Personal Growth Through Struggle by John Cali

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John Cali

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a rather interesting motivational message someone had emailed her. I really liked part of what it said, especially this:

What happens to you is not as important as your reaction to what is happening to you.

Great concept! I totally agree with it.

But it also said something else I thought was strange for a motivational writer:

All your growth will depend on your activity. Your strength and growth will come only through continuous effort and struggle.

What a limiting concept! I totally disagree with it. (Although, I must admit, it’s certainly part of the mass consciousness, embodied perfectly by that tired old cliché: No pain, no gain.)

Here’s Spirit.


We’ll start this discussion today by saying something that may surprise some of you, even if you’ve been with us a long time: None of your growth ever comes from your activity — none!

We’re not saying action is not important in your physical lives. It is important — and for obvious reasons. But far more important is the reason you act.

Many humans often act upon whatever task is at hand out of a sense of dread and heavy obligation. In other words, they’re afraid of what might happen if they do not take action.

For example, how many folks do you know who get up every morning and drag themselves off to their jobs, jobs they often hate? They’re acting out of dread and obligation. Not a good way to go. On the other hand, how many folks do you know who hit the floor running every morning when they get out of bed? They’re so excited about the work they do, they can’t wait to get back to it. They’re acting out of a sense of joy.

Do you see the difference?

Friends, your higher self intended you to live in this physical lifetime with a joyous sense of expectation as you begin every new day.

If you get into your centered place of peace and power before you take action on anything at all, then your action will be truly inspired. And you will find everything flowing smoothly, easily, effortlessly. Time will seem to fly by, and you will accomplish far more in any give time period than you ever thought possible.

You go astray when you take action because you feel coerced by whatever or whomever. That is never inspired action. And then you will indeed find yourself in the place the motivational writer speaks of: Your strength and growth will come only through continuous effort and struggle.

Although you certainly can grow that way, you were never meant to struggle through this lifetime. Yes, you have your challenges. But all challenges are simply opportunities for growth. And growth is the name of the game. You cannot avoid growth. And you cannot avoid making choices. Even a choice to make no choices is a choice.

But you can choose the way you will grow — either through struggle or through joy. The choice is yours.

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