the struggle is worth it | by the skinny confidential

One Of The Most Important Questions Of Your Life

Updated: March 15, 2016
by
LAURYN

the struggle is worth it | by the skinny confidential

Hi, hi, hi guys!

OK promise not to judge?

???

Two nights ago I was in bed reading & decided to take a Facebook break ( I keep these short, like 5 minutes because I don’t want to sit on social media for 3 hours ). AND THE MOST AMAZING ARTICLE I HAVE EVER READ POPPED UP ON MY FEED.

It was titled, The Most Important Question of Your Life.

HMMMMmmmmmmm.

Firstly, how many fucking articles have you seen on FB like this? 4357092864? A trillion? Way too many? Telling you to “wake up earlier, how to be more productive, how to have more willpower, blah, blah, blah.”

I get it, me too.

But this article was VERY, very different. Maybe you’ll entirely disagree with me…but maybe you won’t.

The point is, this article was TOO good to NOT share. It really did contain one of the most important questions.

To be honest, I had tears in my eyes when I was done reading it ( << no judgement here plz ).

Good tears though because I felt like someone was really speaking my language. So much so that I literally Tweeted the author at 11:57 PM…#PSYCHO. ( Apparently I get very spontaneous when I’m passionate but that’s a different story ).

Anyway, ta-da, here’s the article, please read if you’re at ANY weird, conflicted, uncomfortable ( or comfortable for that matter ) point in your life. IT’S ABSOLUTELY AMAZING ( I bolded the parts I LOVE, love, LOVE ):

The Most Important Question of Your Life

Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.
Everyone would like that — it’s easy to like that.
If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.
A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.
Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence — but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.
Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship — but not everyone is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there. And so they settle. They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years and until the question morphs from “What if?” into “Was that it?” And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail they say, “What was that for?” if not for their lowered standards and expectations 20 years prior, then what for?
Because happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come roaring back to life.
At the core of all human behavior, our needs are more or less similar. Positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.
People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.
People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love.

You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.
There’s a lot of crappy advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”
Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something enough. They just aren’t aware of what it is they want, or rather, what they want “enough.”
Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.
If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.
If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.
Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?
That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.
For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work. First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money. Then, I needed to find the time. Then…and then nothing.
Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.
I was in love with the result — the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I’m playing — but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all.
The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the top.
Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. The entrepreneurial/start-up crowd would tell me that I chickened out on my dream and gave in to my conventional social conditioning. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or manifest or something.
But the truth is far less interesting than that: I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.
I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.
Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.
This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”
This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.

So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

 { By: Mark Manson }

Hi, me again.

Ok— you like? Hate? Disagree? Weigh in.

Would love to hear your thoughts, as always. Here’s mine:

Personally work-wise, I feel like some people view bloggers as having NO struggle. No one sees the 2 AM nights, overbooked schedules, time away from home/family/friends/dogs, massive amounts of work, last minute deadlines, BTS, dealing with outside influences, self discipline, constant craziness, editing, creating content, etc. ( & listen, I’m not saying this is everyone’s blogging journey & work is so difficult/poor me, I’m just saying nothing good comes easy ). I love my work very, very much but don’t be fooled, there’s been struggles. And I love it; without struggle there’s no reward, without process, no result. Simple if you think about it, really.

But let’s go deeper than just blogging.

To me, this article resonates in many areas of my life: my relationships, family, fitness, friends, community, life, etc. Each area has had crazy, intense struggle before. ( Side note: if you’re a parent I am sure there’s many very well-worth-it struggles with raising children too ).

Again, nothing worth it comes easy.

& here’s the deal, it’s fine to dream about being the mega ROCKSTAR. But don’t expect the destination without the journey.

Family for me is all about building, fitness about the process, & blogging about the ride. So I don’t want to hear about your destination, I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR RIDE…YOUR JOURNEY. Are you attached to an outcome or rather the growth? What tickles your fancy enough to make you ACTUALLY embrace the struggle, the ride, the process? To crave the struggle because you know it’s worth the result.

……..?

In my life, with ANY type of struggle comes some kind of beauty. The most eternally beautiful people have struggled.

And besides, perfection is fucking boring. There’s something sort of really beautiful in the struggle. There’s depth in it, you know?

Goodnight, xx lauryn

{ article via | PC | white dress }

OH, ALSO:
 

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  1. Nadia

    Thanks Lauren, this read made me realize that it’s not time to give up just yet…

    I’ve had so many dreams and things I’ve wanted in my life, and most which I’ve given up on because the risk and struggles were simply too big for me.
    I’m currently studying culinary Arts part-time as I have always wanted to be the owner of my own Deli/Bistro ( I am such a foodie ) and lately I’ve been wanting to give up because it’s just so f****ing hard to get there.
    Working my internship at a restaurant in the evenings while still having a full-time job, trying to blog in between, trying to write something readable when you’re just not in the mood, very little sleep, don’t forget all the assignments and exams in between…
    Sometime’s you think, maybe it’s just easier to stick to your day-job and earn your way through life.
    This read made me recuperate my goals and dreams because seeing someone smile when they eat my food, is something that I’m truly willing to fight for.

    Thanks
    xx
    Nadia recently posted..JAMIE OLIVER’S PIMPED-UP VERSION OF AN OLD-SCHOOL POTATO SALADMy Profile

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  2. Lavinia

    First of all I totally imagine the struggles of blogging! I think it’s a real misconception to think that it’s easy, and see it as kind of similar to being a student (being accountable to yourself, setting your own timelines, self-editing and coming up with ideas for writing constantly).

    Secondly, I love this article too! It’s so important to realize that a missed objective is not necessarily something that you weren’t capable of, or that you didn’t try hard enough for — but something that maybe you didn’t want enough, or that wasn’t “meant” for you. I try to remind myself of this constantly when I fail at things.. but it’s hard, of course!

    The tough thing about all this, I think, is that it requires hindsight. You might be convinced that you’ll love the struggles of being a corporate lawyer (in my case) but really until you’re in the thick of it you can’t really know what it’s going to be like. You can only find parallels in your current life and relate to those. (I.e.: well I like working long days and weekends now that I’m a student at a competitive school, but how do I know what it will actually be like as a lawyer?) So it’s true that you can distinguish what you love struggling for in the abstract, but when making concrete choices (where you’re not sure exactly what the experience will be for you) it can be tougher.

    xxxx

    Reply
  3. retrorganic

    Great article, that´s exactly was life is about!
    Do you really think everyones view of a blogger is thet they dont struggle? I have a very small blog but considering the time and effort I put in it Ican only imaging what big bloggers do. Have a nice day!

    Reply
  4. Riin

    I love this! This is so right! I am such a nerd, so for me this is studying. I have a PhD in Chemistry and now I am going for a law degree to broaden my horizons (while working at the same time). And I love the struggle, always have, allnighters studying, endless reading assignments and constant nerve for not getting things done on time. To most this sounds crazy, but it is my kind of crazy and it is worth my struggle, to know all these things and I know that it will benefit my career as well, but this is not even the main goal :) There are other sweet struggles as well, such as working out, but never as sweet as studying :) Nerd?!? YES, and proud of it :)

    Reply
  5. Bridget (thechromaddict)

    Lauryn!! I JUST posted an article for you and Susan to read on his insta!! It’s along these lines but I read the article above earlier this week and it just resonated and was so much YES.

    So motivating but also enlightening!!

    The article I referenced to Michael can be found here:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/01/05/11-signs-you-have-the-grit-you-need-to-succeed/

    Anyone else have way too much energy and focus from sober January?? Like holy quacamole!

    Xx B

    Reply
  6. Sara Hadar

    I actually read this article a few days ago and LOVED IT. It’s definitely true & it’s really easy to look at things (like blogs, instagram, pinterest, etc.) and forget the amount of work that goes into success & all the failures too. I like to keep myself motivated by looking at older content. I might not be where I want to be, but I always ask am I at least improving & learning & growing ? Are my photos better than they were a day ago, a month ago, are my posts better now than a month ago.. etc.
    Sara Hadar recently posted..Home Decor : The Gallery WallMy Profile

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  7. Savanna

    Loved this so much and honestly didn’t expect to when I read the intro about it being another one of those FB articles…

    “You can’t win if you don’t play.” That really hits home. I’ve been doing a lot of sidelining of myself lately (I don’t know if I think it’s sheltering me from negative consequences?) but it’s not doing me any good. I can’t win if I don’t even step on the floor.

    Thanks for the share!

    Reply
  8. Alison Kinsey

    This article completely spoke to me Lauryn, thank you for sharing it. I almost felt relieved reading it, knowing that I actually crave the struggle! I enjoy the hard work, the long nights, the PROCESS! I feel like the journey wouldn’t be as fun if we just got everything we wanted in seconds. It’s so much more rewarding when it comes later.

    I just mapped out my goals for the year, and one of them is this freakishly scary, “big” goal. It’s one I actually want, and one that’s going to require a crazy amount of grit and hustle, aka the 2am nights, and probably a lot of struggle and self-doubt! But when you love what you do, it’s fun to go after!

    Thanks for this post, I have always admired your passion and work ethic!!!
    Alison Kinsey recently posted..9 Goals For 2016My Profile

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    1. Lauryn Post author

      Hi Alison, good for you that you’re setting big goals. I am sending you positive vibes and I truly hope you accomplish them! If you don’t mind me asking, what are your goals? I am so curious to know what you’re going to accomplish this year! Good luck and thanks for reading <3
      Lauryn recently posted..NEW YEAR, NEW ASSMy Profile

  9. Priyanka Oza

    THIS. is what I realized by the time I was 25. And now I am working on determining what is worth it for me and not. It is a lot of evaluating, re-evaluation and lonely time spent in reflection. A few break-downs, pros and cons lists, and then the initial terrifying move of taking the plunge. I get slowed down a lot. I work full-time, don’t always meet my personal deadlines and fail a ton.

    BUT–I have never let that stop me from giving up my dreams of being fit, writing a book or one day eventually leaving it all to freelance.

    I’ve learned to feel ok with not-knowing only to realize I didn’t want it. Why beat myself up? I can channel my new found insight into something truly worth it.

    Whatever that is.

    <3
    Priyanka Oza recently posted..Interpreting a man’s behaviorMy Profile

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    1. Lauryn Post author

      Hi Priyanka, thank you for commenting. It’s so good to know that other women out there have ups and downs as well. I hope you kill it this year!! xx
      Lauryn recently posted..NEW YEAR, NEW ASSMy Profile

  10. Melissa

    Hello, I’ve been following your blog for several months, I enjoy some of your recommendations, some are just not me, your photographs are beautiful, loved your fiancé’s book recommendation post a lot and have found several books I’m already enjoying based on it……. this post today is by far the best I’ve seen yet… loved every bit of it, a very powerful message I truly hope will get through to people who read it… I’m sharing it on pinterest and facebook… Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Hi Melissa, thank you for your honest comment. I am glad you like this post! And you are seriously so sweet for sharing it! It means a lot! I hope you have a wonderful 2016! xx
      Lauryn recently posted..NEW YEAR, NEW ASSMy Profile

  11. Elyse

    Literally have never commented on a blog before (and I read a bunch of them) but this article made me cry – in the best possible way. So thank you.

    Reply
  12. Lisa

    Thanks for posting this Lauryn! My site Nourish just launched and I keep having to remind myself to make sure that I keep that work/life balance and to not sweat the small little issues of creating something new and rather just enjoy it.

    Reply
  13. Beth

    Thanks so much for sharing this article Lauryn!! I appreciate the struggles you endure for this blog :) This put so much in perspective for me.

    Reply
  14. Katie @ Adultingdaily

    I love this article so, so much. I think it’s a great concept/mantra to have in life. Whenever I set out to do something or strive for a goal, I can think to myself “am I willing to go through the struggle to get the reward?” If not, then I can save myself a LOT of time and disappointment. Thanks for passing along!

    Reply
  15. Virginia

    Great share!
    I’m going to be mulling this over all weekend. Your comments at the end reminded me of a Freud quote I learned when I was quite young and appreciate more and more the older I get
    “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
    xx

    Reply
  16. Beryl

    Definitely the perfect motivation to wake up to.

    It’s so ridiculously and obviously true, but I’ve never seen it actually spelled out. For an example, I realize that I never started actually working hard at the gym because before it was just a little box to check off. But since I actually started to enjoy upping my weights, challenging myself on cardio, and trying new yoga poses — I’m actually more excited to go work out in the evening.

    It’s similar to my work– I have a million biz ideas that I’d like to implement, but sometimes it seems overwhelming. Maybe that’s because some of them are just fantasies and some are actually that path I should be going down.

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it really resonated with me.
    Beryl recently posted..4 Life Lessons from 2015My Profile

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  17. Aimee

    Wow this spoke to me so much. I’m currently at a point in my life where I’m away to finish college and I’m trying to decide what to do next. I hope to one day work in film and I know I have to go through all the struggles to get their and I don’t know If i’m strong enough.
    Or its the same just now as I want to get healthier workout more but I’m still just sitting here eating cake hoping for a bikini body haha.

    But I completely agree with the article that you can’t achieve your dream without a little struggle.

    Aimee x
    http://cappuccinointheclouds.co
    Aimee recently posted..Friday FavouritesMy Profile

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  18. Morgan

    I’m in love with this. I never read those fb articles because they often times tell me what I’m already thinking. But this, I’ve never thought about it this way. I never achieved until I started finding my strength in the struggle, until I looked for the pain that told me I was improving and made me want to keep pushing. There’s that old saying, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” and I used to view that as life being the journey, but it also applies here. The journey is the most important part.

    Reply
  19. Meghan

    This article is everything. Thanks SO much for sharing! I absolutely love how beautifully the writer articulated the message that everyone wants the good stuff in life but really it’s about what you are willing to put into the journey to get to the “good stuff”. Not just wishing, dreaming, or hoping but actually doing and determining what it is you’re willing to do to get to the end result. So relevant in many facets of life.

    Thanks again for sharing. Love your blog!

    Reply
  20. Mackenzie

    Love this. I couldn’t agree more- the struggle is what makes the results beautiful! And failure in previous trials only makes future successes that much sweeter. I love hearing about peoples’ struggles too because I think it is so much more telling, as the author said. Like, what lit the fire that made you want to go so hard in the direction of your goals? I love that!
    The only thing that I think the author wasn’t totally spot on about was the last bit- that you have to enjoy the struggles that come along with your dreams. I don’t think we necessarily enjoy every struggle…some definitely (it feels good to push through because you know you are getting yourself closer to where you want to be), but I don’t think that you have to love a struggle in order to get through it. Some struggles are downright torturous, but it’s faith that what lies on the other side will be worth it that gets you through.
    All in all, amazing article. So happy I read it.

    Reply
  21. Krista Williams

    A good one, babe.

    I feel like it’s one of those, enjoy the ride…because once you get to the destination, you’re there then at that point you’ve probably added another destination or goal to your end. It’s never like we get ‘there’ and then stop, that’s pretty much when we die.

    When I thijnk of this, I weirdly think of my boyfriend, who quit his job in commercial real estate in NYC to learn to code and create mobile apps.

    Whereas I am so focused on the end goal – where will he work how much will he make etc etc. He consistently enjoys LEARNING, and GROWING and although struggling more with money, he’s happier than ever before.

    Thinking through in my life where I would sacrifice to struggle, to learn, with hopes that I would ultimately reach a goal, is hard to say. I think there’s a better opportunity for that somewhere. It may be that I quit my job recently to go ‘all in’ blogging full time. Now or never.

    Always appreciate your insights! Happy weekend, babe, xo.
    Krista
    Krista Williams recently posted..Little gifts in your inbox: Mailing lists that you MUST subscribe toMy Profile

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  22. Liz

    Thank you for sharing! It resonated with me as well, and I forwarded it to my family and friends already!

    xoxo Liz

    Reply
  23. Mackenzie

    I have always love that quote that goes “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
    — Anonymous

    Reply
  24. Mackenzie

    I have always loved this quote:

    “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
    — Anonymous

    To me, this article embodies the deeper meaning of this quote that I have loved and lived by and it’s wonderful to read something that really is so simple, base layer if you think about it, but at the same time extremely powerful and inspiring.
    Such a great pick me up article to kick off the new year!

    Reply
  25. Carly Conners Kenihan

    What a fabulous article. So much strength and truth in it. I completely agree on what you said in the blogsphere – blogging wouldn’t be enjoyable or rewarding without the challenge of sleepless nights and everlasting stress. And relationships, family, life…so much more beautiful with the struggle. You can’t be appreciative and grateful without hardship, and if you can’t be appreciative and grateful well then, what is there to really live and strive for?
    xx
    Carly
    http://bunbunbook.com
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  26. Lauren

    Hey lauryn,
    This totally resonated with me. I’m in a masters program aimed for people who want to pursue further professional degrees (think med, vet and PA school). I would give anything to be an MD; give me the sleepless nights, take away any idea of a social life, move me from my boyfriend of 4 years, I will study day in day out. So, obviously (to me), I will do everything to kill this program to get to the next step. But I see soooooo many (like sooooooooooooooo many) kids around me in my program complaining about bad grades when they won’t put in the time to study or complain about having to study for just a graduate level. I even had someone complain about the “savages” (no joke) that had the nerve to get A’s on every test and not sacrifice a little for others in the class. ??? but the thing is, if you can’t put in the work in the masters to get to the med school that you want to be in, then you won’t put it in there either. And the next step will only be harder.
    He is right, too many people only see the top of the mountain (being a rockstar doc or surgeon) but very few actually want to go through the tough shit it takes to get there (um hello med school, residency, not starting your career until 35???)

    Anyways, just wanted to share bc like you said, its applicable in every aspect of life. You have to be realistic!
    Thanks for sharing such a great article!

    Reply
  27. Einat

    This post was everything to me today! My goodness so on point as I am building my business. Of course I want success but I am relishing the highs and lows. The unexpected outcomes daily and everything else throughout this process. Great read!

    Reply
  28. jenna

    I love love love this! Thank you so much for sharing and it is so true… I think at the end of the day you always weigh what you want with how much you are willing to give up for it. Your blog is amazing and I think all of us can see how much you love it and how hard you work.

    xoxo

    Reply
  29. Sierra

    I have followed your blog for like a zillion years (at least 7?) and this is up there as one of my favorite posts EVER.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this. So so much. It’s given me a whole lot to think about; I kind of ended up as a lawyer as an afterthought – the whole “I don’t know what to do with my life I’ll just go to law school.” This article just makes SOOO much sense and deeply resonates with me.

    In figuring out what I actually WANT in the future, who knew the key was to envision the challenges I’d welcome?

    You’re awesome, Lauryn! ??? thank you for this

    Reply
  30. Andie delatorre

    loved it!
    have yuo thought abut just a quick post with a list of the best body detox tips that youve mentioned all throughout TSC history for january? thatd be amazing!
    XOXO

    Reply
  31. Chelsa

    I really enjoyed this article and I’ve never underestimated how much effort bloggers must give. Also most people don’t understand how it feels to be judged by a bunch of strangers over the internet, now that is a true struggle. Sometimes I feel like people think I have it easy because my husband is successful and I don’t need to have a real job, but they don’t realize how much effort I put into my own happiness. I meditate, read as many books as possible, eat well, feed my family well, put effort into my relationships, keep my home tidy… Some people work so hard at things that don’t even bring them happiness and it makes me sad because they could be happy if they just put that same effort into something more meaningful. You can’t buy happiness, it’s a full time job.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    Reply
  32. R

    I know a lot of people might have told you this but still I would like to tell you that you have a wonderful heart that’s why you know the article’s worth.
    Thanks to you as well as the writer for this lovely article.
    Its true that the path to success is very difficult but it is the same struggle, which makes the success even more sweeter!!!
    R recently posted..New Year hiccups!!!!My Profile

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  33. B.

    Lauren, this was the perfect thing for me to read right now.

    It reminded me that I DO love the pain of working out, the clean pain of sadness and vulnerability when I open my heart, and the risk of putting creative work out there. And endless research, endless editing.

    Right now I am going through an extremely difficult time and for the last two and a half days have been so paralyzed by anxiety and racing worries about unfinished projects, bills, mistakes, the past, that I find it impossible to make decisions, so work for my favorite client, or work on my new fiction idea.

    I few minutes ago I thought, ok I HAVE to find a way out of this mindset. Your blog always inspires me but this article was a wake-up call. Because what snapped into focus for me was this:
    If you don’t consciously choose the pain you want, you will still be in pain. I’ve been avoiding taking care of a lot of big, painful situations that are overwhelming me. So I am, by default, “choosing”
    the pain of feeling unproductive, overindulging in ineffective self-comfort by isolating myself and judging myself. I have not been making progress toward my goals so they are just fantasies.

    I know I am babbling here – maybe this will be a better way to articulate my thoughts: lately I have felt busy, overwhelmed by to-do lists, etc., but at the end of each day I realize somehow, most of my time was spent worrying, reproaching myself and working inefficiently. Your post made me remember the good, productive, hard pain I DO want. By not going towards that good pain, that will create the life I want, I am not actually avoiding any pain. In fact, I am spending more time in pain and it is the unproductive kind.

    After this jolt of clarity I made myself a cup of tea (Indian Spice, a favorite of mine for the taste and – I’ll share one of my best weight loss secrets here – a fantastic appetite suppressant. It’s not a “dieter’s tea,” but the intense cinnamon balanced blood sugar levels and the natural sweetness of the spices curbs my urge to snack. It’s almost magical, but I digress).

    So now, mug at my side, I plugged my headphones into some calming music with binaural beats that are meant to boost focus, and am about to make a new master list in a brand new notebook. My mood is completely turned around. My biggest, warmest thanks to you Lauren.

    Reply
    1. Lauryn Post author

      Hi, B— WOW! What a fantastic comment. I am so happy that this article provided you with some perspective. Can’t wait to try your Indian Spice tea too. Let me know how today goes- I’m sure you will conquer whatever you to need to conquer. Best of luck xox

  34. Amanda Waltman

    Looove. I recently left my job and am currently in the starving [blogger] struggle. While also doing odd jobs to try and make up for the money I gave up teaching. The thing is I wasn’t willing to struggle as much as I did for teaching because it’s not what I ultimately wanted. And the funny thing is that the struggle usually extends to all aspects of your life because things like money kind of affect your lifestyle. But I loved this post. Because it affirms to me that I’m willing to go through these struggles to do something in life that I’m proud of and that I love doing. Thanks for sharing!
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  35. Annie

    You know, I love this kind of deep shit. I think about it a lot; the purpose of my life, my struggles, is it all worth it? I was in a miserable corporate job, quit, and have thrown myself into the digital space. I am lucky enough that my hubby has a job that can support both of us, but while I am so happy to be doing my own thing now, I struggle with not contributing financially. Was I wrong to quit my job? What am I doing with my life? Is my family judging me now? Do they think I’m “dead weight”? It’s so hard to have this little voice in the back of your head, but I know that I am doing the right thing. It’s scary, but what’s the worst that happens? I fail after a year and have to go back to a corporate job? At least I can say that I tried and I’ll never be thinking “what if?”

    xo Annie
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  36. Andrea

    This is such a great article! It was sent to me the other day and it too brought me on the verge of tears as I sat at a desk where I feel like, in my mid 20s, I’ve already signed my life away to the monotony that is the office life I have at work. I’m passionate about writing. do very little of it lately, sadly. But I love to write. I have a blog in which I periodically write to inform my friends and family about my travels, or random thoughts. but never expected any followers… other than my mom and my bff. But reading this, and reading your take, it made realize I was brought to the verge of tears because I want to struggle, to fight for doing what I love. But I’m scared and feel stuck and can’t seem to budge.
    Thank you for the reflection, thank you for the confirmation that the struggle is worth it. Thank you for reminder that only I can make my own happiness.
    Andrea recently posted..Good bye 2015, Hello 2016My Profile

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  37. Shaina

    LOVE THIS. I’m currently only a high school student but this really put things in perspective for someone who is trying to decide where to go to school/what to do for the rest of my life. I always dream about ending up rich and successful but never really considered the effort and “pain” that has to go into it. This blog post really spoke to me!

    Reply
  38. Shannon

    I absolutely loved this post. I was left in total awe after reading this. I am very similar to you where I log into Facebook to find articles like these. It is incredibly inspiring but so true. Funny, because this is the same advice I think about with blogging. It’s been really neat following YOU as you transitioned from working full time as well as blogging full time to blogging even FULLER time. I also appreciate that you allude to the struggles. It is really refreshing and a simple platitude I always remember is that “Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy”. To be quite honest, I never fully realized and appreciated it until I started doing it myself & I am still just getting the hang of it.

    I also love that it brings up relationships and fitness. It’s a funny world we live in, since everything is so social media heavy, and obviously sharing the positives that I think it is easy to lose track on the hard times. Anyways, I am a notorious LONG commenter and can go on and on about this, but I really, really appreciate you sharing this. It is one of those articles I actually had to step away from the computer for ten minutes and just really let it all sink in and sit and appreciate the struggles – both current ones & ones overcome in years past. In fact, I think you’d really like the song “shades of Grey” by Oliver Heldens & Shaun Frank – she has a verse “got these scars but I think they’re pretty” and it stops me in my tracks every time.

    Speaking of, I’d so love a post from you about transitioning from working full time and knowing when it was time to make the leap (if you haven’t already). It obviously was one of the best decisions ever, but I can imagine it being one of the most scary at the time.

    Keep killing it, Lauryn – thank you so much for sharing articles like these! xx SS
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  39. Patty Lambert

    Hi Lauryn. Thanks for sharing this article. As a new blogger, I am constantly facing feelings of doubt -wondering if I’m truly cut out for this journey ahead. Yes, thinking positive is an imperative factor, but I have also come to realize that shit happens and things don’t always go as planned. This article sparked a new perspective in me. You have to be willing to fight for what you want no matter what. I just want you to know that the energy you’ve spent putting into The Skinny Confidential has been inspiring and has not gone unnoticed. I have followed you for a long time and it’s so awesome to see the growth in your blog over the years. I’m sure the journey wasn’t easy. Thanks again for sharing!

    -Patty
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  40. Stephanie

    I stumbled on this post/it found me at the most perfect time. I love how transparent you are in your journey!

    Reply
  41. Megan

    Thank you so much for sharing. I read this post of yours the other day and had to come back and read it again. Yours is the only blog I regularly do this with ha! This is such great advice, really puts everything into perspective thats really got me thinking about what I really want. Also, it fits in with the blog/your style of writing so well! I swear you could’ve written that :) Nailed it xo

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  42. Rena

    I’m glad to see someone finally calling out all those so-called self help gurus claiming that failure is caused by negative thinking etc. I am writing a book and love the process. Yes, I fantasize about signing autographs and getting rich, but that’s not why I am giving up all my free time to repeatedly edit the same chapter for days on end.

    Reply
  43. Lauren

    WOW – thank you so much for sharing Lauryn! I recently transitioned into starting my own business and have been struggling with patience as I’m navigating the daily up’s and down’s. This article was such a fantastic reminder that the struggle is what makes something great and worth it! At the end of the day I’d rather fight and fail than not try at all, right? Love it!
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  47. Monique

    Oddly enough, I JUST read this article least week! I knew immediately that it was by Mark Manson. He’s is one of MY FAVORITE ppl I’ve randomly discovered on the Internet. There’s no BS with Mark, and he has a way of writing that turns hilarious, pessimistic, thoughts into positivity. Now that’s my kind of guy! His inappropriate-ness is totally equal to mine. This really is a GREAT way to look at what you want in life from a different perspective, EXACTLY what he is good at!

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