There is a direct link between depth and difficulty. If you don’t believe me, take a stroll through the biography aisle at Books-a-Million. Deep stories are defined by it; shallow ones lack it.
The depth of life is unlocked only through difficult experiences, and when it comes to growth — making progress—we have to invite difficulty in.
Difficulty is generative — it generates all sorts of branches and fruits of goodness and meaning in our lives. But generators don’t run without gas, an inflammatory agent.
Let’s take relationships, for example. We want to generate goodness in those, but do we have to invite difficulty in? What a sticky question.
Yes, I think we do, but don’t worry, it’ll come naturally. The more you spend time with someone the more difficulty you will naturally uncover — both of you. It’s built into our humanity to cause each other problems; it just is what it is.
We naturally react against it because we want to chill; our bias is to chill with people who are agreeable.
But depth is unlocked in the disagreeable moments. Not throwing your sucker in the dirt is the absolute best thing you can do, for you, them and the entire company.
Beauty and growth is generated out of thin air in the natural compromise that comes from the commitment of imperfect people.
Only cowards throw their sucker in the dirt.
Only losers back away from people and isolate themselves from difficulty.
Difficulty comes, but we only grow through it if we are committed to each other.
This is a paradox, is it not? We are better together when we are experiencing difficulty, not when we are all hunky-dory happy-go-lucky.
In an office setting, we want happiness and harmony, but it often eludes us.
So we have two options. We know that harmony comes at a cost, so we can either be apathetic to each other, content with the stale, business-first relationships we have, or we can commit to each other and watch the generator go.
That invites difficulty, from day one, but if we are committed to each other, deeply, it can only lead to generative depth.
What if every time we hit a root we stopped digging?
What if every time we encountered difficulty we quit?
There is a depth that can only be unlocked through difficulty.
But what do we do with depth once we’ve unlocked it?
Well, that’s up to you. You can lean on it for greater productivity for your company, in a very business literature way. Or, you can benefit from it by enjoying a happier, healthier work environment, in a very self-help way. Or, you can leverage it for causes bigger than yourself.
Like generating goodness, for example.
If companies set their main goal as establishing internal generators for goodness that spill over into their departments, products and customers, there would be no more suckers in the dirt, no more wasted opportunities.
Instead there would be a long line of commitments, of compromises and healthy relationships.
The paradox is the reality that we are better off committing to imperfect people than backing away and protecting ourselves from them.
Invite difficulty into your life, I dare you.
Adam Setser is a financial advisor with Kerrigan Capital and Risk Management, 3543 North Crossing Circle, Valdosta. He can be reached at (229) 588-8448.
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