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“Why does everything have to be so difficult?”

Because we’re alive?

In his best-selling book, The Road Less Travelled, Scott Peck began with these words: “Life is difficult.”

And it’s true. Maybe the problem is less with life’s difficulties and more with how we think about life’s difficulties.

That’s what the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke believed. He wrote:

“Be of good courage, all is before you, and time passed in the difficult is never lost…What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us.”

Loving the difficult—accepting it, working with it, even finding joy and humor in dealing with it…you have to admit, that’s a pretty good strategy for work, for career, for relationships, for whatever.

It’s like the Quaker man in the old movie “Friendly Persuasion” who tells his enemy, “I love thee, but thou art standing where I am about to strike!”

Learn to love the difficult, Rilke says, and the difficult will love you back