Mindset Matters: Voluntary Hardship Reexamined - The Voluntary Hardship Series S15E1

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Life comes with difficulties, no matter what we do. Hardship comes voluntarily or involuntarily, but for any hardship our mindset before, during, and after matters: how we approach and process challenging events matter.

Hardship--voluntary or involuntary--can refine us and improve our relationships, or it can beat us down and weaken social ties. Our relationship with the event--which we define with our mindset--helps determine the benefit to us.

Why are you taking on the hardship? What are your thoughts about the hardship? If it’s involuntary, what’s your story about the difficulty?

Think of military units or families who are subjected to hardships: deaths, challenging missions, divorce, tragedy. We know that not all military units or families come out better on the other end. Our stories about these events matter.

If we consider the event a challenge, it should be a self-challenge about seeing how we can push ourselves, not about being better than others or being perceived as good.

In line with this, Matt even argues that past hardships can benefit more today if you reprocess them and develop healthier stories about them.

This ultimately comes down to your values and priorities. Having awkward conversations can prevent huge amounts of mental bandwidth going towards resentments and anger toward others, so it’s probably better to have the awkward conversations.

Niki shares her experience with cleaning out her house and ridding herself of unnecessary items. Ultimately, this came down to not holding onto things she doesn’t value and don’t improve her life. She added that if you don’t see the objects in your desired life that you’re pursuing, you probably should get rid of them.

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