“Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact life is difficult no longer matters.” (M. Scott Peck – The Road Less Traveled.)

A few years ago, I had somewhat of an epiphany.  I realized that the best way to make an experience or “job” or something that you’re going through, “easy” and not “hard,” is to simply accept it.  Hard, tough, complicated, difficult…they’re all relative terms.  If you come to terms with the fact that whatever it is you’re going through or committing to is your only option, that it must be done, it can’t possibly be hard because there is no opposite “easy” road to go down.  Literally the day after realizing this, I picked up the book “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck and read the opening paragraph, the one I have typed out above.  Sure, I still have times when I’m working through things and I want to give up, times when I want to say “This is too difficult for me to overcome…I can’t do it, I’m not even going to try anymore.”  But every time this happens, I think back to those words on that first page of the book.  If you want something badly enough, and you commit to making it happen, embrace the difficult part!  Say to yourself “Holy bejesus, this is hard, but I’m going to do it!”  Don’t whine and complain and feel sorry for yourself having to go through it.  Accept that it’s tough, and then do it.  There is nothing wrong with admitting that you’re doing something that isn’t easy (and I swear to you, once you acknowledge it’s what you have to do…it’s not all that hard anymore!)…in fact, admitting that you’re busting your butt to get something done that really means something to you, makes the success in the end all the sweeter. 

Speaking of making things sweeter in the end, another topic M. Scott Peck writes about in “The Road Less Traveled” that really resonated with me is the idea of delayed gratification.  Delayed gratification is basically the concept of getting the shit stuff out of the way first, so as to better enjoy the good things afterward.  For example, if I go to the gym and have a great work out, it’s far more enjoyable for me after to go home, sit on my butt with a new US Weekly trash magazine and drink an iced coffee, than if I had gone straight home from work and done the same lazing about.  It really, really, really works.  If you first tackle the chores and “ho hum must do stuff” of your daily routine, the little things you allow yourself, like a gossip magazine or a reality television show, are soooo much more enjoyable.  Personally, if I don’t get the junk out of the way first, I feel a sense of guilt doing the other fun or meaningless stuff.  By ridding your conscience of those “oh I have to get this done…” thoughts through just GETTING IT DONE, you’re able to improve your quality of life without actually gaining any concrete items.  You take what you already have and make it all the better, just by switching the scheduling around a bit.  By showing yourself that you can get through the shit, by embracing those tough times, you’re better able to find joy in simple things, because you’ve allowed yourself to truly experience the pain and hard work that comes with the tough stuff.

Don’t expect life to always be easy.  Don’t whine when things aren’t simply handed to you.  Get the bullshit out of the way first and you will be amazed at how EASY (there’s your easy gain) it is to find real, true happiness in the simplest of things.