Seth Godin wrote in his blog about getting stuck at a “local max” because applying more energy after that point appears to actually decrease the effectiveness of what you’re doing, whether that’s your career, a project, or your relationship. What Seth points out is that people often mistake those lows as indicators of problems, and then retreat, when in fact people should push through and they’ll find that their efforts pay off and they arrive at the “big max.”
It really is true that those who struggle through adversity are often better off after the adversity. They’ve pushed beyond the local max, through the lows, and on to greater heights.
After all I’ve been through in the last year and a half, I can say from my own experience that the lower you go, the more woken up you get. And today, as my wife is on journey toward the end of her life, it doesn’t get much lower. But I’m not bitter, it’s a learning experience. It solidifies all I’ve learned from her in the last 14 years, and makes me take a hard look at the things I didn’t do the way I’d wanted to. And because of the adversity, I really learn it!
One of my favorite quotes: “Only after disaster can we be ressurected. It’s only after you have lost everything, that you’re free to do anything.” (Tyler Durden, in Fight Club)
What does all this mean? It means that when you’re going through troubles, that there is always another side. And if Seth’s right, it’s better than the one you left. It also means that there’s no easy way: if you want something worthwhile, you should expect to have problems as you pursue your goal. You might even say that if you’re not experiencing problems, then you’re not trying hard enough.
All I can say is that I expect a really big “big max” for all that I’m going through.
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