There’s No Hope Without Struggle

A storytelling lesson that extends way beyond the page:

There’s no hope without struggle. There’s no struggle without hope. One is a function of the other.

If there aren’t stakes, there’s nothing to overcome. If there’s nothing to overcome, there can be no hope, only handouts.

Hope, struggle, and how we face them are learned behaviors.

Brene Brown says hopefulness requires perseverance and tenacity in the face of struggle. Struggle is our teacher in learning how to hope.

She tells a story about her daughter learning to make turns on the swim team. Some parents took issue with the thumbs-up/thumbs-down method the coach was using for feedback.

Brene’s advice to the questioning parents was to let the thumbs-down be the struggle, to let the achievable thumbs-up be the hope, and finally, when the kids tenaciously persevered to earn their thumbs-up as they each would on their own, the reward would be that much sweeter.

We spend a lot of time pulling struggle out of the way. It’s worth remembering there are times when engineering struggle into the situation, story, or experience (ex. certain aspects of our professional work too!) can create the hope and reward that supply all of the value in the action itself.

If you want to find the hope, remember it’s a function of the struggle. Let the struggle be the teacher.

struggle + perseverance + tenacity = hope

h/t Brene Brown and her book, The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting