“Don’t be afraid to struggle. You will become stronger the older you get. Struggle creates something unique and different.” – Terry Cook
Being uncomfortable and failing are two things most people try to avoid but Terry Cook embraced this zone.
This seems to be an ongoing theme among successful people. Life seems to happen when you play in that zone between being comfortable and uncomfortable. If you’re constantly in a state of comfort then no growth occurs. If you’re constantly in a state of discomfort then you die at 50 years old of a heart attack.
Terry, originally from Spencer, Iowa, wrestled at the University of Nebraska and ranked as high as fourth in the country. He went on to work in the fundraising industry for 10 years. If you don’t know Terry, he’s also a pretty damn good golfer. So I’ll use golf to paint a picture of this analogy.
All golfers shank their shots or miss easy putts but the good golfers do it less. They do it less because they learn from their mistakes. Just like anything in life. Mistakes and struggles HAVE to be embraced because they WILL happen. As Terry points out in the podcast, “Nothing is wrong with suffering a little bit, and earning what you get.” Terry was speaking specifically about raising kids to be happy and successful. This is an important point that doesn’t get talked about enough. A person cannot appreciate the good if they have not experienced the bad.
Ironically, the original definition of “passion” is defined: “The willingness to endure suffering.” If your life is filled with actual passion, you will be willing to endure the suffering. You will be willing to fail because you concentrate on the bigger goal that YOU want to achieve.
As they say, “A great thing given is never as good as a great thing earned.” When you put your heart and soul into a venture it’s understandable to feel like you deserve success. Although, just because you work hard at something doesn’t mean you deserve anything. This leads to desperation, and desperation can lead to dangerous behavior. Failures and setbacks will occur at every step of the way, small and large. Take a step back and think about why it happened, and then think about how to change it.
Because failure isn’t fatal, but failing to change might be.