I’ve been thinking about the concept of rejection and the place it has in our lives. I look at my own existence and the seemingly endless fight towards any sort of progress to wonder if I would have been a different person if things had come easier to me? I have often joked that nothing is ever simple in my life and any kind of progress that I log tends to come along with a bloody hard slog and endless amounts of blood, sweat and tears. OH SO MANY TEARS!
So what if this wasn’t the case for my life. What if I never had to toil, struggle or scrap for any of my achievements. Would I still be the same person? Would I have the same preserving spirit and commitment to continue on? I wonder….
Imagine a scenario in which came right out of university and scored my dream job at the United Nations in New York. In this version of reality I would have eased right into things and become renowned as a diplomat, a development practitioner and some sort of whiz kid in the international relations sphere. This existence would have meant that everyone instantly respected me and all endeavours I came upon were instantly gratified in their success.
I would have a book deal and millions of dollars under my belt all before the age of 25 and let’s be honest with all of this newfound success and ease to which I came upon everything in my life, I’d probably have a tonne of yes men oozing off my being at all times. Most likely, I wouldn’t really value any of the relationships in my life because none of them would have any worth to me against my never ending success. None would have developed beyond anything more than the superficial because I never had to come across anything difficult in my life which made me turn to these people or value them at all. I also would not be able to be a good friend to them in reverse because I never developed empathy or understanding of what it was to struggle and thus could never relate.
I’d envision that the extent of my success would translate to all aspects of life and self growth (or lack thereof) meaning that I never developed the emotional intelligence and maturity associated with stable, functional and reciprocal relationships. Translated towards my love life that would mean that I most likely stumbled upon my one and only without any blight or sadness or heartbreak. An equation for which I ended up not valuing that person or their presence in my life and mistreating them or throwing them away like yesterday’s news.
I probably also would have no idea of my true potential and what I was inherently capable of because there would never have been a moment in my life where I had to dig deep and reaffirm what I was made of. My arrogance would be through the roof and I would have no concept of resilience because at no time would I have had to bounce back from anything or develop any form of coping mechanism to take another step in life.
To be honest this version of reality in which everything came easy represents more of a terrifying dystopia than anything else. More likely than not, I would become disillusioned with life very early on and with the concept of success itself would lose its appeal. I would have nothing to attain or look forward to because I never had to put any effort in. I would only ever expect things to go my way so if there was even one occasion when they didn’t, I would most probably have an existential crisis leading to a mental breakdown. On top of this, nothing would ever fulfil me because I never had to apply myself towards any of the things that I called my own and therefore they would lose their value over time.
What all of this truly represents is that rejection, difficulty and struggle are all very difficult things. But they are essential in our existence in order to teach us the lessons we need to value our achievements when they do come about. Life is not about the destination or the end product. It’s about the journey we take to get there and the fortification of the principles at play that make us decent human beings as a result. It’s about the relationships we make upon this path that are forged in our struggles, in our fight and in the love that motivates us to keep going.
So while rejection is hard and often times unbearable, it is what ultimately motivates us to be better, to try harder and to attain for more. It therefore teaches us that the value rests in the battle. Never forget this.