In the original Conan the Barbarian movie, the young Conan and his peers are captured and forced to turn a giant wheel called the Wheel of Pain, for reasons that are not apparent. Over time, all of young Conan’s peers die, and he is left to turn the giant wheel alone. Because he is forced to exert the effort to turn the wheel, he is transformed in the big, strong Conan that becomes a warrior.
Without exertion, you don’t grow. Without having to push against real resistance, you do not grow. Without an obstacle, there is no need to reach deep down and discover what you are truly capable of.
You have to push against your desire for comfort. You have to push against the tendency to procrastinate, putting off what needs to be done now and seek escapism and distraction instead.
You must push back against your propensity to make excuses, to doubt yourself, and to allow your fears to prevent you from acting, all of which may be as heavy as the Wheel of Pain.
You cannot leave the task you would rather avoid undone. If you are going to grow and develop, you have to act swiftly and without hesitation, doing what needs to be done until it no longer holds any power over you. The same is true for the difficult conversations about the tricky topics you hope you never have to address, which you need to treat like a bandaid you pull off quickly and violently to avoid dragging out the discomfort.
Anything worth having is not gained without struggle, without effort, without exertion, or without some form of sacrifice. The more you have to push against the resistance, the more you value what you attain and what you become. The more valuable, the more you have to push.
Adversity is a gift, even if you don’t recognize its value until some time later.
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