I’m not sure which is a bigger disservice, when we are told that life is meant to be easy or when we are told that our lack of success is because we aren’t tuned into ourselves. Both make it sound like life is this magical and easy path we meander down. We hear these messages from some religious folks, from self-help gurus, etc. It shapes and provides us a double whammy of encouraging less hard work and blaming ourselves for not being able to make it happen easily and effortlessly. Like if your fairy godmother didn’t show up and make your dreams come true you are a loser.
Don’t get me wrong, life is incredible and beautiful but it is hard work sometimes and sometimes painful. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” And most people would agree he had a pretty cool life. I doubt Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Jesus, Jane Addams, Clara Barton, Ida B. Wells Barnett, Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, Gandhi, Buddha, etc. would have had the lives they had if they had entrenched themselves in seeking the mellow easy path that is so often preached and marketed to us today.
I feel life is more along the lines of Stephen Covey’s quote, “We are limited but we can push back the borders of our limitations.” Key word “push” meaning there is effort involved. Effort beyond paying someone to tell you or make you feel your life is groovy.
Sure you can seek the easy out…but you will be seeking for a long time to no avail. While we are accustomed to thinking good things come to those who wait…I say good things come to those who get off their bums and seek and conquer.
So you can be passive and let others feed you what seems convenient or you can take the following advice…
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If a man would move the world, he must first move himself.” – Socrates
“He who begun has half done. Dare to be wise; begin.” – Horace
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
Either way you will learn a lesson. The question is what lesson and result do you want?!