The Temptation to Struggle

From Linda Seger’s book, Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success

 Chapter 3: Willing to Be Blessed – The Temptation to Struggle

In First World developed countries, many believe we achieve success through hard work and through the hard climb to the top. We learn that “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well!” And doing something well takes time and energy and work. We have heard the saying, “You can do it fast or do it well,” and we believe doing it well means a long time of struggle. We presume we’ll encounter difficulties and obstacles along the path to success.

So we prepare ourselves for the obstacles, and clench our teeth and gird up our loins and go, once more, into the breach. We believe success only comes as a result of scratches and bruises and falling down and getting up again.

We also tend to believe that if we work hard enough and long enough, the blessings of prosperity and a fair amount of wealth and respect will naturally follow-provided, of course, we’re willing to make the big effort. We tell ourselves, “I’m such a good person, I deserve success!” And we are shocked if things don’t go our way.

In the West, where I live, we’re told to “cowboy up” –  when you fall off the horse, you cowboy up and climb back on again. And we expect to “cowboy up” again and again and again.

Our temptation to struggle may actually be a hidden desire to prove our determination and self-worth. We believe: The harder the struggle, the better the result. If we show our struggle to the  world, the world can easily believe our task is, indeed, difficult, and our work is, indeed, important. The world admires our great perseverance and tremendous commitment to the goal. We become known as the one who never gives up, even when everyone else seems to have fallen by the wayside. When taken to the extreme, there can be an addiction to suffering, and a belief that success only comes from great struggle. Deep down, some of us, in a very subtle way, make take pride in our struggles and difficulties, and in the amount of time it takes to do well. There are some hidden pay-offs.

It is possible, for some, there’s an obstacle to success that lies with our temptation to struggle, rather than our willingness to be blessed.

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