“The key to living isn’t getting rid of struggle, it’s finding good struggles.”

That statement above is from Marie Forleo and Mark Manson talking together.

They’re talking about a context shift — changing the way you’re relating to what’s happening in your life.

So this is a more empowered way to relate to the struggles you’re facing in life. Instead of trying to eradicate struggle, you just try to make sure what you’re struggling with is a “good” struggle.

My job is to notice where people are caught in a particular context, and help them see how the actions they’re taking are actually more of the same context.

Like, if I have a tendency to fall blindly into holes, and I’m devoting more and more time to learning how to get out of holes faster, I’m not really going to change my experience of life. I’m just going to speed it up.

I’ll get out of the hole faster, and I’ll fall into the next one sooner.

The cycle repeats.

So, with this quote above, what I notice is that things are still filtered through the context of “struggle”.

Sure, now at least you’re in a “good struggle”, but there’s still some part of your life that you’re going to relate to as a struggle.

This is what I call “empowered resignation”.

We’ve resigned ourselves to the idea that our life is going to have “struggle”, but at least we can be empowered about it. We declare this is a “good struggle” and now maybe we’re at least willing to accept it.

This shift Marie and Mark are talking about above sounds great, and it will be great, for the first little while, because it’s novel and new. But it’s not actually going to radically shift someone’s experience of life from being one with struggle, to one without.

If you find yourself feeling like you’re struggling, like things are hard, possibly even like you’re suffering, you’re not going to look beyond this space, because your context has concluded that this is not something you can eliminate. Your best bet is to accept and be empowered about where you are.

This is where a lot of self-help, personal growth and frankly, the coaching industry, leaves us. We’re in the same muck as before, but at least now we’re kind of feeling a little better about it.

But yo, what if your life didn’t have to have struggle be a part of it?

There are millions of different contexts we can create, within which to hold, receive and experience our lives, that transcend the notion of struggle.

Here’s a really simple one to bring us home:

I’m learning a new dance technique called Animating (check out this video to see what it looks like when it’s all put together).

It’s hard and my muscles don’t move the way I want them to move. I feel awkward and stupid and like a dork, when I’m trying to do this.

From a context of struggle, I simply accept this. “It’s okay. I feel awkward and stupid and like a dork, and I don’t like this, and it makes me feel bad, and that’s all annoying, but this is a good thing to feel that way about”.

Or, I can shift that context entirely. What about a context of practise?

Inside a context of practise, I don’t have to make any of this mean anything. Yah, my muscles aren’t moving the way I would like them to, but that’s okay, that’s part of practising. Yah, I’m not where I would like to be, but that’s practise.

This shift gives me a different way of relating to what’s happening, and from that new relationship, I can drop the struggle, the suffering, and the self-talk.