The idea of struggling versus reward. This dilemma is one of the oldest in philosophy and it is a theme that runs through a lot of the most famous stories of the past. In Christian tradition, the fight of struggling versus rewards goes all the way back to the start of the religion, in an era where Christians made the choice of struggling while they were alive for the unproven promise of a reward in the kingdom of heaven. A way of looking at this dilemma that, it seems, gets nowhere near enough exposure is that struggling and reward can be counterweights to each other.

It is important to note that in this piece, the word struggling only refers to that which is legal.

First, struggling and reward can obviously mean different things to different people, and these two concepts can be different depending on the exact circumstance. The dilemma of struggling versus reward as a whole can also differ depending on the circumstances. Sometimes you might put up with way more struggling because of an enormous or vastly important reward.

Life is partially pain. I want to be clear about the fact that I totally agree with the idea that some struggling is just a part of life. The argument of struggling and reward being counterweights to each other should not imply that struggling will ever entirely go away.

Struggling and reward should ideally balance each other out. Another way to phrase this is: The struggle should be worth the reward and the reward should be worth the struggle.

Everyone struggles at one point or another, but counterbalancing these two forces can help us all get to a point that people like Albert Camus wrote about, where we face life’s difficulties head-on and live as fully as we possibly can.