It’s hard to both wake up and go to bed—on time and a bit earlier than you’re used to… because you’ve been passively living your life, as if you would merely accept things as they are, without at least trying to forge a path you might like. You’re heading to one in which someone else runs the show, and you don’t even know it.

It’s hard to identify the things you love doing… because you haven’t discovered your identity yet. You still don’t know who you are. You don’t know what makes you tick. You don’t know where that spatial and timely spot in the universe is in which everything feels just right.

It’s hard to keep up with the quality of work and speed you aim for… because you haven’t developed a solid work ethic yet. Maybe you have no idea what work ethic is. It isn’t just about finishing a task. It’s also about making an impact…right?

It’s hard to manage your emotionsbecause you grew up in an emotionally (read: mentally) dysfunctional environment and nobody knew any better. You ask yourself why nothing seems to be motivating you (or stopping you), and you resort to blaming someone else for an attitude only you can change anyway.

It’s hard to follow a workout routine… because it’s simply not the lifestyle over there. How could you be the weird guy or gal when you could just be watching TV beside everybody else who doesn’t have a better idea to use their time with? Weirdo.

It’s hard to talk to just about anyone outside the house (and therefore develop relevant social skills)… because you think everything has to be transactional. Why be friends with someone you don’t have a use for, let alone who might be a master gossip for all you know?

It’s hard to empathize with others… because you think that as long as your needs are being met, it’s all good even at the expense of someone else. You’ll be praised later for your success anyway—for being shrewd, even though you’re a bit stern.

It’s hard to make time for your loved ones… because you’re used to being alone, and you don’t like most of them anyway so why even make efforts to reach out? Being alone is better nowadays. It’s all the same.

It’s hard to be gratefulbecause you’ve been taught—despite the fact that you would learn it firsthand—that life is too difficult…for something like gratitude. Difficult should mean good already. Now you’re rethinking your values. How come you’ve traveled a very long way up to this point of enlightenment?

It’s hard to lead a fulfilling life… because you think there are only a couple of universal “life road maps” that exist for you (and everybody else). 95% of the world population are doing the same things; those things must legitimately and genuinely justify those road maps.

Those are some of the things no one might have taught you about.

Maybe someone did but they didn’t deserve your respect at the time.

But you’re learning them all now, in ways that are harder than they should be.

It’s all a training ground. They’re hard because, for such a long time, you’ve been deprived of these truths. Now they are hardly in your system, in which trivial things that satisfy momentary urges are rather ingrained. You have yet to learn the hard stuff, which should’ve taken place a long time ago.

But you’re already here. You now realize you were not born to live a hard life. You now know that even though life is unfair, even though your circumstances seem unchangeable—living up to your potential makes it all somehow fair. You learn every time and with what has been given you, you wade through your own world and figure things out.

People that give up don’t understand this. Even the slightest curiosity can change everything. It was never about how the world treated you—it was about how you managed your way of thinking and how you saw all of it as an avenue for growth, not for self-pity and regret.

You’re only somewhere below the position you wish you were already in. But even after you reach it, it never stops.

It’s all a training ground.

(Image Credit: Thao Le Hoang)

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