For the first 30 years of my life, I thought I was different from everyone else. I felt that my shifts in mood and outlook on life were abnormal and no one else felt like I did. I seemed strange to me that my happiness and motivation through the daily grind of life was more like a rollercoaster than it really should be. Wasn’t until the last few years that I learnt that everyone is the same, and these changes are what makes life so fulfilling.
Imagine a video game, how rubbish would it be if every level was easy to complete. You might start playing and enjoy it at first, but very soon the boredom would set in as the rewards became less fulfilling. Overcoming increases in difficulty and learning new skills because it keeps you hooked, and once you beat that last level the reward feels so much sweeter than if it were a walk in the park.
if you know the way broadly you will see it in all things – Miyamoto Musashi
Sure enough, getting that balance right is critical, cranking up the difficulty level at just the right times and places is vital. Too steep a jump and it becomes too much, and you’re likely to quit. However how more likely are you to stop than the straightforward version? The easy way out seems much more appealing but leaves a slightly hollow feeling.
As friends and family members go through their struggle with mental health the most abundant response is that of medication. Prescribing a pill that takes the world and blunts the sharp ends for you. Removes the stresses to a level that you don’t care. Making an average life filled with days that are all different when graded from 1-10, and makes them all a 5. I’m never convinced this is the best resolution, when just understanding their feelings are healthy may be the most straightforward option.
I am not advocating that people shouldn’t take medication that is needed, and please don’t take this as a post to try and say that. When prescribed a drug it is vital you take it, but the self-medication is far more dangerous. This may be with drugs or alcohol, but it may be simply removing yourself from the world. Shying away every time your life is tough and just not exposing yourself to the daily stresses and strains that make you stronger. Escaping the world when it gets too harsh, or painting a different outcome on social media is a far more dangerous way of evening out the world.
Creating my struggle is now something that I embrace and even welcome once it comes. When I’m struggling through hard times in the gym, or life, it makes the better times much better. I know the outcome I want to achieve and remember the fact that I have been there before to experience this wave breaking. Comfortable in the knowledge that I have learnt more from the days that we’re closer to breaking than those pitched in the middle. I thought at times my whole world had ended, but now look back and smile because I came through.
I can’t imagine a world that is made up I only 5s; it sounds like the most boring life in the world.