Looking at my present through the lens of my past I find myself wishing I had struggled more. That may seem an odd wish to make, but with life and perspective oddities sometimes become a sort of wisdom.
Life for me was fairly easy. I don’t recall having to work too hard at anything. Natural talent can go a long way.
I found the limit to natural talent. I first faced the wall in college, and I was wholly unprepared. Time and time again I looked for ways around the wall trusting my abilities would get me there, and time and time again I was disappointed with the outcome. Unaccustomed to a real fight, I would back away, regroup and try to find another way around without growing or developing. It became a punishing cycle that ultimately defeated me. Well, not entirely defeated, or I wouldn’t still be here clinging to hope that dreams can come true. Thankfully, I never let go of that hope. Then again, maybe it never let go of me.
Either way, I’m saying these things now because I see the value of having to face a real fight early on. We need to face a challenge that requires persistent determination without immediate results. I think this has become even more important in today’s world where desire is met instantaneously. For some, this means being pushed in something they love. Pushed to exceed the point where natural talent can take them. Pushed to the point of struggle. For others, it means being held to a decision past the point of comfort. Being forced to finish what has been started. Being forced to struggle through and climb over the wall where there’s no easy way around it.
Walls, in the end, are gifts. I see this now. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think these walls are easier to face earlier in life. Knowing that, I hope I can help challenge others in a way that will better prepare them for the future. As for me, I can do nothing about the past. All I can do is learn late and fight my way over or through. Wishes won’t get me over the wall. Deception won’t get me past the wall. Only effort, determination and persistence will make me into the person who can scale the wall and see the other side.