I knew a guy. He had a list of things he wanted to collect that he felt were the trappings of the good life. It included types of clothing, the type of home and home décor. It included coveted collectibles, prestige automobiles, and tickets to just the right events and holidays.
He worked very hard and by 40 he had achieved all of those things. His life looked like the star of a romance novel. But as soon as it looked perfect like that, his ego had nothing to do. It was no longer pulling his soul into situations where it could grow.
Questions swirled through his head regarding the point of his life. His ego drove him a bit crazy. He had made it. He could coast. No more peddling was needed. And for the first time ever, I saw him get depressed and angry. He had no purpose.
Then, changes to the world meant his income source was drastically cut and he was forced to take action to save himself by starting a whole new company that did an entirely different thing. And as frustrating, and lengthy as that process was, it kept him engaged and fairly happy for over a decade. That struggle likely saved his marriage because it got that wife her husband back.
Struggles occur as our ego chases its dreams in order to create our lives. And if we play this game well enough, we can win enough to make the entire arrangement feel like a machine that runs on struggle, but that generates rewards in return. But for that to happen, we want an endless supply of meaningful struggles, which is why we are often better in service to others than ourselves.
So today, look at your struggles, and ask what they add to your life. Seriously. It’s shocking how easy it gets to do with practice. And through just doing that, many lives could be improved a great deal. Including yours.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.