022: What If You Were Okay with Doing-Hard-Things?

022: What If You Were Okay with Doing-Hard-Things?
Photo by Kelli McClintock / Unsplash
"Jump into the colder pool. Walk instead of drive. Pick up the book instead of your phone. Take responsibility instead of hoping it goes unnoticed. In matters big and small, courage is choosing the more difficult option." - Ryan Holiday

What if you had the power to eliminate the "hard-stuff" from your life?

Before you say, "where can I sign up...", let's talk about embracing and doing hard things and why that could be what's missing in your growth and longevity journey.

There's circumstantial hard in life and there's the brand of hard that's welcomed for the purpose of growth.

Intentionally doing hard things can increase your tolerance for uninvited challenges and produce the growth that's essential to aging well

  • What's hard in your life today could be preparing you for something you wouldn't experience otherwise (cliche' - I know - but nonetheless true).
  • Choosing to do hard-stuff introduces you to potential you wouldn't otherwise know you had (I'm on a cliche' roll here...but stick with me).
  • Understanding that real, lasting growth happens when you push through the hard-stuff is prime motivation for doing hard things sooner rather than later.

Embrace the hard-stuff - it could be preparing you for something worthwhile

I don't make any assumptions about the hard-stuff you're currently dealing with or have previously dealt with.

I'm also aware that you could be facing something you didn't ask-for.

But here you are!

It's not my style (nor should it be anyone's) to tell you to merely suck-it-up!

The process of embracing your challenges cannot be cheapened by thinking it's all about staying positive or glossing over the pain.

The better part of choosing to embrace the hard-stuff in your life starts with owning the reality that you're actually in a tough-place.

Follow that realization with a slight shift in perspective and ask yourself: "what's on the other side of this...and am I prepared for it?

The combination of owning the hard-time and choosing a resourceful perspective could be the push you need to get through - for now (and that could be enough).

Choose to do hard things - you might have more strength (and courage) than you realize


What does that mean?

I know what it doesn't mean - it's not a reference to how you discover your potential.

What has the path-of-least-resistance produced in your life?

This would be a good place to inject an over-used fitness analogy - no pain, no gain...

I have some good news - hard-things don't always involve "pain" or an obsession with our culture's love-affair with "hustle."

And occasionally, the primary "gain" happens because you courageously stuck around to see if you have what it takes to push through.

  • Give yourself some credit for the challenges you've overcome in each era of your aging journey.
  • Ride the current waves that your age provides and reflect on the wisdom you've earned.

Grow through the hard-stuff - it can keep you from settling for mediocrity

There's not much that's productive about being set-in-your-ways.

We say that about people who stubbornly refuse to change, grow, or make progress toward a new or worthwhile outcome.

Mediocrity has a settling effect.

Working, training, wellness, aging, parenting, grand-parenting, marriage, relationships, (you name it) isn't without an amount of hard-stuff.

A growth-mindset is your way-through.

  • Grow through your age-related hard-stuff by challenging the assumption that you're too old (or too young) to...(fill-in-the-blank).
  • Grow through your general life-related hard-stuff by challenging the assumption that other's have it better than you because they...(fill-in-the-blank).

As you reflect on filling-the-blanks remember this:

Growth is personal and it's ultimately what prevents you from settling at whatever age you are or for what someone else tells you should be or do - when the going-gets-tough!

It's not about eliminating the hard-stuff...it's the result of doing hard things with an awareness of what you gain in the process

Whatever you're going through, own it by affirming:

  • "This is hard - I'm here for it!"
  • "This could be hard - I'm prepared for it!"
  • "That was hard - I'm better because of it!"

Press on...