Life seems to be full of difficulty at times. Finding peace in struggle is a hard thing to do. I’ve been struggling with this lately.
Finding a way to balance family, work, health, and personal goals seems like a never ending practice in failure. Despite our best intentions, plans, and execution, the world finds a sneaky way to trip us up and leave us short of living up to our expectations.
Such has been my experience for a while. Achiever is in my top 5 strengths, so I naturally feel an urge to always get everything marked off my To Do List. But finding peace in struggle, until recently, has never been an item that needed to be marked off.
Finding peace in struggle is sometimes seen as the opposite of getting things done. Sitting still for me seemed like a missed opportunity to accomplish my goals. That is until my wife forced me to practice stillness.
Finding peace in struggle is the only way to regain control of the situation, nourish your soul, provide you the rest you need, and keep you mentally sharp as you try to defend your dreams for the world’s inevitable folly.
This is my short list of steps to find peace in struggle:
1. Take 5 – I have to credit my wife with this one. When I’m fighting the day too hard, she puts me in time out. She’s a mom and a certified counselor so she knows what she’s doing. It’s hard to sit still for 5 minutes. I have to actually focus on not doing anything. After 5 minutes, I’m oddly refreshed, focused, and seeing the world with a new perspective.
2. Get Some Sun – There is something therapeutic about the sun. I force myself to bask in it at least a few times a day. The pink wash the sun provides in the morning is better than any coffee kick. The bright warmth of the midday sun provides vitamin D and refreshes the soul. The evening orange on my skin has a calming and reassuring affect. As Matthew Mcconaughey once said “I’m solar powered.”
3. Set Your Standards Low – IBM became a global giant by giving their salespeople low daily quotas. Tim Ferriss’s writing goal is only two crappy pages a day. Stephen King only aims for 2,000 words a day (about 2 hours), These low standards also lower our natural resistance to achievement. Once you start, you often exceed your own expectations.
4. Focus on the Important – The important things are what moves the needle in our lives, not the urgent. For me, the important things fall into one of only four categories. These are Faith, Family, Fitness, and Finance, in that order. If I tend to these matters first, the rest seems to work itself out.
5. Be Present – It’s very easy to lose yourself in your to do list and busy schedule. But to find peace in struggle you must understand that what is happening right now, is the most important thing you can be doing in that exact moment. Clear your mind of everything else, you’ll get to it in due time. Trust me, work will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.
6. Trust in God – One of the largest themes of the Bible is to cast your worries to God. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:26.
Finding peace in struggle is an essential ability to keep you in control of your situation. It is a daily struggle, something that require intervention by my wife at times. But with out slowing down and harnessing the peace that comes in rest, you’ll quickly burn out.
What is happing in your life that require you to find peace in struggle?