Stop expecting life to be easy

Every one of our lives is a damn good story. And what’s a good story without some twists and turns? If you take up a new job thinking it’s the solution to all your problems, you’re fooling yourself. Your problems will never end – not as long as you’re alive anyway. And that’s the good news. Because problems mean you get to use that wonderful brain of yours. You get to put all those fantastic skills to practise and you get to experience something you haven’t so far. Problems are how you advance – in life, your job and your relationships. Imagine if there wasn’t a single problem in your job for months. How on earth would you prove that you were capable of handling crises? On what basis would anyone ever promote you?
An easy life is for boring people. And generally, life doesn’t allow anyone to remain boring. It gives everyone a really good chance to get interesting. The day you stop expecting life to be easy is the day you decide to embrace the fact that you’re brave, resourceful and open-minded. None of those qualities would mean anything if there wasn’t a crisis or two where they came to the forefront. Enjoy the good times. But wait for the challenging times as well. Keep your metaphorical boxing gloves handy at all times because you never know when you might need them. In fact, get into the habit of predicting possible spokes in your wheel. It can be a really invigorating exercise coming up with possible problems and solutions to them. It gives you confidence because you realise – nothing is so big you can’t handle it. And no problem is so enduring that it lasts forever.
So your favourite boss quit and the new one is a monster in your eyes. So what? Tons of people face that kind of thing every day. Go make an effort to befriend the boss. Understand where they’re coming from and be their ally. If everything fails, talk to your superior. Talk to your HR person. Hell, get a new job. But don’t complain because you had to go through all of that. Everyone goes through things they don’t like or want. But sometimes, the person you are at the end of a crisis is somehow an improved version of the person you were before it.
Don’t fear the downs. Face them head on. Welcome them, even. Without them, your life would be worthy of one big monotonous yawn. And if you think there are folks who don’t have any downs, you’re wrong. Everyone does. The president of the country does. The captain of the world’s best football team does. That’s just how it is. We’re not here to have it easy. We’re here to learn. We’re here to grow. More than anything else, we’re here for an unforgettable adventure.
Expect life to get difficult now and then – though I prefer the term ‘interesting’. And life will never be able to get the better of you. Remember - the only ones with no problems are the ones who aren’t alive.
(This post was originally published at https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140702165034-47567319-stop-expecting-life-to-be-easy)