Only In The Struggle

I make my living as a salesguy.

In my line of work, things are pretty cut and dried. You either do your job, or you don’t. You make your money, or you won’t. You don’t get a paycheck (of any decent size, anyway) unless there has been some substantial effort to obtain it. You want the money, you go after it.

There are goals to be met and achieved. If you are not making the company set goals, chances are you are not going to meet your financial goals.

Over the last couple of years, it has been a struggle for me to get to 100% of my sales goal. I have gotten there, often with a furious rally towards the end of the year to catch up. But its a struggle. Where some other people in my office make it look easy, I have to grind at it. For me, it is far from easy.

So now, it’s a new year. Selling territories have been slashed. New folks have been hired. What wasn’t even close to easy for me before, now just got measurably more difficult. It will be a struggle.

I have, in the past, at times struggled professionally. After I left my family’s restaurant, which was a life that seemed tailor made for me, I spent years trying to find my place, to not stumble, to find something I was good at…for the sake of making money.

I work a job now where I feel fairly successful. I provide for my family. We are able to afford a pretty nice life.

But the rules of the game have changed. And they always will. In my company, in the American employment landscape, change will be the only thing that stays consistent.

There are now decisions to make. It’s a new year, with a new plan, and we’re all at the bottom, looking up. Only this time, that mountain peak is much higher. Will I accept just the struggle? Or will I accept the challenge to overcome it?

I have found it easy to be frustrated (this week especially) because of what looks to be this upcoming financial challenge. But I have also found it easy to be very satisfied with the direction life is headed recently. And I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

I’m happy with the direction of my life partly because of the struggle, the challenges that we all face that make life rewarding: We can be satisfied simply by overcoming those challenges.

I appreciate my life as it is. Because I’m aware of, and appreciate where I’ve been. And where my family has been. And the daily struggles they had to overcome and the challenges they met  head on, coming from Italy to America to make a life and fulfill a dream.

With that perspective, this salesguy (and husband, father, and friend) is also ready to meet it all head on, and accept the struggle.

Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!

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