Stop taking the easy way out
“There are no shortcuts. I don’t want to hear about workouts you can do in 5 minutes a day or twenty minutes a week; that’s total bullshit...Don’t tell me about a workout that’s easy and done in the “comfort of your home.” Any workouts involving the words easy and comfort aren’t workouts.”
- Tim s. Groover Relentless
Is there any way to make this easier? Is there any way to make this more fun?
One of our best gifts as human beings is to solve problems and the drive to make life easier. Thanks to this gift we have been able to do great advances in engineering and technology. I like to look at the simple yet effective example made by late professor Hans Rosling, who liked to demonstrate the power of invention by showing a washing machine. The machine liberated people, and mostly women, from hours of washing clothes by hand. This freed up labor power to work on more important things like education and further innovation.
However, there are always two sides of one coin, and in this case the pursuit of finding the easy way also becomes our obstacle of doing the right and important things. As a business owner, father and husband I believe this might be one of the most common issues for me and other normal people to take the easy way out. By choosing the easy way out will only mountain up to bigger troubles in the future.
One example every parent today has to face is the usage of TV or other devices. How many parents don’t get the question ”Can I watch TV?” or "Can I have the iPad?” and as a parent you might be tired after a long day and you need to cook food (hope you are cooking or did you take the easy way out and ordered food?) and the kids are tired and screaming and you are about to lose your patience, so you take the easy way out, and say ”yes” just to get some peace and quiet. When it is time for dinner or putting the kids to bed they are not at all ready for bed because they want more TV and shutting everything down is like taking the drugs of a drug addict and the backslash is evident and filled by frustration, hatred, cries and remorse.
At work you might have a minor issue with your colleague, manager or CEO but you take the easy way out and leave the confrontation aside and wish that it will not remain an issue. However, these things tend to build up and 6 months later the environment is toxic and you end up as enemies that never want to talk to each other again and instead of fixing this you might change jobs to go around the problem, however the problem will still be there and if you switch jobs within the same market you will continue to encounter your former problems and it will inhibit you until you face the problem.
For your health you might look for the easy way to stay fit and you go jogging twice a week, or you attend to one pilates class a month and think you have checked of your fitness, instead of putting in the real work of training 4-5 times week for an hour.
You might try to do a diet for a month and feel like you made all in your power to get leaner. Then there is a birthday in the middle and you skip your diet and you don’t go running and postpone your ”health” because the effects of taking the easy way out is not obvious.
If your fitness is of higher sort and you suddenly get an injury it is common to give up and think that you can’t do anything anymore. You know you could work on some other weaknesses but you instead you take the easy way out and stop training instead of working on the weaknesses. Sometimes it might be that we slept bad, everything is not lined up in the perfect order, clothes are not the coolest brand, forgot your favourite shoes or towel and we take the easy way out and cancel our training.
I believe that this is partly due to the human condition but also due to our culture we see more people simply being weaker and less willing to put in the effort of doing boring and hard things.
One exercise I like to use is one I took from Tim Ferriss. If you look at your to-do list and start evaluate which things on the list are the ones that makes you most uncomfortable, then it is usually those things that are the ones that will make the most impact. Sometimes the effort takes time and we postpone it because of the time commitment but sometimes it is simply the fear of taking action on some topics outside your strengths. However they are usually the most important tasks. As soon as you start doing them they will not be hard anymore and you will feel relieved that you took that step. Remember there are no shortcuts, you have to start to do it one step at a time. It helps to have someone to guide you but at the end the work has to be done by you.
Nobody else will do it for you, you have to grow up and do it yourself.
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