Life struggles

By Klaus Döring

I’m not saying that life is always easy-life is a challenge. When we struggle against the natural rhythms of life, we create resistance and opposition and this is what leads to struggle. With struggle there is no joy and rarely any reward. In fact, for some people struggle is the reward.

Since Charles Robert Darwin’s write up “Origin of Species” ‘struggle for life’ has indeed become a slogan and headword.

Struggle for life because of poverty. Poverty (from the Latin ‘pauperlas’) is more than painful. Having little or no money, living without any means, wretched and unfortunate – look around, and we can find millions and millions human creatures all around the globe.

Imagine: Several years have passed since world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York agreed on a blueprint of eight development goals to improve life in underdeveloped countries by 2015 (!)! Several world leaders pledged to tackle poverty, disease – and, most important, ignorance and inequality – and went beyond generalities to commit themselves to specific goals.

We all have to get closer – but progress has been made over the past decade – although I would consider it just as drop in the ocean. I strongly agree with former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has urged world leaders to lift millions of people out of poverty regardless of the global economic downturn.

Many more moves have to be done. Very true is Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty, who said that some goals will likely be met, but the poorest are still going to be left out, partly because so many governments are not accountable to their people.

Speaking about governments: the Aquino administration is also planning to push the subsidy program for the poor. It has promised to increase the number of beneficiaries by the end of next year. Being an incorrigible optimist I am  the present Philippine administration  will  really push it through! And the world leaders too!

Life is full of its ups and downs. One day, you may feel like you have it all figured out. Then, in a moment’s notice, you’ve been thrown a curve ball. You’re not alone in these feelings. Everyone has to face their own set of challenges. Learning how to overcome challenges will help you stay centered and remain calm under pressure.

Everyone has their own preferences for how to face a challenge in life. However, there are a few good tips and tricks to follow when the going gets tough.

While you don’t know what is going to happen in the future, you can always plan ahead. Look at the patterns in your life and see what challenges you’ve struggled with. Assess the optimal outcomes and make a plan for how you can achieve them.

If you work somewhere and can anticipate the types of challenges you may face, then you can plan ahead. This is the same for students in school. If a challenge is time management, then you can learn and plan for calendar management, for example.

Every person in this world has their low points. Some may handle or even hide it better than others. But the truth is, whatever you are going through, there are others who have been through it too. You’re not alone. Try to reach out to your community and network. Speak your feelings and express your concerns in all settings of your life.

You’re not alone, so you can find help. There’s no need to feel ashamed for asking for help. Whether you choose to rely on a loved one, a stranger, a mentor, or a friend, there are people who want to help you succeed.

By masking your feelings, they are not going to go away. Rather, feelings become trapped energy and can even have negative health consequences when they are ignored. Take some time to feel what you feel. This could come in the form of meditation. Or, if you’d rather write down what you feel, writing can be a therapeutic and cathartic experience.

When you feel and share your feelings, you may also be able to see your situation in a new light. This exercise could lead you to come up with novel solutions and overcome any challenge at hand.

Asking for help is only one side of the coin. On the other side of the coin, you have to be open and willing to accept support. People who come to your aid truly do care about you. Be open to receiving help when you need it.

The old adage goes, “What you give is what you get.” If you’ve been through a situation or have advice for someone you know who is going through a tough time, be sure to help out! Helping others not only benefits them, but it can also help you feel happier yourself.

It can be easy to let yourself think small because of the fear of failure, or even the fear of making a decision. But, to accomplish great things in life, you have to be open to taking risks. With whatever challenges may arise, always think and dream big. That way, you will achieve more than you could have ever imagined. Try not to let your thoughts get in your own way.

What you think becomes your reality. Train your mind to think positively. This will take both time and practice. It begins with mental awareness. You can practice awareness through mindfulness techniques and meditation. When you get good at acknowledging your thoughts and letting them pass, you can stop negative thoughts in their tracks.

When a challenge arises, be it a big test in school or an upcoming running race, don’t give up! Persistence is a huge key to overcoming challenges. Giving up means that you will neither overcome the challenge nor learn from it. Power through challenges by asking for support, feeling your feelings, and making a plan to work through it.

Generally, there is more than one way to get something done. However, there’s always just one optimal way or best way of doing it. To work smarter rather than harder, start by working backward. Outline and define your goal. Then, plan the process for how to get there. Perform research to see how others who have come before you have done it. Take count of your own skills and ideas for how you may be able to do it better. Then, stick to your path and get to work!


Email me: or visit one of my websites or or follow me on Facebook or LinkedIn.