Struggle determines success

On Sundays mornings I wake up pretty early, make myself some coffee and read through all of the interesting articles I came across during the week (usually from Twitter).

Last weekend I came across an article, You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question

I was struck by several passages in the article:

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

When I was younger I wanted to be many things, a Physicist, an Archtect, an Engineer, a Professor ... but none of those things ever got any closer. I'd be really engaged in the ideas of one of these for weeks or months at a time.

I remember being so enamoured with the idea of Civil Engineering I convinced my parents to get me a drafting board that I had in my room and I used to 'design' a prototype of a Martian Habitat.

But, as soon as I got bored I would move onto something else. From Physics to Archtecture to Engineering and back to Physics. I would always stop when it either got too hard OR something else looked more interesting.

I was always awed by my peers that could stay laser focused on a single hobby or dream job and was amazed at the amount of sacrifice they would be willing to make in order to achieve their goals.

It wasn't until I got to college when I started to see what I needed to sacrifice in order to get ahead.

Parties on the weekend. Not for me ... I had a full time job and was a full time student. I would hang with friends when I could, but I was mostly at the library studying, or at work studying or maybe getting a little bit of sleep.

I suddenly became laser focused like the people I knew in high school. I had a single goal and that was to graduate and go onto graduate school so I could get a PhD in economics.

The PhD didn't happen, and in the following years I felt like I did in high school ... becoming very interested in a 'thing' and then moving on from it because I'd get bored.

Then I stumbled into the Healthcare Industry and it all came back. An ability to be laser focused on new and interesting things. Wanting (maybe needing) to learn everything I could about Healthcare.

It's been more than 8 years since I started on my journey, and I've struggled every time I've started to learn a new aspect of the industry, or just an aspect of a new job that I had started.

And that's when the final passage in the article really hit me like a ton of bricks:

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

It truly is the struggle that determines the success. I've struggled mightily while working in healthcare, but those struggles have lead to the most fulfilling and successful career I could have hoped for.