In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, which you might say caused a stir.
But that same year saw another book published that triggered an even greater surge of interest, discussion, and awakening: Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help.
The public devoured Smiles’ book. It sold more than 200,000 copies the first year. It out sold Darwin’s book — even Darwin bought it – – and was instantly translated into other languages. It made the author a celebrity. From that point on, he was considered a type of coach to the dreamers of the world.
But Smiles was no dreamer. He was a hard working Scottish author and government reformer who believed struggle was necessary to develop character. He didn’t believe in positive thinking but in positive doing.
In his 1905 autobiography, he wrote –
“My object in writing out Self-Help, and delivering it at first in the form of lectures, and afterwards rewriting and publishing it in the form of a book, was principally to illustrate and enforce the power of George Stephenson’s great word – PERSEVERANCE.”
George Stephenson was a focused dreamer who created the world’s first public inter-city railway line to use steam locomotives. What carried Stephenson on to greatness was the word Smiles admired the most: perseverance.
According to Smiles, hard work, discipline, and focus were tickets to success. It was how you “self helped” yourself in the world.
Too many people today are afraid of work and too easily willing to quit.
I’ve learned that struggle can be not only good, but even great.
When I’m in the gym, struggling to lift heavy iron weights, it’s the struggle that builds my muscles. If I lift donuts, my muscles aren’t challenged and don’t grow.
When I was first learning how to write songs and perform my own tunes, I told my coaches not to take away my struggle. I knew that wrestling with the new skills was how my body and mind were going to create new neural pathways and lead me to my own discoveries.
But not all struggle is necessary, and may in fact be a clue to alter your course.
When I was driving across the city to run an errand, I got a flat tire. That was struggle I didn’t see in any way was helping me. So I looked at the deeper significance and decided it meant I was to skip the errand for that day.
In other words, you get signals through life to proceed, pause, or even stop.
I’ve often called it The Red Flags Theory.
When you go in the right direction, you get green lights to proceed. Things go smoothly. There’s a flow.
But when you are about to do something that is off path, you get a yellow flag. Maybe the engine light on your car comes on. It’s a signal to pause and reflect.
And when a red flag appears — like a flat tire on the way out — you have to literally stop and assess your direction.
But none of this says struggle is bad.
“Struggle” is a path to manifesting what you want.
It just depends on your mental attitude to the work at hand.
When I write blog posts like this one, I “struggle” to articulate and communicate my message. It doesn’t mean I hate the process or want to quit. It means I care and want to get this right.
It’s an acceptable struggle.
It’s simply part of my process.
In creating my seventh music album, I went through lots of struggle.
Writing, rewriting, rehearsing, tweaking, performing, takes, retakes, dubbing, over dubbing, editing, mixing, mastering and more – all could be considered “struggle.”
But it’s simply “the work” that attracted the result I intended: my seventh album, titled Reflection.
It’s only struggle if you are resisting the work; if you are OK with what needs done, it’s simply process.
As I wrote on my Facebook page recently at https://www.facebook.com/drjoevitale —
“When you resist doing what you know needs done, it is difficult. Find a mental way to enjoy it, and just do it, and it is easy.”
Samuel Smiles worked hard and gave us a book that is still relevant today. I imagine he “struggled” some in writing it. He certainly struggled in getting it published, as his first books were considered failures and his most famous book, Self-Help, was rejected by the first publishers to see it — one of whom regretted it a decade later and told the author so over dinner.
Birth of all kind involves struggle.
Once you accept struggle, it is no longer struggle.
As Smiles wrote in Self-Help, “Nothing that is of real worth can be achieved without courageous working.”
Now get to work.
PS – My new album on CD – complete with a beautiful printed book revealing all of the lyrics and including photos of me and the band – is at the printer right now. It will be a limited edition collectible, because I am only printing a small quantity of 1,000 to offer to my friends (like you). It will sell to others for $21.95 but if you go and pre-order it right now, you can have it for only $9.95 (plus shipping, of course). That’s well over half off. That’s only a dollar a song. For less than ten bucks, you can change your life through sound *and* get a collectible new album and booklet, too. Plus I will include a surprise gift when we ship the new album to you later this month. (You will love it.) May I send it to you? Just go see http://www.reflectioncd.com (There’s no struggle involved in ordering it.) 🙂
PPS – Check out Miracles Coaching to better understand and implement the ideas I express here.
I have a question for you…
I would like to send you my latest album, titled Reflection, which is a breakthrough in self-help healing music.
It’s music to soothe, heal, stir and awaken.
Every track is original, and every track conveys a powerful message about life, love, miracles, faith, and more.
It’s all designed to raise your vibration so you can better attract higher levels of consciousness and manifestations.
It works beautifully with the Law of Attraction because it helps program your mind to attract what you want and prefer.
For example –
The song “Love” could be the anthem for a whole generation. It is unforgettable. It will help you love and attract love. When you feel love, you merge with the higher attraction law of the Universe.
The song “Fidem” lets you know the truth about worry. The message is freeing. (“Fidem” means faith.)
The song “Lakshmi” is a powerful song of homage to the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. It can help you attract more abundance. (She is a secret in my own success.)
The title track song, “Reflection,” reminds you that the whole world is a mirror — of you. (This song has the potential to trigger an awakening in you.)
The song “Remember” is a beautiful, yet haunting message of how to change your life with a brand new process. (It is way cool.) It was inspired by “The Remembering Process” book (coming in April).
The song “Do” is a pep talk to get you moving. It could help you overcome procrastination and fire you up for the day or a work out. The word ‘action’ is in the phrase ‘law of attraction.’
The song “Believe” lets you know what to do when no one seems to believe in you or your dreams. We live in a belief driven universe, so this song is timely and powerful.
I could go on and list every track and the story behind each, but you get the idea.
This new album is a-maz-ing.
I got my band back together — Daniel Barrett, Glenn Fukunaga, and Rock and Rock Hall of Fame drummer Joe Vitale (yes, he has the same name as me) — and we created this new album of ten tracks just for you.
It’s self-help healing music at its best.
It’s music that transforms.
And I want to send it to you.
The album on CD – complete with a beautiful printed book revealing all of the lyrics and including photos of me and the band – is at the printer right now.
It will be a limited edition collectible, because I am only printing a small quantity of 1,000 to offer to my readers and friends (like you).
It will sell to others for $21.95 but when you go and pre-order it right now, you can have it for only $9.95 (plus shipping, of course).
That’s well over half off.
That’s only a dollar a song.
For less than ten bucks, you can change your life through sound *and* get a collectible new album and booklet, too.
Plus I will include a surprise gift when we ship the new album to you in April.
(You will love it.)
May I send it to you?
Just go see http://www.reflectioncd.com
PS – This offer will last until May 1st, 2014. Please go order one or more albums (think of your family and friends) right now while it’s on your mind at — http://www.ReflectionCD.com