"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? - the cuckoo clock." ~Graham Greene and Orson Wells
I think there is quite a bit to the idea. After all, conflict and struggles to wield a civilization often become the fertilizer of an empire. Whereas the Roman Empire fell when life became easy and the rich occupied their time with frivolous ease and had slaves to wait on them hand and foot.
I believe that our struggles are like northern stars, guiding us in the right direction. Without those devastating difficulties, nothing would be broken, and we would hold on to the old. We would never change, move, or grow. Real change or movement only happens when one door closes. Then we have to look for the next door to open. No man ever got something wonderful by holding on to something else. Sometimes we just have to let go to grow.