In today’s article we are focusing on struggle, why we struggle, and why it’s essential for success. This is nobody’s favourite topic I’m guessing.

In fact we may even struggle with the word struggle.

Struggle isn’t a word that really elicits enthusiasm. 

It’s no surprise that as soon as we think of the idea of struggle, we run the other way. Because we are naturally inclined towards ease and comfort. 

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So struggle is something that you have to go against yourself for.

It’s a process. 

Yes, it’s something you experience, but it’s not something that happens to you. It’s a process.

One of the biggest challenges that people have is the struggle in relationships.

One of the most important areas to focus on is relationships.

For instance, your relationship with yourself. If you mess that one up, life becomes very difficult.

Then there’s your relationship with others and your relationship with Allah ( swt) . 

Everything’s important.

Now, people don’t just struggle in relationships.

I reference relationships in this article, but what I also want to focus on is the struggle to take action, to realise your dreams, the struggle for the most important things in your life. 

We always come back to how we manage our mind and how we manage our life. 

By extension, that helps us to manage our relationships, our projects, our achievements, our business, our career.

It helps us to manage everything.

You see, when the mind is clouded with distracting thoughts, it can be challenging to focus on what doesn’t feel good.

Because you want to feel good.So you run from what doesn’t feel good.

Struggling is common. It’s one of those common things that we all face. Every human being has to experience it as a normal part of life.

But the reasons we struggle is that we tell ourselves it’s abnormal, and we don’t like it.

But it’s a part of the journey.

Look at the greatest people, the most amazing achievements in history,  and during our lifetimes. Look at the greatest achievements that we witnessed. 

They’re all full of struggles. 

Take the hero and underdog story for example.

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The Story of the Underdog 

Everyone loves the underdog.

Because the underdog goes through the struggle and comes out on top. Everyone loves that because we all relate to that.

Because we all go through struggles. 

We love to see the other side of struggle which is success, achievement, successful relationships, love, mercy, compassion, all of those things come into it. 

So, why is it that we resist struggle? 

And let’s be honest. You probably achieved some good in your life without major discomfort. 

But look at any of the greatest blessings you have. Pick any of the huge blessings in your life that you’ve had. 

Think about what you experienced in attaining that blessing.

The process that you went through before you achieved that, before you attained it, before you felt it.

What happened? 

There is no doubt that you experienced some struggle, and some discomfort as you went through it. 

That’s what this really is. 

The struggle is discomfort, it’s having to strive hard and really exert effort to create some new, new growth, or some new leverage that you wouldn’t otherwise have. 

It’s a tiny bit of growth every day. Even though you can’t notice the growth or the changes. 

I know you really don’t want to struggle.No one does.

So what is struggle and why is it the key to success in life? 

What an odd thing.

That’s a really important question that you might already be thinking about. 

And if you’re not thinking about it, here you go. It’s something really important to think about. And maybe it’s better to just see it for what it really is. 

Struggle is just a process of change. 

The struggle is just having to go through and get used to changes. The quicker we get used to those changes, the less discomfort we feel. 

But in order to go through those changes, there’s no doubt that you need to put in some effort. 

Sometimes you need to put in an exponential effort and you need to invest your mind.

You need to invest your time, strength, and energy, you need to invest your wealth. Basically, you need to invest yourself in that struggle.

When you do that, you see incredible things happen. 

Some true blessings come out of that struggle. And the more effort you put in right at the beginning, the better that start is for you.

Have you ever started something where you really didn’t put much effort in right from the beginning, and you’re going through it with others, and you’re seeing that others are just excelling?

They’re excelling ahead of you, very quickly. Because they’re putting in the effort. They’re exerting effort.

They’re putting effort into the struggle. That’s all it is.

Struggle is just effort. After a while, you realise that they’re way ahead of you, and you get demotivated and you drop off, or you stop. 

That happens with most projects where we start off, and then it wanes, the energy just disappears.

I know that feeling. I’ve done it plenty. I also know that with my clients.

Generally, that’s the case. But I only realised that after I experienced it.

It’s so common.  

Launch and Skyrocket Yourself

With effort and struggle, putting in that exponential effort right at the beginning determines how well it goes.

Whatever you’re trying to achieve, whatever process you’re going through, it almost determines the outcome. And it determines how easy it gets later on. 

It’s a bit like a rocket. To get the rocket off the ground, there’s a huge amount of fuel used right at the beginning just to get it off the ground. 

Once it’s off the ground and in the air, it requires less fuel.

Because once it’s in motion,it requires less fuel to keep it going, less energy to stay in motion.

Getting things done in life is exactly the same.

Once your project is in motion, once you’ve started doing what you’re supposed to, and you’ve really pushed yourself to a good start, you gain momentum.

You just keep going. Then you come to a place where you just maintain the growth.

That’s all you have to do.

Then when you want to grow exponentially again, you just exert some effort. And you’re going faster, achieving things quicker, and it will happen in a way that you don’t even see it coming.

But you just don’t see it happening. 

I used to get really frustrated when I couldn’t see the results instantly.

I’d be working really hard, and I’d get frustrated. 

And that voice would come to me, telling me that I’ve done nothing, and it’s useless and it’s a big fat failure.  I might as well give up now. What’s the point? There’s no point to this.

Those nagging thoughts come to you. They’re in the back of your mind. 

When I had that experience, I would stop, and sabotage myself.

The Process is the Point

When I stopped paying attention to those thoughts, and I stopped looking for growth, I stopped analysing every single growth and outcome every day, then things changed.

Instead, I started focusing on the process.

Focusing on what I could be doing now, what I could be doing daily, focusing on the process, as opposed to the outcome and the results.

And guess what? Before long, you see massive growth.

It’s like a seed you plant and you water daily, then all of a sudden, you see something tiny appear in the ground. 

It’s not big. It doesn’t even look like it’s worth anything. But you just continue to water it with your effort, your patience, and your persistence.

Just continue every day. You won’t see much at first. And if you do what I did, which is to constantly measure growth, it won’t look like much and it will demotivate you.

But if you ignore that, you won’t feel the frustration. Come back to it six months later and you will see massive growth. 

Six months will fly by. It’s 27 weeks, it’s no time.

And all of a sudden you’re seeing growth, you’re seeing something beginning to show its beauty.

Give it a year. And it will be something beautiful to look at.

That’s how it works. Anything worth having is like this.

A relationship, a business, a project, writing a book, creating anything in the world, developing yourself, developing your mind.

You’ll be inclined to self-sabotage when you analyse the outcome. After a week or a month or three months, you’re looking for results already. 

And when you don’t see massive results you self-sabotage because you tell yourself that it’s not happening.

The resistance kicks in and you make lots of excuses to yourself.

That’s how the mind works. It’s not like you’re doing it on purpose. And maybe it’s  Waswas.

But whatever it is, it makes no difference. It’s not real. 

What’s real is that you’re doing the action. So throw yourself in and put in the extra effort right at the beginning. Then continue that effort. 

Maintain it, ignore the resistance, and launch yourself deep into it.

You’ll see exponential effort and energy and time and money. 

Whatever else it needs that you put in, it will create exponential results. 

But you have to go through the process. 

That process is called struggle. It’s like running up a hill. But it’s actually not a hill. 

There are lots of places where you can stop and rest and rejuvenate and build up your energy. There are lots of plateaus where you can just walk.

There are lots of downhills. But you don’t want the downhills, as easy as they seem, because they’ll take you right back to the bottom. 

They don’t take you to the top. They don’t take you to achievement, or great results, or beautiful relationships. They don’t take you to amazing lives and businesses.

They take you to the bottom of the hill where you have to start again. 

So don’t take the easy route. The easy route is not the way. 

Struggle is not even real. We call it struggle and we scare ourselves. 

All it really is is effort and continuation. Persistence going through it. That’s how it works.

Anything worth having is like this.

Throw yourself deep into it and you’ll see exponential results. 

If you don’t do that, you’ll kick yourself afterward. 

Tick Tock

Time will pass anyway. Time passes regardless of our actions. 

Six months, even a year is not long. It will pass quickly.

And you will really kick yourself, and suffer from the 

How-does-everyone-else-do-it syndrome? 

Have you ever said that to yourself? How does everyone else do it? 

Why does it not go right for me? 

We’ve all been there, in all honesty.

How come everyone else got it? What manual did they get that I didn’t get?

It’s the manual of effort and continuation. That’s all it is. 

There’s no manual. It’s a simple rule. Just put in the effort and take the steps. That’s all. 

A time period will go by and you’ll forget that you read this article, you’ll forget this stuff. 

Distractions will come along to sidetrack you. 

And you’ll be wondering what happened.

I felt motivated but it’s all gone. 

That always happens. If you get sidetracked with any challenge in your life, that’s a part of life. 

But you’ve got to stay on the road. You’ve got to keep going. 

Keep creating, keep putting in the effort, exerting the effort, and taking chances. 

There’s no loss. You can only create results if you keep going on this road. You will get to the top. 

There’s no other way because you’re going in one direction. 

The direction of struggle and of persistence, the direction of the process. That’s what it’s about. 

So you don’t want to kick yourself. And because you signed up to my email list, I’ll just send you a reminder. 

You’ll think,I did it to myself and this always happens.I always do this. 

And go into a negative lull. But you can avoid all of that. 

Join the Fun 

Stay in the game. I’m not saying you can’t change and adapt to the process. But you have to stay in the game if you want to win the game. 

You can’t win any trophies if you don’t stay in the game. That’s how it works. Get in the game folks. 

I hear this a lot from people. How do I do this? Why can’t I seem to get things done? Why does this always happen to me? 

The answer is simple. Embrace the struggle. It’s your best friend. It’s the way to go. 

Remember the statement of Allah (swt) where He says,‘Certainly, with hardship, there is ease. 

Hardship and ease come together. 

Get that, it’s only with hardship that ease will come. 

Ease does not come by itself. How would you even recognise ease if you hadn’t gone through some hardship? 

How would you even recognise the success if you hadn’t gone through the struggle? 

How would you realise the fruits of your work if you didn’t put in any effort? That’s what it’s all about. You can do this. 

It’s absolutely your choice. It’s within your power. 

Allah (swt)  has given us that power. He has given you the power.

Are you ready to exert the effort? 

If you’re ready to exert the effort, then this is what you need to do. 

This is how you manage your mind, your life, and your business. 

Because your mind manages all of it, and you’re the one that manages your mind. 

Are you ready for the change? You decide. The choice is yours. 

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About the Author: Abdul Shahid – Master Coach Trainer & Therapist of Professional Life Coaches, pioneering The Science of the Nafs Psychology model for healing, transformation and peak performance. Specialist in Mind health, wealth and mastery using this Quran and sunnah based Spiritual Psychology.