Are we, as humans, addicted to hardship? To me, the answer is yes.

Imagine, for a second, that the opportunity of a lifetime came to you all tied up in a bow. Would you notice it when it came knocking on your door; or would you shut the door in its face? Let me tell you, more often than not; you’ve done the latter without even realising it.

Are you waiting for a ‘wow’ moment to sweep you off your feet? Well, let me tell you that those things only happen in movies. You know, a few weeks back, I was scouting out a venue for a workshop. I went with an open mind. The receptionist who greeted me spoke to me with honey in her mouth. The view at the location was spectacular. She even served me a cup of tea as I inhaled the scent of the ultra expensive air freshener as soft music played in the background. My senses were absolutely taken in by the atmosphere. So much so that I was sold.

A few weeks later, I discovered that the reality was considerably different to what I signed up for. The receptionist was a real headache. There were a gazillion different hidden charges and the whole thing turned out to be a bit of a hoax. I know you know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there.

So, the real question is, what happens when you realise that the reality is different to what you’ve signed off on the dotted line? There are, in my opinion, three options.

  1. Stick it out and suffer in silence
  2. Bolt for the door and never return
  3. Come to a compromise where both parties can be happy with the decision that’s been reached.

So, what would you choose? You’ll probably tell me number three, right? That’s the logical option. But most of the time, people will choose one or two.

cigarette smoke floating in dark room

In option number one, you choose to suffer in silence. How many times have you asked someone, are you okay and they lied to you and said yes? How many times have you been that individual who lied? Did you do it to keep the peace or did you do it because you’re secretly addicted to the hardship? Do you, on some twisted level, enjoy complaining and whining and telling everyone how stressed you are? Do you allow the office drama queen to drive you crazy? Or perhaps you’re even the office drama queen yourself… Ok, so I can hear you telling me how you have no choice, but seriously, c’mon… The universe is a big place with a gazillion different options that are available to you in any one moment in time. You can, most certainly find a better option if you just jolly well try.

In option number two, you leave quietly in the middle of the night. You don’t tell anyone why or what happened. You just go. Maybe you even make up some lousy excuse to deflect away from the real reason. Maybe you just don’t want to rock the boat. Perhaps you are opposed to conflict. But let me tell you, option number two doesn’t solve anything because no matter where you go, you will encounter problems. Perhaps a different problem to the one that you’re facing now, but you will still have problems. So please, don’t run. It won’t solve anything.

The last option requires a lot of maturity that most people need a lot of time to grow into. For symbiosis to happen, both parties have to gain something valuable out of the relationship. It is not simply about giving someone something of value, but actually giving them something they value. And it has to go both ways. Reciprocity is not a one-way street. It doesn’t end when you simply decide that you have given something valuable and that’s that. If you’re offering someone something that they don’t like or want–then it’s game over.

Which brings me to my final point and the question I asked at the very beginning. Yes, we humans are addicted to hardship and fleeting pleasures that quickly turn to pain. I’ve seen people mess it up in perfectly good relationships with perfectly awesome spouses. I’ve seen people walk away from lucrative business deals to go and live in a glittery gutter. I’ve seen people throw amazing ideas out the window for perfectly ordinary crap that any idiot could do. And over and over again, I have seen people settle for the average and mediocre instead of setting their sights higher and aiming for bigger and better.

I think so many people are lured into a false sense of security by having people less competent, less accomplished and less capable surround them. But that sense of security is utter garbage. You are finding your sense of security in another’s scarcity. You are not an abundant water source with lots to offer any relatively sane human being. Rather, you are like a venomous spider–vampiric to the very core. And the worst part, you don’t even realise you are doing it!

And don’t fall for looks. We all know that in life, things are not as they appear. So don’t look at photoshopped models and magazines and confuse that with real life. It is not real life.

Let go of what makes you miserable. Let go of all the things that bring you anxiety and unhappiness. Let go of all the people who you make unhappy. Once you do that, the joy will start flowing in. Overcome your addiction to hardship. True bliss awaits you.

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