The Magic of Struggle.

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On your path to greatness, there will be a lot of struggle, strife, trials and tribulations. There will also be plateaus, valleys of distress, peaks, valleys, and rollercoasters of ups and downs. It is part of the process of figuring anything out. No matter what your aim or objective, the start seems smooth, the middle is messy and filled with struggle while the end is always evolving. Success is never guaranteed but the struggle, pain and discomfort is guaranteed but if you give during the strife and challenge; failure is guaranteed. If you are not feeling a bit of pain, struggle, discomfort and stretching while trying to achieve your goals, you are probably not aiming high.

I have been trying to speak impeccable French for over a decade. I have gone through various training strategies such as classroom learning, daily french podcast listening, watching french movies and documentaries with subtitles, moving to a french speaking city and even write blog articles in french. My french learning adventure has been filled with ups and downs but it is one of the most exciting goal that I am to achieve daily. I presently speak, write, comprehend and read at B1-B2 CEFR proficiency level. Its been extremely tough learning the language over the years as I have most stayed in english speaking cities but I have stayed the course.

By enduring the stuggle and challenges involved with learning a foreign language especially the French language with its multiple rules and perculiarities. The struggle is never ending when one is learning or starting something new such as learning a foreign language or a programming language but if you embrace the struggle and discomfort, the reward is very fulfilling and gratifying. I don’t speak imperccable French yet but I have come a long way in my journey. I can easily communicate most things that I want to say in French. I might not be able to speak like a native but I am always embracing the struggle and dealing with the challenge of trying to get better daily.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

Changing a behaviour or achieving a worthwhile goal can be extremely tough especially when you are aiming for stretch goal such as learning a foreign language/programming language or running a full marathon. We often start with contagious optimism but as the project/goal gets tougher, the tendency to give up becomes stronger as the going gets tough. One of the hallmarks of the most successful and admired people is there will to push pass the pain, stuggle and despair. In their Emotional Cycle of Change model of Change, Psychologists Don Kelley and Daryl Connor describe the emotional roller coaster of change and the five cycles of change.


In their book, The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months, authors Brian P. Moran and  Michael Lennington write about Kelley and Connor’s emotional cycle of change (ECOC):

Whenever we decide to make a change in our lives, we experience an emotional roller coaster. Psychologists Don Kelley and Daryl Connor describe this phenomenon in a paper called “The Emotional Cycle of Change.” Kelley and Connor’s emotional cycle of change (ECOC) includes five stages of emotional experience.

The ECOC is the description of the emotional impact of change. By being aware of this cycle, you are less likely to be derailed by negative emotions and are able to manage change more effectively. Regardless of the change you choose to make, you will experience this cycle. You can plot new relationships, new purchases, new jobs, and new neighborhoods on the ECOC, and it’s always the same. Sometimes the highs are higher, and sometimes the lows are lower; sometimes the cycle is shorter, and other times it’s longer, but in all cases, you will experience this cycle when you decide to make a change in your life.

There are five stages that people move through emotionally when changing their behavior: Uninformed Optimism, Informed Pessimism, Valley of Despair, Informed Optimism and Success and Fulfillment

Uninformed Optimism

The first stage of change is most often exciting, as we imagine all of the benefits and have not yet experienced any of the costs. Our emotions are driven by our uninformed optimism, which is in the positive emotional area of the graph. 

Informed Pessimism

This stage is  characterized by a shift to a negative emotional state. At this point, the benefits don’t seem as real, important, or immediate, and the costs of the change are apparent. You start to question if the change is really worth the effort and begin to look for reasons to abandon the effort. If that’s not bad enough, things get worse.

Valley of Despair

This is when most people give up. All of the pain of change is felt and the benefits seem far away or less important—and there is a fast, easy way to end the discomfort: Going back to the way you used to do things. It is precisely at this stage—the valley of despair—that having a compelling vision is critical. Nearly all of us have had times in our lives when we wanted something so badly we were willing to pay any price and overcome any hurdle to get it.

Informed Optimism

At this stage, your likelihood of success is much higher. You are back in the positive emotional area of the cycle. The benefits of your actions are starting to bear fruit and the costs of change are lessened because your new thoughts and actions are becoming more routine. The key at this stage is to not stop!

Success and fulfillment

At this final stage of change, the benefits of your new behaviors are fully experienced and the costs of change are virtually gone. The actions, which at the beginning were difficult and uncomfortable, have now become routine. Every time you complete the cycle, you build not only your capacity, but also your confidence.


Pain is Temporary 1

That’s the beauty of pain. Not only is it temporary, which means you don’t have to deal with it forever, it tells you whether you’ve begun to give enough of yourself in pursuit of your dreams. If the work of being great or achieving something special hasn’t hurt or cost you anything, or at least made you uncomfortable, then I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but you’re not working hard enough. You’re not sacrificing all that could be sacrificed in order to be all that you could become.

To do great things that last, sacrifices are necessary.


Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – The Place

  • Open to each new moment without expectations. When we experience something that we identify as unpleasant, we tend to push it away. We do all we can to avoid and avoid physical pain, loneliness and grief. We are always running to get to somewhere better but mindfulness encourages us to not to push things away. It invites us to accept and stay with our experience no matter how challenging.
  • When we are grasping for pleasant emotions/sensations or resisting unpleasnt ones, we are misaligned with the natural balance of life. We are left in a state of constant wanting,always wanting pleasant results, wanting things to be different. When we are perpetually wanting, it is going to be hard to be happy. The goal is to learn to accept our reality as it is, pleasant or unpleasant.

Soften your grasp because it is in the absence of resistance that we find acceptance.

Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – The Tightrope

  • Balance is not about remaining completely still and immovable, it is more akin to walking a tightrope. Balance is not about having two solid feet on the ground, it is about being able to navigate each sway and lurch, maintaining composure when things get dicey and finding a way to keep going.

What is important to me that I have been devaluing or depriortizing?

Daily Trip with Jeff Warren – Kiss Joy As It

He who binds to himself a joy. Does the winged life destroy. He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise. – Eternity, William Blake


  • Feeling Lost, Lazy & Can’t Focus? – This One Idea Will Change Your Life In 2024 | Cal Newport Podcast.


  • Español: La economía del futuro | Documental Inteligencia Artificial | Brecha de género.
  • Français: Les secrets des Chinois à Paris: une communauté discrète et puissante – Documentaire Complet

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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