“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters.”
– Frederick Douglass (c. 1817 – 1895)
 At an individual level we all see and feel the raw intensity of regress & Pain. And while no summary list can even begin to encapsulate the diversity of our collective experiences, we can connect on the themes of the common struggle and we can – and must – acknowledge that at present, we are exposed from most every angle:
-  For some of us, it’s the Pain that comes from feeling like we can’t get anywhere in Life no matter how hard we try. Our Life results are consistently sub par – not horrible, but certainly not inspiring or confidence building. Most of the time it feels like we’re just spinning our wheels on the treadmill of Life – moving, but never really advancing. Life lacks the vibrancy and color that we’re after and the grayness of our days leaves us feeling disengaged and disinterested far more often than we’d like.
-  For some of us, it’s the Pain of living in a body that doesn’t feel good to live in, that doesn’t feel vital and strong, that we struggle to like the looks of, feel confident about or even comfortable in as we walk the world everyday. A body that we’ve allowed to get to where it is by defying our own wishes and desires – wishes and desires that we can’t seem to quiet internally, that are constantly upset, poking at us and reminding us that we aren’t getting it done the way that we want it done.
-  For some of us, it’s the Pain of being involved in relationships that seem to consistently disappoint us, uninspiring relationships that we allow to exist in our Life even though we don’t feel genuinely appreciated, considered or respected. Relationships that we’ve consistently shown up for – put our authenticity, heart, truth, and loyalty on the line for – only to be met time and again by less than authentic, half-hearted, manipulative and disloyal returns.
-  For some of us, it’s the Pain that comes from all the things that we’re not doing or haven’t done. These are the unresolved issues in our Life that we’ve let linger and grow into much larger legacy problems. And while we try to hold up appearances that suggest otherwise, the hurt runs deep and it monopolizes our mind to the point that we have to find some way to avoid it if only for a short time.
-  For some of us, it’s the Pain associated with waking up every day and not really feeling connected to our Life, not really even knowing what we’re doing beyond the must-do tasks that are immediately in front of us. In what feels like a blur, Life seems to be passing right by us void of the purposeful connection, fun, and meaning that we’re really yearning for.
-  For some of us, it’s the Pain that comes from being worn out by the high stresses and anxieties of chaos and complexity – feeling like we’re constantly fighting to just keep up and survive, rarely feeling in control and almost never feeling like we’re getting ahead. We get one area of our Life going in the right direction only to have another stall out. And while select progress is being made, it doesn’t feel like it, it feels like we’re running back and forth across our Life defending against failure.
-  For some of us, it’s the Pain of constantly having to deal with the irrational, inconsiderate, and harmful actions of the people of our world that are acting out from their own state of regress and Pain. In survival mode, these humans are desperately trying to care for themselves, desperately trying to slow their own struggles by taking from Life whatever they can irrespective of the costs to anyone or anything else. And as our fellow humans in Pain go about their business, their actions make anything and everything that we’re trying to accomplish more difficult.
 On one hand the situation that we’re in is both stressful and maddening given how hard we’re trying to make it all work and on the other hand it's depressing to think that as much as we’ve put into what we’re trying to accomplish, there is actually a chance that we might fall short of creating the Life experience that we’ve always believed and hoped that we would.
Further complicating matters is the fact that time is moving at a scary fast pace on us and on top of all the daily challenges that we’re trying to get control of, we’re living under the constant pressure of a rapidly closing window of opportunity that could shut at any time.
 The weight of the world is real and it’s no joke.
Our current state is less than ideal. The world that we live in today and the humans we live with present challenges and resistances that have proven to be difficult for us to handle. And unfortunately, the stressful, debilitating and divisive effects of our collective regress and Pain are rippling through our world at a startling pace.  The Pain of the current state demands new action and is calling desperately and loudly for another way.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”
– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926 – 2004)
 Struggle serves a valuable purpose in growth and development to the extent that it’s actually powered through and overcome. But when left unattended or when improperly attended to, struggle matures into suffering.  Our struggle has gone on for too long without adequate response and we’re now collectively suffering through regress and Pain as a result.
 Human lives are continuing to be lived without really being Lived. Anywhere and everywhere, the same storyline is playing out on repeat with the same results – unfulfilled potential excused away with standard, template justifications. Generations of Life opportunities are being washed out short of potential and compromised in some form of this now tragically predictable, non-competitive narrative.
 Whatever our age or our current station, whether we’re currently at a high point and thriving or at a low point and struggling, our best next strategic move is the same – get positioned to control all that we can control and must control – our actions and behaviors – in order to secure all areas of our Life from regress and Pain, maximize meaningful progress and positive well-being in those areas of our Life that we value more than all others, and repeat the effort daily – forever.