Struggle is a clever device through which Nature compels Humanity to develop, expand, and progress. Struggle is either an ordeal or a magnificent experience, depending on the attitude with which one approaches it.

Success is impossible without Struggle. The price Success demands is Struggle.

Life, from birth to death, is literally an unbroken record of ever-increasing, unavoidable struggle. Our education is cumulative—we get it a little at a time from every experience we encounter.

“Do the thing,” said Emerson, “and you shall have the power.”

“Meet struggle and master it,” says Nature, “and you shall have strength and wisdom sufficient for all your needs.”

The strongest trees of the forests aren’t those most protected but those that must struggle against other trees—and surmount them—for survival.

My grandfather was a wagon maker. In clearing his land for crops, he always left a few oaks standing in the open field where they were exposed to the full heat of the burning sun and the blasts of the wind.

As a result, these trees were far tougher than average. It was the timber from them that he used for wagon wheels, bending them into arc-shaped segments without fear they would break.

Struggle similarly toughens the human spirit for the buffeting of life. Most people go through life following the line of least resistance wherever a choice lies open to them. They fail to recognize that following the line of least resistance is what makes rivers crooked – and sometimes does the same for men.

Once we understand the broad purpose of life we become reconciled to the circumstances which force us to struggle. As a result, we accept struggle for what it is – opportunity.

The necessity for struggle forces us to move when we would otherwise stand still. And it leads us eventually to the full realization that success comes only through struggle.

My first boss after I finished business college was Gen. Rufus A. Ayers, whose law business was so extensive that I often had to help him on nights and holidays.

At the finish of each of these sessions, he always apologized for causing me to work overtime. But he added: “You’ve been a big help to me—but a bigger help to yourself through the experience you’ve gained this evening.”

And I’ll never forget the answer I received when I once asked one of Henry Ford’s top aides for his formula for success. “I manage to get in the way of men like Mr. Ford,” he said, “and pray that when they want something done they’ll call on me.”

By running to meet struggle, rather than trying to avoid it, you too can use it to help you learn, grow – and succeed.

Source: Success Unlimited. March, 1964. Vol. XI, No. 3. Pgs. 24 & 25.

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