The Idolization of Struggle

You can do it… But it will be hard. You can achieve it… But it will be difficult.

And so that’s what we crave. The deep, hurtful, strenuous struggle that must come before success. Because if our story doesn’t make you cry or gasp or angry at some form of injustice, it cannot be praised. If our story isn’t dramatic or outrageous it isn’t worth your while. If our story doesn’t make you feel for our lost, or our pain, or our hardship, then it is worthless, useless.

Success used to be merely the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. A simple, straightforward definition. So when did we start aiming at failure to justify our success? When did we start seeing the accomplishment of a goal without struggle as something undeserving of the title successful? When did we start requesting so much drama in other people’s lives for the sake of our own inspirations and aspirations? We admire difficulties. We applaud and respect stories that overcome impossible challenges… but forget to recognize “ordinary” success stories.

There is obviously no wrong in encouraging determination and persistence and patience. And of course we can all be inspired by rocambolesque stories of achievements. But let’s not diminish goals that are reached somewhat easily. Let’s not overlook the invisible battles; the internal mental and emotional conflicts; or simply the guilt that can emerge from attaining something more easily than others.

How about: You can do it… But it might be hard. You can achieve it… But it might be difficult…?

Otherwise, shame of success happens.