Are we a product of our environment?
Are we who we are partly because of the problems or struggles we have? If we had no struggles or challenges would we be less than we are or better off?
Of course our struggles can make us stronger - sort of the what doesn't kills us adage. I think that we can be greatly influenced by our struggles or by challenges especially if we view challenges as a chance to learn more or become someone better.
Right now I'm trying to study to get my MCSE certification updated and trying to get my Java certification - small things, but they are a struggle. If I can see past the struggle and keep pushing I am going to learn something and be better for it.