There is an old Russian folk tale about a young man who was, what we in the west would have called, a "ninety-pound weakling." He was picked on, roughed up, and generally treated badly by the people of his village. They knew that he was both too scared to retaliate and not a physical threat to them if he did lose his temper.
His father advised him to seek a job in the local ironworks, telling him that the heavy labor would make him stronger and tougher. So, that is exactly what the young man did. At first, the young man began to gain muscle, but before long he stopped growing again.
He liked being bigger. People didn't pick on him as much but he was still not satisfied. So he asked his foreman, a huge man, for advice. The foreman told him that in order to force himself to grow, he should lift a smoothing bar, a long heavy piece of steel, every day. Again the young man listened and, though it was painful, he struggled to lift the heavy bar a few more times each day till he was doing one hundred reps at a time.
Before long he was one of the strongest men in the area but still wasn't satisfied so he kept lifting the same bar every day. After a while, he quit growing again and was mystified. He was still working hard and still lifting the smoothing bar but he had quit growing.
The young man soon returned to his village and questioned his father about why he would grow and then quit, grow and then stop.
His father patiently explained. You are our only son and we made life easy for you. You never wanted for anything. Remember how difficult your work was when you started at the ironworks, you had to struggle to make it through the day but you grew. Remember lifting the smoothing bar the first time, how heavy it seemed. Then it became easier as you grew until it was no strain, and then you quit growing again.
That is the secret to growth. Whether it is personal, financial, physical, or spiritual, it is the striving, the struggling, and the reaching for more that fosters growth within us.
Success has never been born from comfort. Complacency has never given rise to greatness. It is only through the willingness to step outside our comfort zones, to forget what we think our limits are, and to reach for more than we think we can achieve that releases the greatness that is inside all of us. So, love your struggle! It's an indicator of progress.
My challenge for you this week
Embrace your struggle toward obtaining your goals.
List the personal, financial, physical, or spiritual things you are struggling to achieve.
For the next week, focus on one item from the above list. Every day focus on this item. Grow your knowledge about this item. For example, you can read materials, watch videos, and talk with competent people about it.
Begin to embrace the mindset of having "already" achieved those things. Consequently, speak and act out such a lifestyle to attract more positive thoughts that motivate you to work harder so that you can achieve more of the people and resources you desire.
Track your daily progress by keeping a journal. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions taken to advance your goal.
Are you struggling your way to success? I hope you are! You'll find that when you accept this week's challenge, you will experience growth and achievement as a result!