Motivation

My Message To Those Who Are Struggling

Struggle Gym Motivation - Unbroken
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Up until four years ago, I lived my life in a constant struggle. I still do, except now I see the beauty and gift that comes from the art of the struggle. We’re all struggling in some way because we’re all part of the same flawed human species.

The most common email I get from fans is “How do I overcome X struggle?” In one short blog post, I’m going to talk in detail about the subject. I’m going to give you the advice I would give my own children if I had any.

In a way, this blog post is not just a message to those of you who are struggling, but it’s also a message to my former self. It’s the advice I wish I had when I went through so many dark times. It’s the advice I wish I had when my whole world collapsed, and the point of life seemed meaningless.

We all feel like this at one point in our life. Going through struggle is not about suffering, it’s about overcoming adversity. The aim is not to avoid but embrace. Come on a journey with me to your deepest, darkest place and let’s see if we can find the light again in your life.

Here are my top 5 tips to those who are struggling:

 

1. Become more

When my life took a nasty turn for the worse, one thing saved me: the realization that I had to become more. Once you acknowledge where you are at, and decide to become more, little changes start to occur inside of you.

For me, I was struggling because I hadn’t become a person worth knowing. I let every vice, bad habit and temptation take over my life.

“The devil was knocking at my door, and I kept letting him in rather than tell him to F%$# off” – Tim Denning

Late nights were common at this stage of my life, and I made fun of everyone I came into contact with to cover up my own insecurities. Most of all, I made fun of people in love. This was the very thing at the time that I was incapable of getting anywhere near.

Becoming Free From StruggleWhat I lacked, I chose to highlight and shame in others. My potty mouth was out of control, I honked my horn at anyone not doing 100 miles an hour, and I was rude to anyone who made less money than my overpaid salary. These are things I’m not proud of, but today I stand here ready to say I was wrong.

For those of you struggling, what you need to do is become more. You need to be able to pick up on your flaws like I just did and then work on them. You need to be committed to become more in society and hold yourself to a higher standard.

You are capable of so much, and you can bring about phenomenal change in this world if you just let go. Let go of your fear, how you’re perceived by others, your fake ass social media lifestyle, your too cool for school image, and anything else that is not serving you.

Let go of the past and choose to become more.

 

2. Do more

We’re all pretty lazy when it comes down to it. If you’re struggling, it’s because you need to do more than you’re currently doing. But doing more of the wrong kind of activity will only see you suffer more. You need to do more of the good stuff like:

– Making people smile for no good reason

– Helping people who are in need or stuck in life

– Giving that extra 10% that nobody is willing to give

– Starting that business that you’ve been putting off

– Doing more of what you love so you can live life at its best

– Loving someone other than yourself

– Allowing yourself to fall in love if you haven’t already

 

3. Travel more

Last year was a bloody tough year for me. Everything that could go wrong in my personal life did. How did I overcome this major struggle? I got on as many planes as I could. For a guy that used to be scared of flying, this was an achievement I was proud of.

When I arrived in places like the USA, I saw people who were struggling even more than I was. I saw people In San Francisco who were not only poor, but who had also lost their minds and just wanted to die. I saw the other side of humanity that Instagram selfies almost always miss.

Walking through the jungle travelTravelling made me more compassionate, and opened my eyes to the world beyond my perfect home country Australia. Initially, I had a ridiculous, unlikely plan to possibly escape Australia and move to San Francisco. I thought I could be Mark Zuckerberg and become one of those cool tech entrepreneurs that drove a Toyota Prius.

By the time I got home, I was even more in love with Australia than I had ever been before. I stopped taking for granted all those beautiful rivers, mountains, rainforests and parks that I’d become accustomed to. My mind expanded, and I was never going to be the same again.

Do you care about my stupid travel adventures? Definitely not. I told you all of this because if you’re struggling, you need to travel more. Get out of the mother’s womb that is your hometown, pack your suitcase, and escape. Don’t escape life, escape temporarily while you find yourself again.

You’re not lost forever because of your struggles: you’re lost during a brief moment in time. You need to find yourself again, and travel is part of that process.

 

4. Be happy with now

There’s a lot of pressure on us from society to live according to some prehistoric timeline. You’re born, then you finish school, then you get a college degree, then you get married, then you have kids, then you retire, and then you die.

“The trouble with living to society’s plan is that you keep fast-tracking to the future”

The problem is that your future is not guaranteed. All that you’re guaranteed of is this current breath. Accumulating milestones is a pointless quest if you don’t love right now.

As bad as things may be, you could be dead or in hospital. You could have sight but no vision. You could be living in a third world country and getting tortured or raped every day. Life’s not that bad, and you can be happy again, no matter what your circumstances are.

I’m not saying to forget about the milestones like marriage and kids, but what I am asking you to do is have faith that they will happen when the time’s right. I’m asking you to be mindful and appreciate the things you already have.

Stacking possessions will not make you happy. Stacking experiences, combined with finding who you are, will. Changing the world, giving to others and loving everybody will make you fulfilled (the ultimate form of happiness).

These things will allow you to win the quest you’ve been sent to Planet Earth to win. We can all conquer and triumph at this quest, as long as we believe we have the capacity to do so.

 

5. Struggle together

Alone we are small. Together we are united and capable of doing anything. Who are you surrounded by? Who’s has your back? If you’re struggling, then the answer is probably no one or very few people. To come back from adversity, you have to bring others in to assist you.

No one’s going to do this for free, though. You have to give before you can attract the right people. If we look at a company like Amazon, there’s no way it could have ever existed without lots of people working together for a common cause. There’s no billion-dollar company with one employee.

You’re struggling, in part, because you haven’t got a foundation of people underneath you to hold up the structure that is you.

“With all the I’s and selfies in the world, we’ve forgotten about the us’s and we’s. We have forgotten about why we need a tribe around us”

To rise up from your struggles you require a magnet-like attraction to phenomenal human beings who can change the way you think. You need people in your life who are going to hold you accountable and be there when the inevitable fires of your life begin to rage.

No fire lasts forever, and that’s the same with your struggle. The goal is not to avoid struggle, but to bring others into the fight and win a united battle. You’re capable of so much more than the current standards you are living too. If all I manage to do is get you to acknowledge the struggle, and agree not to dismiss it, then I’ve won.

Repeat after me:

“I can change the world”

“Struggle equals growth”

“Pain is temporary”

“We’re in this together”

“I must form the habit of giving”

“I’ll have faith from now on”

 

Where to from here?

Throw away your pity pants and decide that tomorrow’s going to be different because you’re in control. Accept the struggle and reframe it in your mind as the best thing that could have ever happened to you.

The Struggle ContinuesWhen I went through this process four years ago, I committed to changing my entire environment. I read books I had never read (I’d never really read a book since primary school), I sought out the top performers in their field, I went to seminars, I changed my diet, and most of all I decided not to be mediocre. I told myself that “I CAN CHANGE THE WORLD AND HERE I AM.”

The process was hard, and I did seek professional help initially. Struggle is hard, but so is life. What’s freaking awesome, though, is when you overcome it. When you get to the top of the mountain and realize there’s another one that’s just as hard to climb and it’s even higher.

It’s that never-ending pursuit of success that keeps us alive and makes us human. That’s enough for today my young student. Now it’s time to take action, go out into the world and try this stuff out. Believe in yourself!

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Tim Denning
Tim is a thought leader in the personal development, entrepreneur and startup fields.Outside of blogging, Tim works for a large organisation helping fast moving technology companies come to Australia as well as helping Australian tech companies go to the world.
24 Comments
  • Love May 12,2019 at 1:17 pm

    I remembered he said something like only you can’t pull the heavy rock so you have to have back up people,pay someone to influence your desire depending on the area you want.

    • Ann Brown Jul 8,2019 at 5:04 am

      I like the “Be More” and “Do More” ideas. Or helped me in my struggle.

  • Govindbablu ydv Apr 15,2019 at 7:27 am

    Thanks 4 such a nice suggestions

  • Jenny Leigh Hodgins Feb 9,2019 at 8:55 pm

    Great blog. Love all the suggestions here. I’d add that for some people, transforming negative self-talk is sometimes the most critical first step toward any of this. People struggling are often down in the dumps mentally. So, to be able to break out of the situation, to be able to take any of the actions you suggest, sometimes the mentality has to be the first thing addressed. Proactively stopping the negative self-talk (awareness!), then adjusting one’s perspective by noting what can be appreciated in the situation leads to a mental shift that can then allow taking that next step; strong positive action toward a better circumstance. Great stuff. Love your no nonsense approach. Face your life creates a better life!

  • Peter Smith Jan 26,2019 at 1:16 pm

    When you get to the top of the mountain and realise there’s another one worth climbing? What if you never get to the top of the first mountain? You just keep going, taking hit after hit, but you stick it out, you have faith. So you keep going, still taking hit after hit, every day, another hit, but you have faith that it has to get better at some point, doesn’t it? Everybody says it gets better eventually, right? So you keep going. Taking hit after hit, every day. Existing on nothing but faith that at some magical point in the future, it’ll get better. But it never actually does. You can’t just go on faith forever, you need something solid. Even the strongest person in the world buckles under too much weight on their shoulders, that’s just physics.

    I’ve been struggling since I was 16. I’m 36. I can’t even remember a time in my life when I was … okay? Happy? I can’t remember what those things feel like. 20 years of hit, after hit, after hit. Tell me, tell me please, when it’s going to start getting a little better? Because I just cannot keep going forever, on nothing more than dwindling faith.

    • Mike L. Apr 8,2019 at 7:10 pm

      Peter Smith,
      I hope this reaches you well. The fear of the unknown is so strong, I feel it all the time. I just have to believe things will work out, there’s no guarantee. But we got to make the best out of what we got. I’ve learned that I had a way of dismissing small victories and accomplishments because they weren’t these grandiose epiphany moments in my life. But I’m grateful for my health, my family, despite that other things aren’t looking up right now. I think part of the reward isn’t just making it to the peak of a mountain and looking at the next, but sometimes looking back down and realizing how far we’ve come. Those small victories are what add up to real progress over time. I hope you keep on and stay strong! Your post made enough impact in my life to write a response and I hope you know that you are impactful in many other ways for many other people. Take care!

    • Love May 12,2019 at 1:17 pm

      I remembered he said something like only you can’t pull the heavy rock so you have to have back up people,pay someone to influence your desire depending the area you want.

  • Larry Lewis Jan 2,2019 at 1:52 pm

    Love this article. Down to earth and real. Like you I receive many emails from people sick to the back teeth of a life of struggle. May I just add one extra piece that anyone seeking to turn life around needs, that is to create for themselves an incredibly powerful, exciting vision of life in 10 years time, if everything from this moment forward works perfectly. Create that vision using ones imagination, they then have a magnet to pull their life forward.

  • Stephen H Sep 16,2018 at 9:29 pm

    God bless you for your kind words

  • Queen Grace Aug 23,2018 at 10:00 am

    Blessed to have read this.

  • Drugedup not fuckedup May 24,2018 at 1:34 pm

    I am going thru a really rough drug recovery right now and this sadly is not my first rodeo. That article really touched home for me and what I need to do to get this s#!+ Under f@#$_&- control or I will be dead really really fast. Thank you so very much for writing this. You have really inspired me, can’t thank you enough!

  • Xavier Apr 26,2018 at 3:23 am

    Tim – I thought I’ve been having a rough 2 weeks, but you’ve made me realize that it is only temporary and can be a lot worse. Thanks for this article, this is exactly what I needed to read today!

  • Robert E Langford Apr 18,2018 at 5:28 am

    I was in a horrible work accident that left me paralyzed and in more pain than words can describe. I did what it took to recover and my recovery took 25 years until I became pain free and able to go to the gym again and do a Russian powerlifting routine 5 days a week. I have been out of the working world for 27 years and I need successful guides on how to work in the now times.

    • ufoma Jul 16,2018 at 10:13 am

      wow… wow… very inspiring…

  • awwd Feb 28,2018 at 8:01 am
  • Daniel Sampson Dec 20,2017 at 4:29 pm

    What an excellent article, I can attest that this is all true. My life was in a similar gutter this year and so I packed my bags and headed out to hike the New Hampshire stretch of the Appalachian Trail and, later, Acadia national park in Maine. I have never had so much experience (Both positive and negative, but as you point out the struggles can be their own reward) packed into three months and I will never forget the lessons I learned. It was really my first time being out on my own.

    Thanks for the inspiration. Makes me want to head out there again, even though I just got back in September.
    -Daniel

  • Ricardo Dec 12,2017 at 11:23 pm

    Why do a lot of people that chase success at any cost have one eye that is squinting more than the other?

  • Steve Dec 9,2017 at 7:02 pm

    This is excellent advice. For those who are determined to initiate change in their lives, just remember; what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  • Kevin Oct 4,2017 at 9:11 pm

    Excellent article Tim! Could really tell it was written from the heart! Great advice as well. Keep up your work of helping people.

  • Mike Sep 17,2017 at 3:34 am

    Great post! Got what i needed, thank you Tim!

  • Catherine Aug 17,2017 at 3:14 am

    Can u help me out

  • Caren Jul 20,2017 at 9:29 pm

    Great advice

  • Theresa Jul 5,2017 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you

  • sami May 4,2017 at 12:47 pm

    i like it gohead!
    thanks!

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