FOR THE LOVE OF RELATIONSHIPS – Asking the right question

If asked, “What do you want out of life?” most people would say health, happiness, a great job, family, friends, a nice house in a vibrant community, and success. These answers are common. A more interesting thought-provoking question is, “For what are you willing to struggle?” 

Of course, everyone wants an amazing job, and financial independence, but not everyone is willing to struggle through 60-hour work weeks, weekend obligations in the office, long commutes, piles of paperwork, or working with people who are mediocre at best. Individuals want financial security and the rewards that come with hard, work, preparation, education, training, sacrifice and delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth. 

The next level of wealth accumulation could be the desire to start a business. One does not become a successful entrepreneur without tremendous risk, sacrifice, uncertainty, insane hours, and repeated failures with no guarantee of success.

Most want an awesome relationship, but not everyone is willing to go the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings, the swallowing of their pride, the give and take, the forgiveness and grace and the emotional dramas that vibrant and healthy relationships require.  

Most want to be fit, strong and healthy, but no one becomes fit, strong, and healthy without the discipline of hitting the gym, tolerating the sweat and soreness and early morning workouts. Not many are willing to intentionally calibrate the food they eat and deny themselves the pleasures of sugar laden-high caloric foods.

Some might want to be a famous musician or sports superstar. This does not happen without years of lessons, coaching and practice. Thinking of screaming fans is great, but all this is a fantasy if one is not willing to put up with the drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a gig and rehearsals, hauling speakers and equipment, not getting paid, and… and… and.

At the core of our common humanity, our needs are more alike than different. Positive experiences are easy to handle. It is our negative experiences and obstacles that require struggle, grit, resolve, and tenacity. What we experience out of life is not determined by the good we desire, but by what we are willing to sustain and work toward to get over the difficulties and intense feelings to overcome the negative. This is the process required to get to the reward of what we desperately want. 

What determines success isn’t, “What do you want to enjoy?” but rather, “What pain or struggle are you willing to endure?”

Many are in love with the results of the great job, financial security, a robust relationship, fitness, and health, being a musical rockstar or sports super star, but are not dedicated to the process of what it takes to get there. 

The question remains, “For what are you willing to struggle?” Answering this question reveals the cry of our heart. Once we know what we really want and go after it with reckless abandon, knowing that this will require blood, sweat and tears, there will be a sweet reward for a struggle worth pursuing. joneen@myrelationshipcenter.org