[Editor Note: By 9 am today I received enough DMs about this week's "Friday "Filosophy" newsletter that I knew it should be shared with you all. So by numerous requests, I am reprinting it in its entirety here. If you're not a regular subscriber, the newsletter is free and you can sign up on the homepage here. - RG]
Happy Freakin’ Friday!
Here’s my weekly dispatch to you, exploring a subject that I’m thinking about – a subject you may want to think about as well. And what I’m thinking about right now is suffering.
Taking a snapshot of the last two weeks: Last Friday a friend took his life jumping off a building. The police could only tell it was him by running the fingerprints. Two friends are going through chemo treatment against cancer, one of whom needed to have his bladder replaced. Another longtime friend had a heart attack and while he was in the recovery room, his distraught wife had to make the decision to put down one of their beloved family pets. And then yesterday a family I’ve been blessed to know for 20 years lost their father to a heart attack. I spent the last three days lying on the floor to alleviate pain from a spinal injury. (And recognize that on this list of trials and tribulations, I’m the luckiest one on it.)
There were some other friends losing jobs, putting down a pet, or receiving a challenging medical diagnosis, but you get the picture. Not every two-week period has as much suffering as this, but truth is in my large circle of friends – a span like this isn’t really that uncommon. All this is not meant to be a downer, but to illustrate one of the most important truths of prosperity. Namely that…
Life includes suffering. And a great mindset, prosperity consciousness, and a positive mental attitude is never going to prevent suffering.
People with a naive or superficial understanding of prosperity often fall prey to a belief that once you get your mindset correct, you’ll never face challenge, adversity, or suffering again. This is magical thinking like the people who watch The Secret and think their Lamborghini is going to drive itself into their driveway. People who believe such things are frequently unprepared and then devastated by the shock and severity of the wake-up call they eventually receive.
Of course, you should strive for a positive attitude, craft a positive vision for your life, set bold goals, and view the world through the lens of prosperity consciousness. I try to do that every day and I hope you do as well. But there is no magical thinking that is going to protect us from suffering.
So how do we overcome the anguish, suffering, and ache?
If I knew, I wouldn’t be typing this in 15-minute increments, as the pain allows. But I have learned a few things: To live a prosperous life means approaching it with a positive yet realistic mindset. Knowing that at some point or another, we all will face unspeakable hardship, tragic losses, and what seems to be unbearable sorrow. Wellness comes with sickness, youth comes with aging, and life comes with death. It’s a package deal.
Yes, we can and must make better choices to live a prosperous life. We must eat and drink clean, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and nourish our souls. Doing all these things can reduce the suffering we must endure but will never eliminate it. In a sense we must embrace suffering, knowing that it is woven into part of a much bigger tapestry. And that tapestry includes a kaleidoscope of joy, celebration, and growth.
We have to accept that rain brings the flowers, failures produce victories, and sometimes out of our greatest losses come our greatest blessings. We must remind ourselves that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s simply part of the success process. Failure (and sometimes loss and suffering) forces us to modify, learn and grow, using setbacks as stepping-stones. We are overcoming to become. Perhaps the most shocking part of suffering is learning that it doesn’t make you special. In fact, it makes you quite normal. Because contrary to everyone else’s cheerful Instagram posts, everyone you know is suffering, recently got over suffering, or is about to face suffering.
As parents, coaches, leaders, caretakers and numerous other roles, we try our best to protect others from suffering. As well we should. But just like toddlers have to eat dirt to develop immunity to certain germs, we all must face some suffering in order to experience the wonderous side of life. If there is a secret, it comes down to being able to stoically endure suffering as a necessary element of a life well lived. It’s having the ability to go through it without feeling uniquely persecuted, giving up and decidedly to become a victim. I don’t know all the answers, but there is one truth I know above all else. And that is…
In life, suffering is mandatory. Victimhood is optional.
That’s what I’m thinking about. Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what’s on your mind.
This Week’s Prosperity Livestream:
Being Poor Is a Sin
If you are still poor at the moment – don’t get mad; just watch the broadcast. You’ll thank me later. [Ed note: You can watch the replay here.]
ICYMI, here are links to my work this week:
On the Blog:
On the Podcast:
P.S. In 91 days, I’ll be doing my annual Speaker School – live and in person. I’ll be fully vaccinated by then, won’t be wearing a mask, but we will have common sense Covid-19 protocols in place. If you want to rock the platform in convention halls and arenas, you should join me. You can get all the details here: https://www.randygage.com/speaker-school/