To many modern men, life is an ongoing struggle. Nothing gives them satisfaction; they can’t find happiness no matter what they do. There’s no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel; only despair.
This is one of the most common issues my clients have. They know something’s wrong, they don’t know how to fix it and they need my help. They want to feel strong and in control instead of trying to survive one day at a time.
The truth is, it’s not that hard to stop struggling and start living; you just need to know how. To help you do that, here are 4 tips to help you find a better way – for good.
Where the Struggle Comes From
In Greek legend, a sneaky king called Sisyphus angers the gods by being a huge jackass and – amongst other things – killing his guests. As punishment, Zeus sentences him to push a huge boulder uphill – and watch it roll back down – over and over again for all eternity. In our daily lives, we’re a lot like Sisyphus.
Our goals in life move forward as we move forward. The satisfaction of achieving a goal or getting something we want doesn’t last long. There’s always more to do, have, want – there’s no end to it. As soon as we push the boulder to the top, we have to start all over again.
If you don’t believe me, just look at the people who do get what they want. Hundreds of actors, musicians and billionaire entrepreneurs don’t know what to do once successful. Many, in their despair and confusion, turn to drugs and other distractions for a temporary relief to their suffering.
It starts when we’re children. To millions of people around the world, having a family is a fantasy that’ll never come true. But kids who do have parents often think of them as embarrassing, annoying or mean, not realizing how fortunate they are to have them.
The pattern continues in adulthood when media ups the ante. We’re always being reminded of what we aren’t or don’t have. Advertisements tell us we need more stuff to be happy; Hollywood films create standards regular people like you and I can’t live up to.
By the time we start making our own life choices, we’re insatiable . Nothing we own or achieve gives us satisfaction, because wanting more has become a habit.
When we get a promotion, it doesn’t take too long to start wanting another one. When we have a nice car, we want an even better one. When we’re in a relationship, we keep wondering if someone better is out there.
Our goals move away as we approach them; we push the boulder up, then roll it back down ourselves.
Most people aren’t struggling because something’s really wrong. Usually, the problem is inside. When you never stop to be happy with what you’ve got, you sentence yourself to struggle for as long as you live – just like Sisyphus.
4 Tips for Better Living: End The Struggle
Tip #1 – Don’t Compare
The first tip is simple: don’t compare. Don’t compare yourself to others or imagined ideals; don’t compare people to each other; don’t compare your life to what could’ve been or used to be.
There’s always someone bigger and better out there; there’s always more to do. Even if you’ve got it all, remember that nobody in the history of mankind has stayed on top forever. Comparisons will only highlight what you don’t have and perpetuate the struggle. Focus on taking action, not keeping up with others!
Rule #2 – Don’t Judge
When someone upsets us or acts in a way we don’t understand, it’s easy to judge them. But what if the lady honking her horn at you in traffic just wants to get to the hospital where her husband’s in critical condition?
Everyone’s different; you don’t know why someone’s doing what they’re doing, so how can you judge them? Only losers need the false sense of superiority that looking down on someone creates. Winners don’t judge.
Most importantly, never judge yourself. Everyone deserves compassion and understanding and you’re no exception. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t pity yourself; when you screw up, get up and keep going while accepting yourself completely. This alone will remove most of the pain from your life.
Rule #3 – Don’t Resist
Don’t resist the uncontrollable realities of life. It doesn’t matter if you got dumped, hurt or fired: refusing to accept your new situation will only cause you to struggle. What’s the point in denying what already is?
If something unfortunate happens, man up and make the best of your situation. A drowning person doesn’t stay alive by panicking and flopping about uncontrollably; he does it by accepting his situation and swimming ashore.
Rule #4 – Take Action Constantly
Always do your best and take action constantly. If you give something your best shot and fail, it’s still a learning experience that leaves no room for regret, comparisons, judgment, resistance… Or struggle.
In the final analysis, having more stuff and accomplishments won’t make you complete – but doing your best at all times can. So stop procrastinating, figure out what you want and do your best at all times.
There’s no possession or event that can give you complete satisfaction. There can never be “enough”; life has no end goal, you can’t win at it! The idea that you need something else to be happy is the source of our struggle.
To end it, focus on doing what you love; avoid distractions; enjoy your victories as they come. The journey is the destination: the greatest joy of all is life itself, not the stuff we can get in it.
Once you realize that and commit to doing your best at all times, your boulder will stay at the top of the hill.