A fundamental principle behind the 365 Commitment is to accept that life is suffering. You will have wonderful, beautiful, precious moments but for the most part, existence itself is one intense struggle to survive. You can witness this all around you, in almost every environment. Life thrives despite and because of adversity. Yesterday, one of our 365 members asked me to lie to you. The premise was a noble thought. “Guy, can you at least give us one good day, tell us one day that it is going to be easy and everything works out great – can you give us at least one day of ignorant bliss (paraphrasing).”
Well, sorry Neo you have taken the red pill. You stay in wonderland and hopefully we will all learn that through trials, struggle, and refiners fire we become stronger and more capable and when built on that foundation we are unstoppable. We can resist whatever life throws at us, we build resilience. The struggles of yesterday seem easy now. The struggles of today are sufficient and necessary for our growth. Embrace it. Love it. Relish it. Turn your face into the harsh desert wind with a grin and cry out – I love it and bring it on!
I am in the desert today. I will be running past several different breeds of cacti. As I look at these almost alien plants, with their spiny, ribbed structures and obscure shapes I am reflecting on what I do not see. That is the root system. If you have never pondered a cacti root system, consider this. The root system of a cactus is extremely adaptable. Whereas the top side of the plant grows extremely slowly, and carefully, the root system is incredibly agile. You want to kill a cactus? Plant it in good, soft, moist and loose soil. You want a cactus to thrive then put it in a harsh environment where it has to stretch out its roots, expand and cling to the a sparse water supply. Throw in some harsh wind and a brutal insect population and you will have a strong and healthy cactus plant. The cactus will extend roots out during wet times, rapidly and quickly, soaking up as much water as possible during times of plenty. During times of drought will shrink back, preserving everything, yet maintaining a complex tangle to ward of any challenges of the harsh climate above the soil. The cactus builds on this slowly, growing slowly at first. perhaps only an inch in years. Next time you see a tall standing cactus, look upon that structure with admiration. You are quite possibly looking at over 200 years of an intense struggle to survive.
So you want it to be easy? Go ahead and build upon a sandy foundation and see what happens. If things are seemingly really easy for you, then watch out. Trouble is coming. It is inevitable. Rather, seek for struggle. Push yourself now, while you have a choice, to experience some growth motivating obstacles. You, like the cactus plant, will grow slowly at first but you will adapt to the harsh conditions and become strong, intensely strong. That is a good feeling. And worth it.
So it is not going to be easy. Sorry. It is going to be freaking hard, and it needs to be. You probably should make it harder, push your limits. Stretch those roots out one more inch and learn to thrive despite the conditions of life. You are an amazing creature. You are the absolute pinnacle of the evolution of life, or the divine product of a magnificent creator. Either way, you are capable of achieving greatness beyond your wildest expectations. So go forth! Push into the wind! Head down the rough and rocky path! The road least traveled! It will be lonely for sure, but do not despair. There are many people, like me, right there with you. Whatever your struggle is, you will get through it and learn to enjoy an even greater struggle further down the road of your progress. Welcome to the real world!
Guy Reams (418)
95 Days Left to 1st Marathon