Some day, in the years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now… Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by steady, long continued process.------Phillips Brooks
Friday morning, around 7AM. I had set the alarm to go to my parent’s house, with my son, to pull the cover over the pool. It’s that time of year. I got ready about ten minutes quicker than Robbie, and I stood looking out the side glass on our front door. A spider had set up camp outside the glass on the right side, and an energetic mosquito had become snared in its web. I don’t remember ever seeing such a fight for survival.
I stood and watched for nearly ten minutes as the desperate catch flew in all directions, then began flying up and down, as hard as he could, back and forth when he reached the limits of his new territory. He slammed violently at the upper limit of the web, then the same at the bottom. Up and down, side to side. The whole web shimmied as the mosquito, knowing instinctively that time was running out, let it all loose in an attempt to survive.
I snapped a photo of the struggle through the glass, then we left.
Later I thought about how the spider was strangely absent during all of this. Wouldn’t it be simple for the spider to move it with the mosquito firmly ensnared and finish him off? That, however, is not how our struggles work a good portion of the time. I can just imagine the spider sitting back, watching the fight for survival, with a wisp of satisfaction, knowing full well what the outcome will be. For a high percentage of people, the struggle, whether brief or extended, has the same result- in the end, there you are, battered and bruised, ready to throw in the towel because it’s too painful, way too much work and struggle. All the spider had to do was sit back and wait, and if his web has a good enough snare, his meal would be waiting on him after hopelessness set in.
When we quit too soon we are giving someone else our good fortune. Savvy investors know to move in and take over an uncomfortable situation, therefore reaping our rewards that we worked so hard for, yet never claimed as ours.
Ever spent loads of money on a car, then practically gave it away when that “last straw” was reached? Might have been a bad battery. How many times has the buyer gotten an inexpensive vehicle that ran problem free from then on? Just look at what you’ve already swapped out; what else can break?
Or how about the idea that you walk around with in your head, unfinished. I mentioned to my wife a number of years back an idea I had that I figured would make good money in retail. Every so often I would mention it again, but nothing was ever done. It simply did not fit high enough on my priority ladder to get serious consideration. Good idea, poor execution. About six months ago I was in a chain clothing store and saw my idea for sale at all the registers. Looked like sales were pretty good, considering the half empty boxes on the counters. I wonder if the other hundreds of locations carry my invention as well?
Success in any endeavor means holding on when others are letting go. Without struggle nothing worthwhile will be achieved, so the saying goes. The struggle makes something of you that will ultimately give you the tools for success.