Article by Wendy McCance
I have a question for you. Do you believe that adversity actually increases your happiness? I know this may sound odd, but bear with me. My initial response would be to believe that an idyllic childhood followed by such things as a career you enjoy, a partner who loves you and friends and family who adore you would make for the happiest most satisfying life. Oh yeah, lets throw in no money worries. Obviously this describes a rare few people. Life doesn’t tend to be that beautifully packaged up and presented.
What about people who have had major struggles in their lives? Maybe it was divorce, job loss, money problems etc.. What if these people came out the other side with a new sense of what works and what doesn’t. When they pick up the pieces and start again, if they learned from their experience (big part of being able to find that happiness) do you believe that they become more satisfied in the long run than the ones who had it easy.
I think it all comes down to appreciation. When I had gotten divorced, I had gotten really painfully honest with myself. I did the work of sorting through what had gone wrong. I paid attention to why I was making the choices I had for a partner. I realized that it was so important to find someone who loved to build me up and stand by my side rather than be with someone who enjoyed tearing me down and disappearing. I know this seems obvious, but when your heart is in the middle of a relationship, your mind blurs and what seems obvious isn’t necessarily so. My current husband is everything my first husband was not. I got lucky in that I was able to see my mistakes and break a bad cycle.
Personally, I value so many things that I used to take for granted. I realize how lucky I am and enjoy the simplest of things. I think when things are handed to you easily it takes so much more for you to appreciate what is in front of you. I think that joy is harder to come by simply because it takes something bigger to excite you. In that sense, I do believe that working hard and having been challenged down to your core makes every positive moment in what you are trying to achieve a much bigger triumph. What do you think? What side of the fence would you want to be on? If you were given a choice, would you want the easy life without the intense highs or a little adversity that ultimately rewarded you with pure pleasure?
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