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Have you ever heard the saying, “No pain, no gain.”? How about this one? “A calloused hand is a strong hand.” We have all heard these sayings before, right? Wouldn’t you agree that these maxims about the value of human struggle have been around forever, right?

However, which one of us really wants pain or rough, calloused hands from an overload of hard work and hardships? Hmm… Not many, right?

I bet a bunch of you are probably wondering right about now if we can we just skip the pain and rough, calloused hands of failure and somehow go straight to the glorious struggle that is supposed to make us bigger, braver, and stronger? Unfortunately… No! Struggle equals occasional failure. And failure equals pain. There is no pride without some previous pain.

So, how can we trick our minds into thinking that struggle, and even occasional failure, is good and not painful or too rough for us to endure?

Well, the answer is a clear vision of our long-term goals accomplished through a bunch of short-term goals. And the best way to proceed is to crawl first towards our life’s goals, then walk, and then finally run. However, please realize that it’s probably going to take longer than we want. We’re probably going to fall down a lot and have to deal with the pain of scraped knees.

Don’t be discouraged, though. Here we can look to the common tiny baby for guidance. Why babies? Because babies are not afraid of failure, and they are not worried about who is watching.

We too can learn to be a little less afraid of failure, and care a little less about who is watching us. Remember, failure, like its partner–in–marriage- struggle, makes us stronger. And if these people watching us fall are really our friends, then they will still be our friends, even when we fail.

And for the naysayers, they are just loudmouth naysayers. So don’t let them get to you. You should feel sorry for them because they are going nowhere in life and are hoping others will follow them down the road of someday to the town of nowhere. Don’t be a follower. Be a leader!

Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember the struggle is good. Through the struggle we become stronger. Don’t worry about the occasional ache, pain, or calloused hand caused by failure. These things are only temporary. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do.

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