I love struggle...
At least I keep telling myself that.
The young, wide-eyed goofball above is me 10 years ago.
My saint of a mom's from Italy. Born there. Moved to Canada when she was seven on a two week trip by boat from Italy.
Her mom, my saint of a nonna, took her then 4 kids, one of which was under a year old, across the Atlantic, then across Canada, to the west coast.
It was a struggle. A good one.
In the pic above I'm around 27.
I'd always talked about Italy, how I was going to go, how much I wanted to go, and so on.
Finally, a pal called me on it. He bet me that I wouldn't go. It was September. We made a bet that by December I wouldn't book a flight.
Come December, I couldn't afford to book a flight. So I did it anyway just to win the bet.
I booked a 3 month trip. By the time I was ready to leave I had enough money to rent an Arbnb for 3 weeks.
After that, I'd run out of loot and likely have to join the mafia to make ends meet.
Seemed cool either way.
But I had a plan.
I'd just finished the first draft of the Man Diet. I was going to publish it digitally, and that would give me enough to last the 3 months.
Don't get me wrong, I was stressed, even worried, but I made a bet. I gave my word. So I was gone.
I got to enjoy Italy, while working me arse off trying to have enough to survive.
I'd write while sitting in front of the Pantheon, sipping a cappuccino. I'd get inspired by the Colosseum, reading the plaques of men who'd left their mark on the planet for two thousand years and still going.
The Man Diet, which took years to compile research, and much less time to write, became a moderate success, and I came home from Italy more financially secure than when I left.
I remember the feeling of having nothing and having to figure out how to create something valuable enough that people would benefit from it.
I remember every struggle I've faced, many far worse than being in Italy with a negative balance in my account.
And every one of them I look back on with fondness, even the darkest moments that seemed hopeless.
So I apply that to current and future struggles.
I add the knowledge that beyond the struggle I'll at least be able to extract some lessons from it.
It seems to be the best way to operate because struggle is inevitable.
Life. Is. Struggle.
There's no way around it. So we may as well lean into it, fight against it, not worry or be afraid of negative outcomes, but fight like heck to ensure the positive outcomes are what's created.
And the more struggle you adopt in the form of work, training, and discipline, the less struggle you have put on you in the form of poor health, poverty, and a lack of direction.
So, love struggle.
Lean into it.
Thank God for it because it's our struggles that teach us and enable us to become something better.