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And yet you work double overtime to make it that much harder

by Paul Kindzia in Happiness
December 21, 2016

You think your life is hard.  So does your neighbor.  And your boss does too.  Your spouse believes that they have a hard life (they have to live with you for crying out loud).  What about the starving person in Africa?  Yeah, a hard life.  The single Mom in war-torn Syria – hard…  Life IS hard, after all, it kills you (it’s that stinking hard!)  But that doesn’t mean that you must make it even harder for yourself.

 “Life is hard, and then I just keep making it worse and worse and worse.” – (What you must say in the mirror every morning.)

When I was younger, I used to believe that certain people or levels of life equated to, “an easy life.”  I wanted to get to that level of achievement.  I was open to any and all paths to an easy life; rock star, Hollywood actor, pro athlete, business titan, lottery winner or inheritance (and it’s a shame that my parents don’t have money and I have five other siblings to share the scraps with).  I would also think that an easy life (a good life) is one where all inconveniences were eliminated or at least greatly diminished.  So for example; I hate doing certain things.  Let’s call these hated things, “chores.”  Examples would be washing clothes, cooking, cutting the lawn, cleaning the house, grooming my dog, washing my car, cleaning my carpets, and painting.  I hate painting.

So my logic was if I could climb high enough in life, maybe get some fame and fortune, the dough will start rolling in where I could just hire all of these people to do the things I hate to do.  Then, by the amazing laws of deduction, if I eliminate all of the things that I equated with being a pain in my ass, I would have an easy life.  An easy life is a good life and thus can’t be hard because hard is the opposite of easy.  Get my drift?  Good job smarty pants.

Somewhere along the way of doing this thing called, “maturing” (which I’m often in the slow lane traveling there), I began to understand that there is a lot of confusion on what we are trying to accomplish in life.  Thus, we start chasing the wrong things or trying to accomplish the wrong goals.

You may believe that working hard will lead to an “easy life.”  But then you wake up every day wondering why your life is so stinking hard.  Maybe you even got to a level where you have a landscaper or a house cleaner, and yet, your life is still hard.  But you keep going on your path, chasing the easy life and the goals that you believe will lead to an easy life.

You start doing certain things daily to work towards that easy life.  We call these things “habits.”  These habits become so ingrained in your being that they impact all forms of your “behavior.”  Your behaviors influence everything from how you interact with people (relationships), how you take care of yourself (health), and how you allocate your financial resources (which is often like a dumb-dumb).  Your behaviors lead to “decisions” (either good or bad) and you wake up the next day only to rinse and repeat the same sequence that you believe will lead to an easy (good) life.

At various points of your life, you wake up to realize that your life is really complicated.  It’s just a big mess.  Your relationships are a mess.  Your work career is a mess.  Your finances are a mess.  Your personal clarity is a mess.  You don’t even know what you’re doing or why things are so confusing.  Yet, you wake up the next day and work your fanny off to work towards a goal of making increasingly more money to eliminate ever present inconveniences as your main objective.

STOP:  Life is not about chasing a fictional easy life just by eliminating inconveniences.  That’s why rich stay at home spouses often slip into a meaningless life that leads to boredom and depression.  Their entire day is spent drinking wine while watching over the staff that take care of all the inconveniences in life; clean the pool, clean the house, do the laundry, watch the kids, walk the dogs, cook the meals, cut the grass, spray for bugs, and wash the windows.  By that reasoning, a good life is one where you do absolutely nothing.

I even know of a woman who not only had a personal shopper for holiday gifts but a separate “specialist” who did the gift wrapping.  What did she do all day?  She sat at home drinking wine bored out of her mind.  You may think she has “an easy life” by your definition and that she accomplished the granddaddy of all awesome life goals.  You would be wrong.  She has a hard life because it was void of all real purpose, meaning, happiness, and fulfillment.  Her mind got the better of her.  Her life is quite hard at the moment.  But enough on her.

Let’s get back to you who is now still dreaming of how awesome it would be to have a personal shopper and a gift-wrapping specialist on your personal slave list.  You may very well be chasing the wrong goals (or perhaps not having any goals other than trying to live an easy life).  You have developed habits that are part of your daily routine.  Your habits are influencing your behaviors.  Your behaviors are leading to decisions.  Finally, your decisions (cumulatively) are adding up to your current life (as good, bad, or as ugly as it is).

You see, life is hard enough.  Why are you making it harder by;

  1. Chasing the wrong goals and objectives in life.
  2. Believing that an easy life lacking any inconveniences is the key to happiness.
  3. Spending time on so many things that don’t move the needle on real progress in life.

The way to make life, “less hard” is to master yourself.  It is submersing yourself in a journey based on the pursuit of personal excellence.  That means constant improvement.  That also means getting your sh!t together.

  • You don’t have your sh!t together if you have all kinds of dysfunctional relationships in your life that suck up all of your mental, physical, and emotional energy.  If your relationships are a mess, you are going to have a hard life.
  • You don’t have your sh!t together if your health is a mess.  If your health is a mess, you are going to have a hard life.  I guarantee it.
  • You don’t have your sh!t together if your finances are a disgrace.  If you can’t learn to manage your money responsibly, you are going to have a hard life.

If you want an easier life, spend your time and resources getting your sh!t together, not working your ass off around the clock so that you could hire a gift-wrapping specialist.

What can you do today that would be in pursuit of personal excellence rather than the blind goal of eliminating inconveniences?  Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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