In 2003, I lost every worldly possession I had in a wildfire and we had no insurance to replace any of it.

6 months later, I flunked out of San Diego State University because my GPA was too low.

A few months after that, I literally had .45 cents to my name through everything I owned.

Those were some of the best things that ever happened to me.

People always struggle around the fact that when I tell them these stories and I always end the story with “it was the best thing that ever happened to me”. Not many people can fathom losing everything you have ever have known except literally the shirt on your back, shorts on your legs and shoes on your feet (I didn’t have underwear or socks on, so I didn’t have any of those). My family was devastated. At the time, I was too. But looking back on one of the hardest times in my life, it really is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Just like flunking out of SDSU and having 45 cents to my name.

What Doesn’t Kill You Will Make You Stronger

Struggles

People avoid struggle with everything they have. It is simply easier to do nothing than try to do something. Something may hurt. Something may be uncomfortable. Something may not sit well with your friends. Doing nothing is easier.

But doing nothing gets your nowhere. If you truly want to make changes in your life, and get to where you want to be, you need to do something. That something includes struggling. Now – I am not saying, in any way shape or form, to go burn everything you have or flunk out of a college or run out of money. Those are unfortunate events that happen in my life that were not fun in any means. What I am saying to you is quitting your whining and complain and go struggle.

Too many people just bitch about everything. They hate their job. They work to many hours. Their relationship sucks. Their personal life sucks. Their health sucks. Their boss sucks. Their dog died. Their car broke. Blah blah blah.

You control your life. You shape your destiny. You can choose to get out there and change things in your life. But you have to want to struggle. You have to continue to push even when you feel like you can’t push any more. You have to want to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself to the point to where you have no idea what you are doing. But guess what will happen through the struggles? You will start to learn how to adapt. You will learn how to be successful. You will learn what you need to do to survive. And the struggles will soon become an advantage to your life, just like my struggles did for me.

I fell in love with my wife after losing everything. We were only dating for a few months, and she literally picked me up from the ashes, dusted me off and pushed me forward (I would not be here without her).  I also developed a new found relationship with people, instead of “things”. I learned that “things” can always be replaced, but the relationship you develop with the fellow humans around you are WAY more important than anything else in the world.

I developed a true love for learning via continual education after flunking out of SDSU. I now have a BS in kinesiology and an MS in exercise science and health promotions as well as multiple professional certifications. I strive to learn more and more.

I developed a sense of what “wealth” is after having only .45 cents to my name. Money is an object with a value. Instead of focusing on the object, I learned to focus on the value of money. My financial mindset/situation has never been the same since.

Would my life be the same without these struggles? I probably will never know. I do know that out of the hurt and the pain of these situations came some of the best things of my life.

The choice is up to you. You can keep doing what you have always been doing, and keep getting what you have always got. Or you can decide that enough is enough and you can get out into the world and start struggling.

This always brings up a funny question with people:

How Does One Struggle?

What scares you? What are you afraid of? What is holding you back? What is preventing you from living all your dreams?

Go do that.

That is how you struggle. Go find whatever it is that is preventing you from being who you truly can be and go do that. Yes, it won’t feel good. Yes, it will be scary as hell and Yes, you may feel at times like it was completely the wrong decision. That is what being uncomfortable does. But through every dark tunnel there is a light. It may not show up in a week. It may not show up in a month, but it will show up if you keep pushing. Success follows pain.

I literally could rant for hours on this subject. But rather that read my words, I am going to defer to one of the best speeches I have ever heard on struggling by Mr. ET.

To Your Successful Life,

Zach

2 thoughts on “Embrace The Struggle

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