Have you ever suspected that you’ve been laboring under a false assumption?  One of the most common of these assumptions, in my opinion, is that people must struggle in order to succeed and that the struggle itself makes us better people in the process.

There is an analogy to this paradigm in the world of wine: dry-farming.  Dry-farming is just what it sounds like: no irrigation is used so the vines must fight to survive.  According to Gregory Dal Piaz of “snooth,” (http://www.snooth.com/articles/commentary/wine-words-dry-farmed-669/) “the struggle for survival puts stress on the vines, and stress, if you ask some folks (yours truly included) equals flavor, complexity, and balance in a wine.”  This begs the question: does stress produce the same beneficial results in people?

How many of you have ever emerged from a series of harrowing, nail-biting, nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching experiences and thought immediately afterwards, “Gee, that was terrific!  I feel completely invigorated, energized, balanced and in control of my life!  I can’t wait for the next totally horrific thing to happen!  WooHoo — bring it ON!”

Instead, when you’ve been through the wringer, don’t you usually just feel, well, like you’ve been through the wringer?  Doesn’t stress leave you feeling tired, frustrated, depressed, overwhelmed or perhaps even ill?  If you emerge from the struggle victorious you’re probably too exhausted to celebrate your success anyway.  So why does humanity persist in romanticizing struggle, stress and the battle for survival? 

Doesn’t it feel wonderful when something good happens and you didn’t even need to “do” anything to bring it to fruition?  It’s a pleasant surprise, right — like when you pull your winter coat out of storage and discover a twenty-dollar bill in the pocket.  Unless you left the money there on purpose during the last cold snap then you feel pretty good about your find, don’t you?

If I labor under the assumption that I must struggle in order to succeed then guess what: the Universe will provide me with lots and lots of opportunities to do just that — struggle, fight, scrimp, stress-out, come close to losing everything and then crawl from the wreckage … victorious?  I don’t know about you but I want to live fully, joyously and abundantly — not just barely surviving but thriving.  Unlike grape vines, human beings need irrigation so I’ll see you at the watering hole!