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When Did Suffering Become An Aspiration?

“I hope you will not mind the look of my house when you visit because I am just managing.”
“Don’t worry. I am also managing, so I understand.”
“You don’t know anything about managing. You don’t look like someone who has suffered before.”
“Do you know what I have gone through in life to get to where I am today? Even obtaining my university degree was a community service. I have seen poverty!”
“But suffering is not a competition. The most important thing is that we are making the best out of life now and finding ways to dismiss poverty and suffering from our future.”
“Hahahaha. I like your sense of humour.”

Should we humour suffering and poverty? Should we trivialise them? They exist but never to our favour. Every individual has their stories, their blasts from the past, and their bitter memories

Suffering, on the one hand, is an unpleasant experience, with various levels of intensity. It can also be classified as physical or mental.
Poverty, on the other hand, is not just the absence of money; it is also the absence of hope. When people talk about “poverty of the mind”, they are talking about a state of not being able to enrich ones thoughts with resources that make for a better mindset and subsequently a better life.

Although the memories of hard times can be difficult to forget, there are ways and tips to ensure that it doesn’t become a permanent state – whether of the pocket or of the mind;
1. Set goals: Depending on what you need to achieve, your goals could range from deciding how many times you eat in a day, to how many hours of sleep you decide to get in a night, to the quality of daily interactions you have with certain people. Whatever your goals are they should be attainable. They should also be compartmentalised in a way that does not make them overwhelming to you. Your goals should be traceable, so that even if you do not actualise them, retracing your steps is a possibility. Let the summation of your mini-goals be an expression of what you truly wish to achieve, or how far you have actually achieved.

2. Be proud of what you do: Some people qualify their means of livelihood with comments like, “I am managing one small job now, “I’m just running this small business now, and “I have a small place I am a managing for now”. Yet, even two years down the road, they are still ‘managing’ the said job; you would have thought that their previous emphasis on the “now” was because they were on the verge of leaving the job or business. Ironically, some people’s shame about their station makes them underplay it, so they end up remaining in the same position for a long time. They remain unenthusiastic about their jobs or businesses because of the singular thought that it is not where they want to be at the given time. Self-affirmation goes a long way in bringing to fruition, the desired hopes of one’s daily labours.

3. Seek to improve yourself: Self-improvement isn’t necessarily about looking for higher degrees or higher wages. It has more to do with surrounding yourself with people who are doing what you do or what you enjoy doing, and are obviously better than you at it. Self-improvement involves being receptive to new information, researching its authenticity and finding ways to apply it towards improving yourself or your situation. This can get you out of the poverty lane faster and in a more sustainable way, than any gimmick or quick fix.

4. Stop making comparisons: Because you seek a better life, you will always be caught staring and wishing for things that are beyond you. It will never be a crime to desire something better. But there is nothing to be gained from comparing yourself with others. Whether they are childhood neighbours, childhood friends, school mates or just some random people whose pictures you first saw in a magazine or on the internet, you need to know when to see the difference between wanting to be better for yourself and wanting to be like others. Everyone has a path and your neighbour’s isn’t yours.

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5. Enjoy the simple things: Bask in the euphoria of whatever form of goodness that comes your way. A light breakfast might mean more to you, than a bunch of flowers. Enjoy it. While you may aspire to be and have more, it is pertinent to always know that you can make the best of every situation.

You don’t need to ‘suffer’ throughout life, before you can enjoy. Strive in other to thrive.

Precious Nwagboso is an entrepreneur, with a degree in Computing Engineering and a passion for writing, travelling, exploring new cultures and exploring new ventures. She can be contacted via Lifebleach.

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