Katherine Hough suffered from poor health right from in her teens. She had stomach pains, and while these might have been dismissed as part of growing up, the ill-health symptoms developed into more serious ones such as frequent fatigue, loss of hair, joint pain and other ailments which affected her during her university days.

Can you imagine having to get up and that your whole life is a bit of a struggle before you make it to the “hard” part of the day? For many disabled individuals this would not have been an uncommon scenario. Wheelchair users, for example, have to deal with mobility issues, not only within their own homes, but within the larger context of society as well.

It may be easier to equip your home to function for your needs, but what happens when you get outside? Wheelchair users may find it difficult, for example, to travel from place to place in that same way that able-bodied users do. While most of us simply get on the underground or trams and alight at our stop, wheelchair users have to plan their journey by step-free access stations, making further stops or more frequent changes simply to get to a destination via a wheelchair friendly route. And if you were a wheelchair user you would be familiar with having to look for lifts in obscure parts of buildings and other unfriendly parts of commute – like having bus passengers huff at you for delaying the journey while the ramp engages, or parents with young children being annoyed with having to give up space for you.

The good thing about struggles is that they nudge you towards higher levels of achievement if you refuse to give up. Johannes Gutenberg had to endure numerous failures before he finally succeeded with his printing press, which allowed the growth of classical music throughout Europe because music was now widely available. (You can read more about this from the Piano Teachers N4 website.) If Gutenberg had given up, we would never have had the wealth of musical material – or even reading material – luckily for us he persisted with his struggles.

The classical composer Franz Schubert is another example. He faced financial struggles and self-imposed doubt at various points in his career, yet he channelled all that emotional struggle into writing beautiful song cycles, where the piano and voice are both protagonists in a musical fabric.

The next time you facce difficulty – persist. It may bring forth something good.