Are we struggling to reach our goals and dreams? If so we are in a great place. It's a great place because reaching a new level of greatness will only come from going through the struggle with a focused mind set that's greater than the challenge that's before us. A great writer said, "Great strength is gained from great struggles." It is not the struggles that make us successful but it's making it through the struggles successfully that helps develop the skills which prepares us for the new level of success.
3 Points of Struggles
1. Foundational Purpose – In the mist of our struggles it is important to be certain about the reasons "why" we are on our journey. Our "why's" should be big enough to draw us through any struggles we may face. (This foundational purpose should ultimately come from our Creator. He created us for a specific reason. Finding that reason is key to overcoming our struggles.) Other purposes can come from our children, careers, spouses and so on. Anyone or anything that adds value to our lives could give us reasons to get up and do something. All of our purposes, be they big or small, should reflect our foundational purpose. Find your foundational purpose - this should be very specific and concise not a general statement or thought. (Ex. Not - "I want to help people." But something like this - "I enjoy helping others have hope and a future by living their lives with a clear purpose. So, each day I strive to learn how to be more purposeful, to live each day with greater purpose and teach others how to live purposefully lives.") Your foundational purpose should be something that drives you from within. It's the reason you were born. Once established commit to it and stick to seeing it through till the end. A-line all of your goals and dreams to reflect your foundational purpose. Review it often especially during the struggling times of life. Put reminders up (apps, pictures, quotes, books, etc.) to help you focus on your reasons "why" you must never give up.
2. Understand – When positioned correctly, our struggles could have a lot of significance in developing our future successes. A great saying says, “In all the things we aspire to get, we should first go after understanding”. In other words, even in the mist of our struggles we should go after gaining a better understanding first before we seek to get out of it. There are opportunities to learn and understand things differently in every struggle. In the game of football, a team looks forward to their struggles (opponents). A team could spends hours studying how to overcome their struggle. Once they gain an understanding of what they are up against and come up with the plan to overcome they race to the field to defeat the opponent instead of running away with avoidance.
Seek to better understand your struggles, by studying the reasons"why" they might be in your life. Develop your game plan as to how you want to overcome. Your struggles will not go away by avoiding them. They will only get smaller by confronting them with a clear understanding.
3. Time-out - The constant hitting of struggles, can be overwhelming. So much so that taking a break doesn't seem possible. But to survive through your struggles you must come up for air. Steven Covey worded it like this about breaks in the mist of the daily grind, "Take time to sharpen the saw, it will save you time and energy in the long run."
If not physically, take some time to remove yourself mentally during struggles. It could mean walking through the neighborhood when its quiet or sitting at home in a quiet place for a minute to clear your head and think about something different. When I'm in a struggle it helps me to read encouraging things to keep me focused on the positive outcome I desire over the negativity I see around me. Take time out to sharpen the inner you to overcome your struggles.
Summary - In the mist of struggles assess your foundational purpose, seek to understand the reasons "why" and take a daily time-out to refocus your thoughts. Stay focused and you can be an over comer of any struggle you face!
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