How to enjoy the journey during difficult times?

As you navigate within your quest for success, such as experiences within business, finances, marriage, parenthood, anything at all, you will stumble in some way or another. However, as I’m sure you could have guessed, stumbling is a necessity as you walk towards success. The wish of many is to not have to deal with the ups and downs- who wants to deal with that hassle? But the truth is, as mentioned earlier, “Things don’t just happen to you, they happen for you.” As I have reflected on certain events in my life, I make important connections in order to better understand. ‘A’ happened because I needed to get to ‘B’, and then ‘E’ happened to make me realize that I already had ‘C’ and ‘D’. I am constantly being reflective in this sense. It’s a gift to have the insight to understand difficulties as positives, but still- who wants to go through all that?

Early on in my personal development journey, I kept hearing the phrase, “Enjoy the journey.” What kind of saying is that, I thought. I was only prepared to see the joy within successes and not setbacks. However, as I grew deeper and began to transform my thinking, this phrase grew to instead present insight and depth. “Enjoy the journey,” started to take on a whole new meaning and it revealed itself to me. I began to realize that enjoying the journey is noticing the growth and learned lessons. I started to understand just how special it is to watch myself grow into who I desired to be. This phrase is a simple reminder to not focus on the setbacks but to instead realize the lessons and positive results that came from difficult situations. Instead of being negative, we can choose to see setbacks as learning opportunities.

It’s a beautiful point of growth to notice that something that once heavily bothered you no longer does, or that you don’t handle situations in a negative way anymore. As a result of growth, new opportunities arise. Think about the kid who has been overweight for years, but then chooses to start working out every day. He endures pain, fatigue, and setbacks as he challenges himself to get into better shape. He grows stronger, healthier, and happier, and then new opportunities arise. Maybe he built up the confidence to ask a long-time crush on a date, try out for a school sports team, or just engage in new experiences that he otherwise would have never made himself try. Think about the caterpillar. Who the heck wants to stay wrapped up in a cocoon for that long? It sounds uncomfortable, painful, and tight as they turn into goo and then reform. But, after all of the isolation and transformation, the caterpillar gets to experience life in a new way, off the ground, and in beautiful color. In both examples, it seems difficult to enjoy the journey as it’s taking place.

The joy arrives after suffering, and only in retrospect. Knowing that this holds true for many, you need to understand that with every challenge, setback, and hardship, there is a lesson waiting. With the extraction of the lesson comes growth. You have to know that something beautiful is going to come out of it! During difficult times, when I just want to give up, I don’t stop to think why me. Instead, I ask myself what lessons can be learned from this moment. I meditate on how I can grow and better myself from this lesson, and I realize the opportunity to add tools to my arsenal that will propel me to do more, have more and become more in life.

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