The various forms of media are rife with messages such as “You must struggle for success”, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, “Strive to survive”, “You gotta grind to get there” — and other forms of the same sentiment. In some ways this concept helps people cope by reframing stressors as stepping stones. Yet as a spectator of life for several decades, I find this perspective lacks longterm merit.
There are other interpretations of life that provide a more enjoyable longterm outlook. The philosophies of hard-core competitive people tend to be readily available due to their insistent nature whereas laid-back folks tend not to be so outspoken. Luckily for me I met a laid-back person and learned her ways after years of observation. The core of her outlook is this: life doesn’t have to be hard and life readily provides whatever’s needed.
And from what I’ve experienced, life really does get easier by adopting unmitigated optimism. Whether things magically work-out or it’s pure perspective doesn’t really matter. Even if my surroundings don’t physically change, a hopeful attitude is much more enjoyable than the gloom-and-doom attitude I had for the first part of life. Did my struggle with life make me into the person I am today? To that I say: what struggle?
Struggle implies that it’s me against life. Yet life has been in charge from day one. I don’t take my next breath without life allowing it. I have no goals but those inspired by life — life provides both the desire and the drive. I need only show up and life does the rest. There are no difficulties but those I define, no adversity except that which I imagine. There was nothing to overcome but my own pessimism.
What I learned is that life doesn’t have to be hard, I can just as easily choose to live a lighthearted life.