A friend of mine posted up pictures of herself before and after losing 165 pounds of fat.
There was a blizzard of immediate responses to her post, the vast majority of which were along the lines of, “How did you do it?” And, “What is your secret?”
She responded honestly along the lines of; “I dieted and exercised for over a year.”
The blizzard dwindled to a trickle. These responses ranged from the apathetic to the outraged but they all had a common theme: “but that’s really hard.” No kidding.
My friend wisely countered: “Well, weighing 300 pounds, being unable to tie my own shoes and slowly dying of high blood pressure and systemic organ failure seemed harder.”
The difference between the two conditions of “hard” is only this: one of them is brought on by habit and the other is a result of a decision.
It took my friend decades to put on that weight. It was a habit without thought. She then looked around at where her life was going and decided to make a change. SHE made the decision and SHE followed through with it. In other words, she decided to take control of that aspect of her life – and yes, it was hard. Really, really hard. But, she can lift up her own son again and walk from her car to the front door of the school without being winded. And, most importantly, she will probably be around for him when he has his own children.
An example from my own family: When I took on an evening job, it seemed easier for everyone to just forage their dinners for themselves at whatever time was convenient. But I noticed that we were arguing more, our schedules were out of whack and I could tell we were losing touch as a family unit. So I brought down the iron fist and instituted the dreaded proclamation that by golly, 5:45 was family dinner time and we would all be there together until 6:45 no matter what. No jumping up from the table in the middle. No TV on during the meal. No phone calls.
That was HARD. For the first week.
You would have thought I had sentenced the family to hard labor at a prison camp if you went by the sheer volume of complaints and assertions that a heinous injustice was being visited upon the whole group. Not to mention my own discipline on planning having to increase in order to schedule things out so that I could race home from my afternoon work and prepare a nice meal on time.
But, it settled down. We had some real quality time together and after a few weeks, dinner time became something that everyone looked forward to (whether they admitted it or not)…
I chose my “hard” and decided that a happy family that included my upping my discipline was less difficult than being around a husband and kids who were out of sync with one another, bickering and living separate lives.
With this, I challenge you to work backwards from some unwanted condition that is happening in your life and then trace it down. You can discover for yourself some of the things you might be doing that lead up to this unwanted condition. And just by doing this exercise alone, you will be taking back a little bit of control of YOUR life.
Now, assess the things you came up with and find out if you are doing these things consciously or just from habit thinking that it’s easier…
Choose YOUR “hard” – after all, it is you who will live with the results.