Every time you say something is hard or difficult for you, you reinforce in your mind how difficult it is, and you actually make it harder and more difficult (according to your belief) than it needs to be.
The fact is, most things we do are difficult before they get easier. Everything from walking to talking to writing or typing was difficult at one point.
Rather than focus on how difficult something is, always focus on your progress and how far you’ve come, not on how far you have to go.
Because no matter how slow you go, as long as you are consistent in your efforts (and you are biologically capable), you will achieve what it is you set out to accomplish.
And what you once considered difficult, no longer will be.
But only if you get started and only if you don’t give up.
Because shit happens and life isn’t always easy — and if you focus on it, it may be all you see, but there’s always so much more to the world than that.
And sometimes we need these experiences to help us see — or remind us of — this fact.
When things aren’t going well, it might just mean you’re in the process of learning or being reminded of something important.
Whenever life presents you with a challenge, remind yourself, “There is a lesson in this.” and realize that it will likely not become evident until after the experience has passed. Because most of life’s lessons are not labeled as lessons until one has learned what they’ve had to teach.
I’ve been sitting in my car in the gym parking lot for over an hour with my laptop plugged in while also listening to the car stereo.
I am standing in the gym parking lot next to my car while holding jumper cables. I feel fortunate this happened in this location because there is a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
I have been standing in the parking lot holding jumper cables for over 10 minutes while people drive or walk by without making eye contact. Some pass as close as 10 feet away, but it is obvious people are too busy or too absorbed in their own lives to help.
I’m beginning to wonder how long I will wait. And I admit, I begin to think there is a problem with the people here. I don’t see kindness in the people passing.
In contrast, both times this happened while I was staying somewhere else last year, the first people to see me were also the first to offer to help.
Today, this is far from the case — and, if I’m frank, I’m not only not feeling particularly good about the people in this area, I’m having doubts about the human race.
Me, the optimist, I’ve let this experience get to me.
An older Latina woman walks to her car 3 spaces from mine and gets in — at first I think she’s going to drive away, but she rolls down her window and asks if I could use some help.
Her smile is infectious.
My car is started.
The whole jump starting process took less than 4 minutes — most of that time taken up explaining how to jumpstart a car, as the woman insisted I teach her.
We part ways smiling.
I arrive at the local cafe I like to work at. I grab my laptop bag from my car, but cannot locate my new coffee travel mug. I think I left it here last night.
Oh well. That sucks.
I walk into the cafe. All the tables near outlets are taken.
I set down my laptop bag at one of the tables that are free.
Most people use the phrases “It’s too late”, “I’m too old.”, “It’s been done.”, “I already know what the answer will be.” or “Why even bother.” as an excuse to give up without ever putting in any effort to see if they are mistaken.
It is a disservice to your life to imagine your limits without ever making an attempt to see where they truly are. The vast majority of people on the planet are capable of achieving far more than they let themselves believe.
Are there things you want to do in life? Fears you want to overcome?
Would it change your approach knowing you only had a year to live?
We may not ever know our exact expiration date, but we all have one. And for some of us, it’s closer than we think. This isn’t a pessimistic way of looking at things, it’s a fact. But it’s something we often choose to ignore until it’s too late.
If you truly intend to live life to the fullest , I think it’s vitally important to remind yourself every once in a while — if not daily — that you’re dying.
It may not be the sort of thing you generally find yourself wanting to think about, but by refusing to face this fact, we run the risk of wasting enormous amounts of time getting caught up in things that ultimately provide us with very little value or substance in our lives.
There are more things to do and places to see in the world than any single person could possibly do in a lifetime. So already, our lives and what we choose to experience is a compromise.
A typical lifetime may seem like a lot of time, but time passes faster than one thinks. Adding to this is the fact that we are only teenagers briefly. We will only be in our 20’s once. Our 30’s once. Our 40’s and so on, ONCE.
To think you have time to put everything off to see and do and appreciate until later in life is an illusion.
And then there’s the fact that we only get one body. And it has to last a lifetime. If that’s not an incentive to stay healthy and treat your body well, I don’t know what is. But hey, if you’re not fit or healthy, it’s not too late to try to be.
We get a brain, which we can fill with any number of amazing facts and memories of real-life experiences and not just what we watched on TV. But the brain is like a muscle, the less we use it, the less efficient it becomes.
The fact is, every single day that passes is a day of our life we are trading for it. And we’ll never get it back. You can never get more time, you can only manage it more effectively by living with intention.
This is not to suggest that anyone should act irresponsibly, spend money they don’t have, or live with reckless abandon.
Reminding yourself that every day has value and every day that passes is another day closer to your expiration date can provide the perspective & motivation necessary to help you prioritize your life in a way that reflects the kind of person you truly want to be.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — Steve Jobs