Are you suffering from adversity in your life?
Well, be happy! That’s right, I just told you to be happy about your suffering.
Why on earth would I say such a thing???
Because, first comes suffering, then comes growth.
As Thomas Edison said, “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
When you experience adversity, it pushes you to become discontent with current circumstances. It forces you out of your ruts. It urges you to find a new solution possibly even a new way to live.
This creates growth and growth is the wellspring from which new success flows.
The Connection Between Suffering and Growth
Dave Ramsey, personal finance expert, often says on his radio show that, “You have to get sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
We all have the capacity to tolerate a certain amount of pain, mental anguish and discomfort – i.e. adversity.
Once our circumstances exceed this capacity, then and only then, will we make the choice to do something different. So, once you’ve had enough adversity in your life, once you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then you’ll change. You’ll take action and find a way to grow.
Scientists are discovering this to be true even in very extreme cases. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) researchers have discovered that severe trauma often leads to highly positive change in individuals. Some even claim that posttraumatic growth or PTG is far more common than PTSD.
Take the case of Elizabeth Smart, she was kidnapped, held captive and repeatedly raped. This is a level of adversity that few of us ever experience.
But now, after her rescue, she’s created her own non-profit foundation to prevent and stop predatory crimes especially those perpetrated against children.
Elizabeth Smart suffered, but out of her suffering came growth.
Why This Matters to You
My preacher used to say, “In life, you are either heading towards a storm, you are in a storm or you are just coming out of a storm.” I think what he meant was that adversity and difficulties in life are inevitable. We all face them.
You may be experiencing tough times in your finances, relationships, career, health or some other area of your life.
Have you had enough yet? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
If so, then you need to leverage your suffering and use it as motivation to create change in your life just like Elizabeth Smart did. If you can grow to help others, then great, but if not, at least help yourself.
You need a specific action plan to improve your life and grow out of your suffering and into a happier, more fulfilling, enjoyable place.
It won’t happen unless you decide to make it happen, but it is your choice to make.
Which is worse? Staying where you are and continuing to endure your current circumstances or taking action to change?
Change can be risky, but if your suffering is great enough, if it has exceeded your capacity to tolerate it, then you will choose to grow regardless of the risk.
If it hasn’t reached that level yet, you will continue wallowing in the discomfort until it does.
The pain and suffering after a trauma is tremendous. Hopefully, you’ll take action before your situation reaches the nuclear meltdown state.
Remember, first comes suffering, then comes growth.
At Least Be Encouraged
Okay, so you probably still aren’t happy about your suffering, but at least I hope you feel somewhat encouraged. I promise, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Your discontent is pushing you to change, to take control and to make something new happen in your life. Your present suffering is necessary to give you the lift you need to move on to the next higher level.
“What got you here, won’t get you there,” says Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author. Even if you’ve experienced success in the past, you need to create new habits to climb new mountains.
Don’t waste another minute in your suffering. Get started today moving toward growth.
Talk to someone about it. Read a book. Formulate a plan. Take a class. Do something!
Find hope to grab on to and don’t let go.
Remember, it is all up to you. Make the choice to stop your suffering today!