why do we struggle

What is the Essence of Struggling?

Why do we struggle? What is the essence of struggling? Are there no other ways to get through life without struggling? Must we even struggle? Why can’t we have it easy?

It is true that life is not always fair. And we are not all born with equal opportunities. Neither are we all born with silver spoons. Some were born without a spoon and they have to look for theirs.

Why do we have to struggle through life? And what is the essence?

Others look like they have it all in life without seeming to struggle while others are barely lucky to see the dawn of the morrow as they get by. Why?

Table of Content

The Essence of Struggle

Factors that Mitigate the Essence of Struggle

Struggle (is)


            Teaches Wisdom



            the Way to Freedom

            Makes Strong


So what really is the essence of fighting and battling through life?

Inasmuch as unnecessary struggle or results wears the soul out the essence of genuine struggle is to bring out the best in us.

Our struggle is not against life or vice versa but against the obstacles we face in life. And the obstacles, even though they seem to be hindrances, are stepping stones to greater heights if we overcome them. They are not meant to mar us but make us.

There are some factors that can make struggle look futile.

When effort is sabotaged or not given room to flourish, it cripples those who try. And unfortunately, the sabotage is mostly from within than without – the doubt of self and abilities, low self-esteem, worry, procrastination, not trying at all… And the worse is taking your struggle so personal and feeling like you were just born to suffer alone.

Environment and surrounding are external factors that can cause us to struggle too. A freshwater fish cannot thrive outside freshwater or on land. A creative person cannot thrive in an environment where his/her creativity is constantly unappreciated and watered down.

When we do not go with the flow and rhythm of life when change demands it, we tend to struggle.

Struggle is life

Struggle is the essence of life. We were born into this life to meet and confront a series of challenges until the day we pass. Else why should a woman have to struggle and labour to bear a blessing? Why should delivering a bundle of joy be so painful an act? So is life itself.

Life itself is a battle. You start dying the day you stop struggling to live, to eat, to chase your desires and put in effort into life.

We all have our struggles per time. What seems easy for one person is a struggle for another. And when some cannot take the struggle anymore they take their own life that was a result of ‘struggle.’

It teaches wisdom

Street smartness is borne from the struggles of everyday life. There are lessons and experiences of life that can never be taught or learnt in the classroom until you willingly submit to life’s tutoring.

Along the way, you will learn patience and other virtues. By choosing your struggles, you prioritize what is important and what to leave out.

The wisdom is in the application of the learnt knowledge gained from the struggles of life. And that wisdom and its advantage can be handed to your heir/ward to make life easier for them too.

At times, this is what makes some people look like they don’t struggle – because someone already paid the price for them.

Struggle is value

Ironically, when you don’t struggle for something or know how it was gotten you may not appreciate its true value. Because its true value or worth is hidden in struggling for it.

Read this story to understand the relationship of struggle and true value…

The boy and His Father’s Possessions

It’s a story about a boy who was from a wealthy home.

His father had built a large multimillion-dollar business empire from a humble beginning. And as his father approached retirement, he brought his son into his chamber and told him that he will be retiring soon. Which meant the son will be taking over from him.

The son was excited to take over his father’s multimillion-dollar empire and asked, “When am I starting?”

The father replied, “I am not giving you anything yet. You must earn it.”

And the son replied, “How am I supposed to do that?”

The father answered, “First, you must earn $10,000 to purchase a small portion of ownership in the company. After that, you will get your next instruction.”

As the son left the house to begin his quest, his mother who was listening to their conversation all the while gave him $10,000 and then told him to give the money to his father (Same trick Jacob and his mother played on Isaac in the Bible).

Thrilled by his good fortune, he ran back to his father. His dad was sitting by the fireplace reading a book.

The son approached his father and said, “Dad! Dad, here’s $10,000 you wanted me to earn for the partnership.”

Without even looking up, the father grabbed the $10,000 and tossed it in the fire.

The son stood frozen in amazement and watched it burn. As the money burned, the father said, “Come back when you have earned the money!”

As he left the father’s quarter, his mother once again handed him $10,000.

This time she instructed him to be more convincing in selling his father on the idea that he had actually worked for the money.

So the boy ruffled himself up a little, jogged around the estate a few times, and then went to meet his father again. His father was again still sitting in front of the fireplace reading a book.

The boy approached his father and said, “It sure is tough earning money. Here’s the $10,000. I really do want to own the business.”

And again the father took the $10,000, and without even looking up, tossed the money in the fireplace. As the money burned, the son asked, “How did you know I didn’t earn the money?”

The father replied, “It is easy to lose or spend money that is not your own.”

At this point, the son realized he wasn’t going to get the business unless he actually earned the $10,000. And he wanted the business. So when his mother offered him money again, he declined her offer.

He went away and laboured on some odd jobs to raise the amount. His jobs required him to get up early and stay up late. But he worked and worked until he finally earned $10,000.

Proudly, he walked back into his father abode after a long while from being away and presented him with the money. And like before, his father was sitting by the fire reading a book. Again the father took the money and threw it in the fire.

As the money hit the flames, the son dove toward the fireplace and risked burning his hands in the fire but saved most of the $10,000.

The father looked his son in the eyes and said, “I see you really did earn the money this time. You have started the journey.”

And this is how struggle and value correlate…

But also, understand that there is a difference between aiding someone who understands value and spoiling someone who doesn’t know worth.

Without the capacity to manage wealth, it will be squandered. And that is why a child/heir who is underage/immature to take responsibility is no different from a slave; even though he owns everything the father has.

Struggle is responsibility

Now, imagine that this young man who we read his story above has a sister who is also mama’s pet baby. She doesn’t cook or clean after herself because she has a maid in the house.

She didn’t learn how to wash her own clothes, cook, or do anything. Because the maid is meant to do everything for everyone because she is paid to.

Let’s imagine that all other conditions are right for her efforts – that she is not underpaid, maltreated, overworked or treated as a second-class citizen in the house.

Do you know what will happen over time while she has put in effort into serving the wealthy family with a mummy’s boy and an over-pampered daughter? She is being prepared for life in so many ways that the children of this wealthy family probably have no idea about.

If she and the petted daughter were to get married the same day under the same conditions guess whose marriage will thrive…

The maid will know how to take care of her family because she has taken care of one before settling down to make hers – she knows which market to go to for best bargains, she knows how to welcome guests and make them feel comfortable, she sleeps late but still rises early… Because she ‘struggled and suffered’ so it’s nothing new to her.

Struggling isn’t always suffering. Most times it prepares you for greater responsibilities. And these struggles are mostly things that people run or shy away from. Struggles push us beyond our comfort zone to heights that we ordinarily wouldn’t attain or get to until life serves us ‘the dish’ and forces it down our throats.

We become grateful later in life that we did ‘suffer’

Struggle is the way to freedom

We have fought for and still fight for freedom every day. Freedom is a struggle. We labour and struggle to become financially free.

We fight for our rights and freedom and we have fought and struggled against slavery, racism, and apartheid. And to make life and living better the struggle must continue. Because it is the process of the story of success.

It makes strong

When you are under the weight of life it is most times almost impossible to see how it is building you up. It is a painful process most times but that is the way to true and lasting growth.

Struggling with the weights in the gym and going home in pains but still come back the next day and still lift them is how you build your muscles. Truly, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger truly. And this allows for growth.

Struggle is growth

In your struggle is the seed for greatness and the answer to your prayer. Growth and expansion is a painful process… Why should a seed die to germinate? And why must a caterpillar die to become a butterfly?

But something happens when genuine and natural struggle is interfered with…

The Boy and the Potential Butterfly

Once a little boy was playing outside and found a caterpillar in the lawn. In fascination, he carefully picked it up and took it home to show it to his mother.

He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants in it for the caterpillar to eat, and a stick to climb on in the jar.

And every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon.

The mother explained to her boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. Then one day it happened. A small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first, the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free for so long as it looked desperate! Looking like it was making no progress in its struggle!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then went back. He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the ‘butterfly’ quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings.

He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He thought that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings.

It was never able to fly afterwards

And as the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a biology teacher in a college around. There, he learned that the butterfly was supposed to struggle in order to grow out normally from the caterpillar.

In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

Similarly in life, career, business, and organization, when you struggle and consistently put in all the effort you can, when you battle and fight, when you labour, you surely become a winner when you overcome obstacles. This is the essence of struggle…

Your metamorphosis and the good life you desire is in the struggle you encounter today…

The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up

Robert Tew

Would you or would you not suspect something fishy if you were just called up and given the heavyweight championship belt and title without a fight? Is that not too easy?

Like a pugilist, any time the struggles and resistance of life try to bring you down get back up and fight on to the finish!

We all have different struggles in life. You might be struggling with finances while someone else is depression.

Choose, accept, and embrace yours. See it as a means of building value, growth,
gaining strength, wisdom, freedom and your struggle/labour will not be in vain. It is a process, not a destination.

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