What Fargo can teach us about struggle, values and happiness

There's is a popular blog circling around the internet called: "Your probably know to ask yourself what do I want? Here's a way better question." The better question being: "What do you want to struggle for?" I completely agree with the author that this questions is a way better question and - you should read the whole article on why this is so - that if you don't enjoy the process you'll never get to enjoy the results. But, in my honest opinion, I think the author is missing some small but important question: Which struggle should I choose? 

It's like acknowledging that you should sail through the storm instead of lying on the beach, but not deciding on which boat you are going to use or even which ocean too struggle in. This stuff is important people. You can't claim that everyone should struggle without some guidances on which direction too take. Luckily, the author does leaves a hint near the end of the blog. 

"Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for."



I'm here to give some further guidance, introduce the Netflix tv show Fargo. This on true events based series takes place in the end 70's (second season) and tells the story of how an accidental murder leads to the clash of the two big crime syndicate's. I won't spoil the storyline for you - because it's a must-see - but in one point the family syndicate has to make a decision which takes massive efforts and has big consequences. The term 'struggle' here is quite the understatement. The funny thing is, not for a second they doubt on which action to take. 

As a viewer you already somewhat know what's going to happen in the next episode. If you think about it, this is a bit strange. We know what other people want and going to do next, even though we only 'known' them for five hours while watching the show. But we can't decide for ourself what we're going to do next. What to struggle for. What the hell to really want or not?! 


We can predict what's going to happen in Fargo, because we know the Values of the lead characters. Pride. Family. A 'there is only one way, our way' kind of no compromise thing. When your values are clear, you're choices become clear as well. When first there was uncertainty and standstill, there now is certainty and decisiveness. The question 'What do I want?' doesn't even come up, not for a second. Not in you, nor in Fargo. 

The magic of values is that they give meaning to both sides of the same coin. Happiness is 'achieved' when you live true too your values, but the same goes for struggle. It removes questions in general and replaces it with a default mode. This is the way we live, and we are happy with it no matter what happens. The struggle. The sacrifice. The reward. 

So, maybe the blog wasn't missing the point after all. Just find a way to make you values clear. Yesterday leaves clues, so that may be good starting point. Start experiments true to these values. If they fit, stick with them. If not, find others. Just make them your own, not what anyone else thinks or expects. If you do that, you'll be on your way. Good luck struggling, you might even enjoy it!