July 26, 2020

Strive by Adam Fraser: Why you need to start struggling more

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About the Book

Is happiness really the key to a meaningful and fulfilling life?

We are all obsessed with happiness. There are thousands of books, presenters, and courses trying to teach us how to be happy. But are we more happy? No! We are the most depressed, anxious and medicated group of people in history. The happiness movement has failed us. 

Strive turns our ideas of happiness upside down and reveals why challenge, struggle and setbacks are the keys to living a profoundly satisfying life that fosters authentic happiness. Dr Adam Fraser shows that the practice of striving towards a goal is vital to achieving fulfilment and peak performance, without needing to sacrifice your relationships and physical and mental wellbeing along the way. 

Strive is a must read for anyone who wants to transform their lives and find fulfilment, one struggle at a time.

Source: https://www.dradamfraser.com/shop-content/strive

About the Author

Dr Adam Fraser is a heavy metal loving, car racing, daughter raising, gym junkie, geek researcher. Up til now the greatest moment in my life is being front row at an Iron Maiden concert.

His company conducts cutting edge research with different universities all over the world and then disperses that information in a practical form through books, keynote presentations, workshops, training programs, online programs and customised consulting projects.

He believes everyone has a superpower. Some people can cook, some people can create amazing works of art, others can hug with the appropriate amount of pressure for the right length of time. His superpower is the ability to make the complex, simple and engaging. He takes the latest science and translates it so that people can immediately apply it to their own situation.Source: https://www.dradamfraser.com/about

Buy the book from The Book Depository - https://www.bookdepository.com/Strive/9780730337416/?a_aid=stephsbookshelf

Would you like to take better notes from the books you read?  Get your copy of Archley's beautiful book journal, the Book of Books here: https://www.archleys.com/?ref=JamVyS-U4mVR

BIG IDEA 1 (4:25) – We need more struggle.

We need to stop the happiness obsession. It’s not achieving of things that makes us feel good (this is the completion myth) but the work we put in on the way to achieving something. This means that it’s not helpful (or true) to think ‘when you get this then you’ll be happy’, ‘when you lose weight then you’ll be able to get on with your life’ or ‘when you find true love etc’, these things don’t really make us happy but only for a few moments, couple of days or weeks. The real fulfilment is in the strive.

According to Dr. Adam Fraser’s study, it’s actually the struggle and strive of getting to our goals that makes us feel accomplished. It gives us a sense of purpose and less about the idea of happiness. 

People want personal journey and development, which is why we see people doing what some might consider crazy, like signing up for Ironman races or Tough Mudders. Because we know we need more struggle, something to work for.

There’s an interesting point in the book around the idea of skill and confidence building compared to the characteristics of flow. The characteristic of something that will build confidence is that the challenge level and skill required have to be high but the enjoyment level is low.

The difference between flow and strive is that with strive, you’re not enjoying the process at the moment. 

BIG IDEA 2 (8:48) – Change your struggle mindset. 

We have to see struggle as an opportunity for development. This means that we are not always going to feel good. 

Adam says there are three foreground ways to allow us to embrace struggle:

  1. Accept that struggle sucks and be okay with that reaction
  2. We need to connect to meaning and purpose. 
  • Achievement of a goal
  • Mastery of skill
  • Contribution to others
  1. Marveling at your own courage.

By embracing these behaviours, we can overcome the inherent feelings of discomfort that will come from doing something that feels hard.

BIG IDEA 3 (13:05) – Build struggle rituals.

Struggle rituals are the background behaviours which is the basis from which we strive.

  1. Focus – focus on what is important and don’t multi-task
  2. Gratitude – think about what is going well and what you are grateful for
  3. Connecting with others and getting support – knowing who your support team is
  4. Relax – have a practice for daily, weekly and monthly moments of mindfulness
  5. Celebrate

These healthy rituals, or habits, will give us the mental and emotional ability to embrace struggle on a regular basis.


Also listen to:

Grit by Angela Duckworth: How to dig in and get more done

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris: Happiness is not the goal

Watch Adam’s talk about The Third Space here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpk_dssZXqs

Sign up to join a readtreat session here: www.readtreat.space 

Music By: Jell-O – Instrumental Version Song by Egozi

Let’s Connect

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/steph-clarke

Instagram: @stephsbizbookshelf

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