“Every struggle is like mud — there are always some lotus seeds waiting to sprout.”
― Amit Ray
I am writing these words to you, who are struggling. I am writing these words to let you know that this is the moment when you want your dream to come true, but it doesn’t.
You gave it your best shot, but it didn’t happen.
And this dream of yours, it could be anything. Writing a book, starting a business, landing a new job, losing a few extra pounds, or finding your soulmate.
It’s what you want to be doing, what you know you should be doing, but you’re struggling. You want to throw in the towel.
Because it’s not working out. It’s all setbacks and restlessness and this pitch darkness when you think about the future. It’s no visible progress. It’s fear and anger and bitterness and envy, all mixed up together, all demons afraid of each other.
Maybe that’s not your thing, after all? Or are you paying your dues?
Are you wasting your time or are you on the way to success?
Persist and Resist
“Two words,” said the stoic philosopher Epictetus a long time ago, “should be committed to memory and obeyed by alternatively exhorting and restraining ourselves, words that will ensure we lead a mainly blameless and untroubled life.”
Those two words were persist and resist.
Persist in whatever set of actions are necessary to make your dream come true, and resist the urge to give in, give up, or blame someone else.
You must keep on keeping on, no matter how you feel inside. Even if your inner world is crumbling down. Even if you feel that you live inside a house that is burning down.
You Are Not Your Dream
Your dream isn’t you.
The Rock dreamed of being a football player and he was crushed when his growing list of injuries forced him to give up on his dreams.
Can you imagine it? Letting go of a life-long dream that you not only wanted but worked hard to get, broke your body to get.
And then, just like that, it’s gone.
Now, look at what he’s accomplished, what he’s become.
Your dream isn’t you. Your dream is your dream. If you fail at it, it doesn’t mean you’ll fail in life.
And if you fail, so what? Try again. Fail again. Get better.
Do this over and over again until you succeed.
Struggle is, indeed, a lot like mud. Nothing good could ever come out of it. It just hurts. For a long time, the pain we feel is just that, pain. It does not teach us anything, it does not motivate us, it does not make us stronger.
It just makes us wish we were dead.
It just makes us wish we’d just give up and let our dream die a slow death as we keep wondering how our lives would have been different if only we’d kept going.
And, believe me, it’s far better to ask “so what?” after a failure than to contemplate over the words “if only” for the rest of your life.
I’ve always succeeded when I’ve persisted, when I’ve resisted the urge to give up.
Even when I hated it.
Do you know how many times I almost gave up on my blog?
But, whether I wanted to quit, whether I felt it did no matter, the more I persisted, the more I succeeded.
Every single time, without fail.
The more I did it, the more failures I overcame. The more I learned, the better I became.
As long as you keep going, you will succeed eventually.
Maybe you won’t succeed in the exact way you imagine success, but you will succeed.
Persist and resist.
That’s how the lotus seeds in the mud sprout.