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3 Foundational Lessons You'll Learn Going Through Struggle

There will be experiences in your life that you'll look back on and describe them as defining moments in your life.

You may not see them at the moment but in retrospect, they will stand out as "hinge" points of your life.

Oftentimes these experiences will come through the gauntlet of struggle.

During these struggles you may feel smothering despair. You may feel emotionally drained, and you might even feel like giving up.

But by facing these struggles, you'll discover the very lessons that get you through future struggles.

As you continue on your journey through life and have Mount Olympus highs and Marianas Trench lows you're likely to discover 3 foundational insights that will prove invaluable to you as you apply them to the next challenges that appear. Here they are...

1) Support is a Necessity

There's a classic African saying, "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

Sometimes we want to "tough things out" on our own. Sometimes we are embarrassed to ask for help.

And often, in your hardest times, you may feel this internal conflict: you may feel both like cutting off contact and at the same time craving connection with, and help from, others.

You may worry that you are burdening others with your troubles.

But the truth is that people are often more than happy to help you. People like to feel of use. People like to share their wisdom.

And importantly, you can't do everything by yourself. You may need practical help, and frankly, you may need psychological or emotional support without realizing it.

One mistake a lot of people make is to try to get all kinds of help from one person. Ask for skills from the skillful, and emotional support from those who offer that well.

This is how we get through tough times.

One happy lesson you may learn is that there are far more people than you might have thought who care about you, and who are willing to help you in times of need.

It's inevitable that you'll get knocked down by life. Isn't it easier when there's a helping hand to help you rebound and pick you up?

2) You Can Persevere

Struggle can block the light ahead of you. When you're in the midst of it, you may feel that there is no way forward. No way out.

And you feel that you just want it to stop.

But this doesn't mean that you are a loser. Or that there is no hope. Often, when you are feeling at your lowest, you are quietly building your resilience.

You're conditioning yourself to operating under stress, to persisting through challenging times, and you're proving to yourself that you have what it takes to overcome what you're currently going through.

You're learning an important lesson.

Step by step, day by day, you're staying on the path - even if you're not moving that fast - but you're still in the game.

Survival or triumph may not arrive on the schedule you want, but when you don't give up, you learn the perfect responses that the game will bend to your will.

You learn that focusing on what you want instead of what you don't want energizes you to push through the challenges, to continue taking actions that will help you hit your goals.

And that knowledge, that ownership of the power of persistence will help you in future struggles because as bright as day may get, night always cycles back sooner or later.

3) You're Not Alone

When you're going through a tough time, believing that you're the only one suffering only makes things worse.

And yet, when you are in that tunnel, it really does feel that you are alone.

Thankfully, however, that is faulty thinking.

When you lift your head up and look around - and ask around - you will discover that whatever problem you are facing, someone else has faced it. Whatever tragedy you are recovering from, someone else has suffered. Whatever goal it is that seems out of reach, someone else felt that same way, yet attained it.

Seek them out. Because those very people may be the ones to share their story, their wisdom, their hard earned experience with you - allowing you to find the short cuts you may need to hit your goals.

Additionally, it's profoundly soothing to know that others have gone through similar struggles. Suddenly, what seemed impossible doesn't seem so hard.

Others have gotten through it.

Others have overcome seemingly insurmountable walls.

Others have felt hopeless, yet found the strength or resources to triumph.

And by learning this, and witnessing the stories of others, you will learn - maybe once and for all - that the world does not have to rest on your shoulders alone.

You don't always have to experience pain firsthand to learn pain's lessons.

Best Selling Author, Emmy-Nominated Producer, Screenwriter and Entrepreneur, Adam Gilad leads a community of over 80,000 men and women on their quest to create love and a bold, inspired life. Having served as a Stanford Humanities Center Graduate Research Fellow and host of National Lampoon Radio, Adam blends a bracing mix of research, humor and global wisdom traditions to help men and women break through the habits blocking their ability to open into love and freedom.

He's a regular contributor to Vixen Daily in the Personal Development and Inspiration section.