Built for Distance, Built for Struggle, Built for GOOD

The past week’s been particularly bumpy in a variety of ways.  Somehow though, my attitude hasn’t waned much.  With effort, I’ve been able to get back to GOOD, and things have worked out ok; I’d even say, pretty damn well.  Here is a suggestion and a couple related insights that have helped me this week.  I hope they’ll help you too.

First, you have to believe in YOU.  What I mean by that is, believe you are worthy and able to persevere through difficulty.  This is super important.  You can handle whatever comes your way.

It may not be easy, it might even suck and be really painful, but YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH.  How do I know?   Here’s my thought-thread this week.

We humans are built for distance foot travel.  That means endurance and unplanned difficulty and danger and pain.  To keep going, to keep moving forward.

As we evolved tens of thousands of years ago, we became good at covering long distances in search of food.  There’s a ton of evidence behind this thesis.  There’s also all the recent literature around the importance of getting UP, and being more active throughout the day. There’s Paul Salopek’s 25,000 mile Out Of Eden Walk.

No doubt about it, we are built for distance.  I think it follows pretty closely that our species is also built for struggle.  We are hard-wired to persevere and overcome difficulty and never give up and make it to the end.  We have a tremendous capacity to suffer.  But here’s the thing.

Rather than think of this fact in the negative, think of it in the positive.

We CAN suffer, and survive, to live and love and fight another day.  This fact can be extremely powerful if you let it.  That ability is inside of YOU.

Does that mean suffering is something we should look forward to?  Not exactly.  But it does mean that when you find yourself in a difficult situation, when you’re in pain physically or mentally or emotionally or all of the above, that doesn’t have to be the last word.  YOU decide how you’ll respond.

You can handle it, you can make it through the darkness, through the difficulty, through the pain, to the GOOD.  And that’s the other insight.

We all benefit from doing good things for others.  No matter how small, how seemingly trivial, when we do something good for others, it makes us feel good too. And that’s the other essential part of coping and persevering and overcoming.

You’re built for distance, and struggle, and GOOD.  And you’re not alone.

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