Finding Meaning in the Struggle

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    126 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    A happy life is not a life without struggle, it’s a life of meaningful struggle.

    Nietzsche once wrote, “He, who has a why to live for, can bear with almost any how.”

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    Three things for you to ask yourself

    What are the meaningful struggles in your life? What are the meaningless struggles in your life?

    What can you do to convert the meaningless struggles into meaningful ones?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    Two things for you to try this week

    Choose a new meaningful struggle and engage in it. Then, reply and let me know how it went.

    Choose a meaningless struggle and let it go. Just give it up. Then, reply and let me know how it went.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    Join me in one of my videos this year!

    Want to get coached for free, achieve your goals in a fun and creative way, and potentially even win some money or prizes along the way? I’m looking to create a database of people interested in appearing in videos.

    In 2023, I’m investing a lot into my YouTube channel and video content in general. As part of this, I’d like to create some videos where I hang out with you—my readers—and work with you on whatever problems you’re going through in your life. The goal is to find fun and novel ways to help people work through their issues and to create entertaining and authentic content to help others along the way.

    Some of these videos will be deep and intense and personal. Others will be fun and somewhat ridiculous. Others will be gamified and have prizes and rewards for achieving goals or milestones.

    It’s going to be a ton of fun. At this stage, I’m simply collecting the contact info of everyone who is interested and willing to be on camera and take part in the shenanigans. If you are interested, please fill out this form and include a short video recorded on your phone introducing yourself. We’ll be filming internationally, so you can apply from anywhere in the world.

    Looking forward to it.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s email, I asked you to stop trying, to give up in one area of your life where you’re anxious to achieve success or love or happiness.

    Sarah stopped trying to market her self-published book so she could return to what gives her joy, writing:

    I’m replying because of your line ‘stop trying.’ I’ve recently published a trilogy on Amazon. I was sure I was going to be able to market it successfully. I had taken a course on Facebook advertising, and I was putting what I had learned into practice. Then Facebook permanently banned me from advertising. I had no idea why and no specifics were given.

    I have spent the last eight weeks trying to learn about Amazon and TikTok whilst coping with my shattered dreams of reaching more readers. Then I read your email, and you’re right. I just need to leave it alone. The last five years haven’t been a waste. I love, love, love writing. It’s my happy place. I don’t like the marketing side, it’s overwhelming me, and making me miserable. So, I’m going to stop worrying. I’ve sold quite a few books, so maybe, if it’s good enough, it will slowly build through word of mouth, and I’m going to get on with doing what brings me joy, writing the next one.

    As someone who has been arbitrarily banned from Facebook Advertising multiple times with no explanation, I sympathize. And as a fellow author, I can tell you that in the long run, 99% of book sales come from word of mouth.

    Many of us constantly strive to be “the best” at our own expense. So did this reader, until now:

    I have spent the better part of my life and career sacrificing my own time, well-being, relationships, etc. in service to others. I feel guilty if I take a day off, and if I’m not “the best” each and every day.

    But this weekend I did something rather unlike me: I booked a trip for my husband and I that requires me to take two so-called personal days. I even tacked it onto a long weekend. The sacrilege, I know. But guess what? I let go. Let go of the notion that “the best” can’t include time to restore my sanity and to be away. Let go of the notion that I need to care about how I am perceived 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day.

    When I told my boss, I heard ‘Good for you!’ My fellow overachievers have also echoed the same. Turns out the world doesn’t fall apart if you just make the leap and let go.

    And this story from another Sarah, referencing a breakthrough from a past newsletter, made me chuckle, mostly because I do the exact same thing with my clothes and it drives my wife insane:

    I have to share one small but nearly impossible breakthrough. Silly story short: I used to put my clothes on a big chair in the bathroom in the evening. For basically my whole life. The stack of clothes was growing steadily and it was impossible to sit there. Not speaking of the look of this pile, my husband hated it. I always thought, ‘Well, I will wear it again the next days anyways.’

    Inspired by your email and by the story of the smoker who practiced to be a non-smoker instead of ‘quitting,’ I told my brain: ‘Every evening, I have the chance to practice putting my clothes where they belong.’ It wasn’t ‘Get a grip and start to be a tidy-chair-person’ anymore. It was no failure to skip a day. It was just practicing.

    No clothes have touched this chair since I started practicing weeks ago. Thanks for the ass-kicking brain manipulation!

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous. And if you would like to be considered for my YouTube coaching videos, fill in this form and include a short video recorded on your phone introducing yourself. We’ll be filming internationally, so you can apply from anywhere in the world.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
    My WebsiteMy BooksMy YouTube Channel