Short Note on Doing Hard Things
Hard things are hard for 2 reasons –
- Hard things make you a better, stronger, and more creative person.
- Hard things, in reality, are what bring about a fulfilled, and pleasant life and experience
“If you want an easy life, do hard things today. If you want a hard life, do easy things today.”
Doing hard things is the ultimate life hack. People who deliberately avoid hard things are usually one of the most miserable people you’d find around. Wanting to take the easier route like every other person is taking the route to a less fulfilling life. Think about it, if everyone is going in one direction, what do you think happens? A stampede? Time wasting? Inefficiency?
Exactly! That’s what it looks like when doing the easy things versus the hard things. Deciding to do the things people aren’t willing to do is the route to growth. More so, it is the route to becoming a better person. There is a beautiful quote that says, “it doesn’t get easier. You get stronger” and yes, that’s what doing hard things involves.
When you do something hard today, you gain the confidence to do something harder tomorrow.
"why so many young men never get advancement nor make anything worthwhile of their lives—is the lack of thoroughness. They do only what is easy and never grapple with anything hard. Consequently, they do not fit themselves for any but the easiest places, and no position of importance ever can be easily filled"
Indolent individuals avoid hard things. They deliberately are lazy to do the hard work of developing and refining themselves through the fire. however, if you want freedom, purpose, and fulfillment, the only route is doing hard things. And to do hard things, you need to be irritated with society’s obsession with comfort, quick fixes, and ease.
Choosing comfort and safety over growth, chaos, and discomfort robs you of the opportunity to live the life of your dreams whilst giving you mediocre and ordinary lives. There is the story of a lady I read on gracegems.org who said she had never had a disappointment of any kind all through her childhood.
People regarded her as remarkably fortunate that her early life had been so easy—so free from anxiety or burden. But those who knew the woman well—saw in this very fact, the secret of much in her life that was not beautiful. Her indulged and petted girlhood—was not the best preparation for womanhood. She had not learned to endure, to submit to hard things. She had not grown strong, nor had she acquired self-discipline. Even in her mature womanhood, she was only a spoiled child who chafed when things did not go to please her.
We are consciously avoiding disappointments, responsibilities, burdens, chaos, and all sorts because, in some way, we think that we are helping ourselves, but in reality, we are setting ourselves up. These things, even if they don’t go as planned but rather scar us, would have contributed more meaningfully to our lives than avoiding them. Thus, do the thing you think you cannot do
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”Eleanor Roosevelt
When we make a promise to do hard things and we fail to keep that promise, we are teaching the brain & self to make that a habit. So, when you say I’d write for 30 days and you don’t live up to that promise, you are unconsciously learning the habit of giving up, which translates across your entire life.
However, when we keep to that promise to do the hard, we stretch our comfort zone, and our brain can reference that to give room for harder things. It goes some way like this, “if I could do that, then I can do this.” But we lose our self-belief & and self-confidence when we consistently break our promise of doing those difficult things we have made the promise to do. Because we don’t live up to our expectations, we have less fulfilling lives.
“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times — although such experiences can also be enjoyable if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Life is not a romantic comedy that has happy beginnings and endings. Life is messy, complex, and extremely difficult. Yet, it is worth living and enjoying. I’d stop here with the beautiful analogy of the caterpillar and the butterflies
If you take a cocoon and you open up the cocoon so that the butterfly doesn’t have to struggle and fight its way out, the butterfly can’t fly. But if you leave that butterfly in there to struggle and fight and work and open up that cocoon by itself, it turns into a beautiful butterfly and it flies around."
to be continued…