My Question to You
If I was to ask you, “What is the hardest thing to do in life?” what would you say? What would your friends or colleagues say? If you asked 10 different people, I guess you’d get 10 different answers.
Some of the answers may be good and a rewarding challenge. I’m not a father (yet), but I imagine parenting a child isn’t the easiest thing in the world. (Fun Fact: It costs at least £160,000 to raise a child. Definitely up there in difficulty).
What about starting your own business? It’s a whole different ball game. You have more work, liability, risk and responsibility, especially considering that a fifth of all businesses fail within their first year. But given it is successful, you have higher rewards and potential.
Or maybe it is the 14yrs study required to qualify as a brain surgeon?
Sure, there are other “hardest things to do in life” that are less rewarding and more painful:
- Losing a loved one.
- Mental Health.
- Leaving people behind.
- Dealing with “failure” (whatever that means).
I could go on about those examples, but you’d get the point.
My Answer is Different...
When I first asked that question, I can assume that you went either extreme left or extreme right. You probably thought of the most painful, the hardest to achieve, the thing with the highest friction etc. We’ve already listed a lot of them. But what about the menial tasks of the everyday?
What about the everyday? Difficulty and challenge aren’t exclusive to the things that happen once or infrequently. Every day can be just as challenging as the one-offs.
Having to battle with low self-esteem on most days. Not knowing how you will manage this year at uni, whilst questioning your future career. How about stressing about money and bills? Even sometimes, getting out of bed.
The point I’m trying to make is that everything is hard; life is inherently a challenge. You can’t escape difficulty, whichever context it may be in. The world and our lives in it are shrouded in hardship. The rich have difficulties and struggles, as do the poor. Most of us reading this post from the first world has challenges, as do those in the third. Regardless of your nationality, career, location, language or anything else, you will have your own hardship.
Even if there was an easy life to live, what would it give you? Stagnancy? Minimal achievement? Mediocracy? Boredom? It sounds fantastic when you first think about it. But If you ask me, living life without any challenge, difficulty or hurdle – THAT is one the hardest things to do.
What am I trying to say?
Whatever you do, it’s going to be difficult. All I ask of you (and what you should ask yourself) is to choose the right challenges. It’s equally as difficult to not be happy and suffer in your own pity as it is to do something about it. It’s as hard to remain in pain as it is to go through the healing process. It’s equally challenging to go to a job and study for a degree you don’t enjoy as it is to take the risk and form your own path.
Things are supposed to be hard. All you have to do is choose your hard – and the right one. You can live behind the fear of failure or on the other side of the wall. They are both demanding, just in different ways.
From Here on Out
Embrace your hard. Don’t complain about things being hard; appreciate them. It’s what makes you grow. (if you find the whole of your life easy, you need to stop immediately. There is something terribly wrong.) We all face the same challenges in life; the only difference is what we choose our ‘hard’ to be:
You know yourself. You know what you’re comfortable with. You know the difficulties and the ‘hard things’ you have accepted and desensitised yourself to. Your focus should be on challenging the challenge. Assess your comforts and what you have accepted. Choose the proper challenge for you but don’t accept the wrong ‘hard thing’. It’s all the choice.
If you’re gonna struggle for something, the least you can do is make it worth it? Imagine going through the trenches, battling with X, fighting against Y and questioning Z, all to receive nothing at the end? Then you went through all that for what? You owe it to yourself to make this life journey worth it in the end. The truth is, it’s not going to be easy either way, so the least you can do is get your reward after the race…