Another lesson I have learned from “Letters to a Young Poet” by poet Rainer Maria Rilke is trusting in what is difficult. In the words of Rilke: “Most people have turned their solutions toward what is easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to it, everything in nature grows and defends itself in its own way and is characteristically and spontaneously itself, seeks at all costs to be so and against all opposition. We know little, but that we must hold to what is difficult is a certainty that will not forsake us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.”
Denzel Washington also puts into words this sentiment when he accepts an award at the NAACP 2017 Image Awards. Washington states “Without commitment you’ll never start, and more importantly, without consistency you’ll never finish.” He goes onto to say “If it were easy, there would be no Kerry Washington, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, or Denzel Washington.”
It is through acceptance of difficulty and the drive and perseverance to push through it, not going around it, that creates the greatest of what was meant to be. If life were easy, nothing would be extraordinary, nothing would stand out, nothing would take our breath away, and nothing would be worth fighting for.
I know that life is difficult, but I encourage you, the next time you are faced with a challenge or difficulty, look at the struggle as a sign that you are moving in the right direction. When faced with creating a path never traveled, accept the challenge and go forth knowing that where there is no path, there are no boundaries. It takes courage and bravery to embrace what is difficult, accept the challenge of struggle, and move forward with persistence knowing in the end you will stand out and be successful and extraordinary, and even maybe be the light others may follow in their path through difficulty.