You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question

Here it is 1:54 AM on January 4, 2017…. I woke up and could not sleep … So I did what most of you probably do when you wake up and can’t get back to sleep. You grab your mobile and check out Facebook! This is what I did and the first thing I read is this article that spoke to me so loudly that I have to share. This is what I truly believe and live my life by. This is how I came to be where I am in my life now. Was it done perfectly? Was it pretty? Hell no, but the positive side of the struggles I have encountered and have sustained have determined the qualify of my life today. The pain I was willing to sustain… ~~ Shelia Cowart

Here we are in the New Year of 2017. We talk a lot about resolutions … the wants … the goals … the whatever! Are you willing to struggle? Are you willing to climb to the top or do you just like to imagine the top? Are you in love with the result—the image of your ideal body or maybe it is that career you have wanted —but you are not in love with the process. And because of that, you failed at it. Repeatedly.

I have posted some parts of an article written by Mark Manson below that have spoke out to me! Please read the entire article by clicking on the link at the bottom. Thank you for reading. I’d really love to hear from you on how this resonates with you. Feel free to email me at shelia@LongevitaPilates.com

At the core of all human behavior, our needs are more or less similar. Positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

Because happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come roaring back to life.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.

Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

This article originally appeared on MarkManson.net. Follow @iammarkmanson on Twitter. Click below for the entire article.

Read the entire article here