Problems are the climactic hurdles that make life interesting. Our problems can take us to our calling, to the destination we’re meant to go to. For some, they consider their problems as “blessings in disguise.” Challenges are necessary as they open the doors to wider horizons.
When you’re under stress, it keeps you thinking about your deepest desires in life. They motivate you to do more of what makes you happy. The stumbling blocks in our life create a new pavement for us to walk through while undergoing a profound transformation. The more problems you face, the clearer the path to your purpose will be. The harder they put you down, the more confident you become.
PROBLEMS SHARPEN OUR DECISION-MAKING SKILLS
Problems allow us to analyze a situation carefully. When dealt with challenges, we get to connect the dots and understand the causality and effect of things. We learn to see the consequences of everything we do which develops our mindfulness. In short, problems enable us to take accountability for our actions. They train us to find the most optimal solution in the quickest way possible.
Problems improve our decision-making skills by examining the risks and rewards of every dilemma. A part of the decision-making process is also identifying what’s at stake and pondering on the role we play. After every obstacle we pass through, our critical thinking skills and sound judgment improve. Adversities teach us wisdom, resilience, and compassion. They challenge us physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and overall, influences the way we formulate decisions.
PROBLEMS BRING US TOGETHER TO A UNIFIED GOAL
The problems we face every day urge us to find refuge and security from other people. When a hometown meets a calamity, we reach out to neighboring communities to ask for help. The adversities in this life are the reasons we socialize to survive and get back on our feet. We overlook our differences and work together to a unified goal. We wouldn’t feel the need to help one another if all of us were living comfortably and safely. These inevitable obstacles require us to think of the well-being of others besides ours.
They remind us that we coexist with people from different walks of life in this world. Difficulties prove that they affect all of us, and we are morally bound to be mutually responsible for each other. Even if calamities take a lot from us, our efforts to achieving solidarity in small ways will pay off eventually. Problems lead to forging friendly alliances that uplift one another to achieve personal and collective goals.
PROBLEMS STRENGTHEN OUR RELATIONSHIPS
Problems have a way of breaking our relationships just to repair it back. They can be the cause of why we break up but they can also be the patch that covers up all the holes. We may not notice it but problems assess how strong a relationship is, which helps us examine how it affects us and what we are contributing to its growth.
Problems bring distress into our lives but they can also expose an already existing vendetta. In this way, our problems strengthen our relationship by solidifying its foundation with trust. They identify our mishaps and bring out the worst in us, so we may be forced to address them in one way or another. Without challenges in life, the interactions we have with other people lose their meaning.
You were born into this life to struggle every day, and the choice to overcome the fight is yours. Being alive is a glorious and special gift, but it has a price. As long as you live, you will encounter countless problems, and there’s no way of saying when it will stop. Life doesn’t care whether you’re still stuck on the last problem or barely recovering from the last; it will continue to put you down until you break.
It depends on you whether you’re willing to prepare yourself for the worst it has to offer.
The hard truth is, life is fair because it’s unfair to every single one of us. No matter what social status you are in, rich or poor, single or married, you will encounter problems too big to carry. These problems are what give life meaning and sense. Without problems to challenge our ideas and actions, we won’t be urged to move forward in life.
If we don’t move forward, what’s the point of living?
Even though we hate admitting it, our struggles define our worth, however, not in a way that undervalues it. The ordeals we face measure our valiance and character. Every time you endure and conquer a problem, it reinforces your ability to surpass any difficulty with a positive disposition. This endurance and mental stamina opens the doors to personal growth. Let this be a reminder to face the problem head-on, fearlessly. Running away from problems will only lead to long-term agony.
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”Carl Jung