DON’T CHEAT YOUR STRUGGLE By Staff Writer If you’re over the age of 18 and have lived on your own, you understand what struggle feels like. If you’re anything like me, you know it hurts. It brings pain, stress and bruising of the ego. It is a thing that many people avoid, hence the term: comfort zone. But I am going to be honest with you, struggle is one of the best things that can happen to us. It is the place where our best ideas reside. It is the place where our greatest strength exists. It is the place where our character lurks. However, the very issue with struggle is what I mentioned above. It hurts. Due to this hurt, they do their very best to get out of it the fastest way possible. Merely, because so many people hate the pain and embarrassment of struggle. Remember that very thing I mentioned, character? This is where our true character begins to surface. So many people choose to make poor-integrity decisions in order to escape the pain of their struggle. They attempt to lie, cheat and steal from whomever they can; even their loved ones. Here is where everything goes wrong, especially when it goes right. Whenever your cheating, lying and stealing works, it allows you to get back to your comfort zone. When you get back to your comfort zone, you lose touch with internalizing. When you internalize, you brainstorm, you ponder and you meditate. These are the elements that lead you to your bright ideas and your exit from the struggle. But if you cheated your way out of that struggle, you lose the opportunity to find your best ideas, your highest potential, your greatest strength and your tireless faith. You miss the opportunity to confront and correct the issues that brought you to the struggle in the first place. You MISS your true self. What then happens is you go another few years in this comfort zone from disingenuous decisions, which wasn’t achieved from your greatness but achieved from your weakness (your inability to stay the course), before you find struggle again; causing you to delay finding your highest self and living it out. You lose valuable time. I know it’s hard to struggle. But there are 3 things you can do to make it easier. (I did them too.) Don’t answer any calls from entities/individuals that will negatively affect your spirit Focus on honest solutions to your problems instead constantly thinking about your problems. We multiply whatever we think about. Read books, watch TV programs and listen to radio shows that bring objective solutions. Resist the urge to tap people in your circle for advice. Chances are they contributed to your struggle. You have to become tougher than your problems. Cheating only validates that your problems are greater than you. A wise person knows, if you fail the test you will be given another lesson.