thurs, nov 4, 2010

 I'm in part 2 of HIGHER ORDER THINKING series for 2010/2011 today, part 2 of 8; a group discussion came around a statement. All parties were invited to 1. notice, 2. explain, 3. prescribe, 4. perform.
I thought that I had a great audience of folks who (if you have not figured out already) are looking for a path of "higher order"; I suggested I'd ask my audience.

Buddha said:

"struggle is mandatory, suffering is optional"

In relation to your experiences (what you come to the table with) and in respect of all others and their biases and tendencies; what are your thoughts on the above statement?
post to comments


Brian H said...

If you don't struggle, suffering is mandatory.

p.s. - been lurking here for weeks. I absolutely love what you are doing here for us. Thank you so very much!

Angelo Fosco said...

Everyone struggles at some point in their life with something. Period. However I believe there are always 2 approaches to what's going on: the positive approach and the negative approach. If you are able to look at your struggle from a positive point of view: i.e. realize it's a learning experience or use it as motivation, etc; then I believe your "suffering" would be much less. However I still believe struggle takes a toll, however big or small, on an individual.

P.S. I posted some question on my diet in the weds post, any advice would be appreciated. :)

Heavy Evy said...

My intitial thoughts on the statement were that you need to "struggle" to some point to learn new skills, and that the "suffering" is what are you willing to put yourself through to become great at those skills.

Thats where I'm at with it anyway.

Then I wondered if a tree falls in the woods can anyone hear it, and the answer is yes, the bears can, cause that is where they s#$t.

I'm a very deep thinker.

Nathan H. said...

Suffering is a subjective thing. If we want to improve/evolve then struggle can be viewed objectively, we know there is a reason for it so we don't have to suffer during it. We are on the path...

Those who wade through life struggling with no awareness feel as though they are suffering. That they can't control what's going on and complain "why me?" Not realizing that the struggle is an opportunity to grow... instead they unknowingly suffer willingly and stagnate.

Greg Soneff said...

Our lives (struggles and successes) are interactions with an external environment thus we cannot possibly control everything (there will always be struggles) however suffering is an emotion (thus internal) and something we can control.

I had the 2nd part of my ACL-reconstruction surgery today (struggle) but this surgery is nothing like the surgery I had when I was 18 (16 years ago). This time I am driven to recover. Driven to get back. There is no doubt, no fear, just drive, just knowing that I will come out the other end stronger and more grateful (less suffering).

My 2 cents.

Delaware said...

I think its been well said already by others on this blog. If we are to think, perform, or even "be" at a higher level, then one must have his/her limits pushed and tested. For limits to be tested, struggle is necessary. Struggle is a consequence of one's own actions (choices, decisions, etc.) and our environment (other people's and thing's actions, stresses, etc.). If the outlook is negative, then we're "suffering". If the outlook is positive, then we're getting stronger. It's up to us whether we "suffer"

...Not preaching, just my two cents

NW said...

Nothing in life ever comes easy; if it does, you're certainly not trying very hard or stepping out of your comfort zones. Now, with struggle there comes hardship and that hardship either brings suffering or insight and awakening (going with the buddhist theme here). You can choose the woe is me story and feel sorry for yourself and all that you must deal with OR!, you can take the pain that comes with it, use that as motivation to keep going. The more you endure, the more you can gain. Endure long enough, you can learn something deeper inside of you that you would have never known without the struggle.

In short, suffering is two fold - feel sorry for yourself or enjoy and reflect upon it and use it to grow as an individual.


MD said...

Hard work is essential for self satisfaction and growth; you may not get the results you want but satisfaction comes from doing your best and realizing it; suffering comes from not accepting the outcome.

imosher said...

My initial thought is that the intension of this statement is about your outlook on life. I think there is a lot of truth in that, often times our outlook defines how challenging or painful a situation can be.

In a more literal reading I think:
Some people avoid struggle throughout life and that often time looking for the easy way out leads to a path of more resistance and pain and less desire to accept that reality because it is easy to feel out of control when you make the choice to not choose. That things are just happening to you and are totally out of your control.

That said I have encountered some quite painful situations in my life say the death of a loved one for example. Wherein no amount of struggle avoids a certain degree of suffering, and that pain and suffering is part of the process of moving on with your life from such an event.

Sometimes also I notice that embracing and owning my pain and feelings instead of avoiding them is important for being able to keep on living your life.

Chris Fodera said...

I honestly believe that nothing worth having is easily attained: love, freedom, elite fitness, etc. Your path to achieve these things will at times be strenuous.

How you mentally handle these moments of difficulty is on you. You can choose to be negative about them and therefore suffer through. OR, you can be aware that your sacrifice will be rewarded. It is really up to you...will you be defeated and suffer or will you triumph and sacrifice.

Martin Altemark said...

I relate that saying to the fact that you can decide how you choose to percieve something in your life - sure it can be hard, but you can decide to look at it as something that will push you forward, something that will get you to somewhere you need to go instead of relating only to it as "suffering" in itself.

There is something to learn and grow from in all parts of life, even those that are harder.

Yesterdays WOD:

Split Jerks: 80kg, 90kg, 100kg, 105kg, 107.5(f)
modified triplet (no PU bar) to 7 muscle up transitions from full hang to bottom of dip: 8:15

Pushups done with 2010 games standards. Never done before. Much harder.

Lauren said...

"struggle is mandatory, suffering is optional"

This is what I get from this:
People are always confronted with new situations in their lives, some good and some difficult (struggles). Whatever is making you "struggle" can potentially make you stronger - you can choose to suffer and be a victim (make excuses, blame,etc.)or take charge and be accountable for your situation. One can then learn, develop and use new skills to overcome these struggles - making you a stronger person.

I hope that makes sense!!

Steve Smith said...

I completely agree with the statements above; generally, that by struggling with challenges which life presents, we have the opportunity to grow. Likewise we are in complete control of our attitude during the process: "

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." Viktor E. Frankl

With this firmly in mind, however, we must never become arrogant in our position regarding suffering and fail to empathize, morn, or cry with others when Life gives them more than they seem to be able to bear.

God's heart was broken for us. We need to be willing to let our hearts break for each other when we do suffer.

ROBO said...

Did the split jerks from yesterday
265, 275,285,300,310

Then did hill repeats at the Anvil. Coach heard u will be in Georgia in Feb to compete looking forward to the match up.

Brian Maier said...

You have no control over "struggle". However, you have complete control over "suffer". Your suffering is only created by the meaning that you associate with whatever $hit is happening in your life. Change the meaning and you will stop the suffering.

DSC Staff said...

Perception is everything.

As everyone else has said, there will be unavoidable struggles in life, especially a life worth living. How we perceive those struggles and how we conduct ourselves during that time ultimately controls our experience. Situations are only stressful if we allow them to be. Yet a positive outlook taken into even the most difficult environment can be the difference between whether we have to suffer or not.

I know it's been mocked on here before, but I really enjoy hearing Mikko Salo talk about Sisu, which really cuts to the core of this saying if you ask me. Controlling your mindset and perception during a workout can make a huge difference in how you 'suffer' during and after it.

Brian Gregory said...

Week behind - skipped Wed 10-28 aerobic recovery and took rest day.

Did 10-29 WOD

A1. 225x3x3,235,235x3 (no chains, kept light and hips fast)
A2. 135,145,145,150,150x3
B. 225x3x3
C1,C2,C3 all UB

No pt 2 due to family time.