Hi guys! Welcome to episode 279 of the wildly successful Lifestyle podcast. Nice to be with you.
I heard a quote this week from Jim Rohn. “Don’t wish for things to be easier, wish for you to be better”
It’s such a relatable statement because how many times do we wish something would just be easier…if you’re like me a lot. But as I’ve gotten older I am realizing that they don’t get easier. You just get better at handling them or not.
In episode 278 I talked about how we are constantly fighting our brain when we do things outside of our comfort zone. I have been an avid exerciser for years and I still find my brain giving me reasons not to work out today. I no longer even entertain these thoughts because now I know I’m going to work out regardless, the benefits are too good but I still have those thoughts of just taking the day off and I basically just laugh at them now because I know they’re coming and Im ready for them.
We have this idea that we shouldn’t have to struggle that life should be easy. But that would stunt all growth and we would all be soft and bored. Did you ever play Mario brothers when you were young? I did. Once I mastered the first level, I couldn’t wait to get to the next level, by design, it’s better for us for things to be hard because it challenges us, it makes us stronger, it makes us grow. Now I could have stayed on that first level and continued to play it over and over because the result was guaranteed, I didn’t have to struggle, I knew every jump that I needed to make and where all the little gems were hidden, there was no doubt in my mind I could make it to the end of that level, because I’d done it over and over again. How many of us are playing that way in life right now? Maybe you are playing it safe, sticking to the things you know, not wanting to venture out because everything is predictable and easy, do the same workout, drive the same route to work, see the same people, day in and day out, go to the same place for vacation once a year and we wonder why we are constantly wanting to distract ourselves with food, drinking and social media. We are bored and we aren’t challenged. We were designed to be challenged. There’s not a lot that excites me more than a good challenge. And I bet you feel the same way.
That’s why that quote “don’t wish for things to be easier, wish for you to be better resonated with me.
It reminds me that things don’t all of a sudden one day start getting easy. That’s not how life works. I used to think it would. I used to think in high school that life would be easier when I graduated. We think oh life will be easier once I get a job that pays this. Relationships will get easier as I get older. I gotta tell you. Life doesn’t get easier, you just get better at handling it or you don’t and things start falling apart until you do. Because No one is coming to make life easier. No one would even know how. Your life is being created by you as you make decisions. Every decision you make is creating your life. We all have this vision of how we thought our life would go, where we thought we’d be. Every decision is either bringing you closer to who you want to be or further away. So yeah, life is hard but if it weren’t how would we grow?
I think in this world where life can be undeniably hard, there are those that want to deny the hardship and just sort of positively think our way out of it, and I am an optimist. I want to focus on the good and I can think of times where I’ve pushed the bad away not wanting to see it don’t that but guess what? It often backfired because that tough thing still happened whether you want to deal with it now or let it come out in some other way later is up to you. Keep your focus on the positive, but deal with the tough times head on, don’t bury them.
That’s why I try really hard to not imply that you can just put a happy face on and things will all of a sudden be happy. I love how Esther Hicks always says that’s like slapping a smiley face over your gas gauge so you don’t have to see when it’s on empty. Eventually you’re going to end up stranded. So no I don’t think rah rah only think positive works. You can focus on good things but when hard things happen you gotta deal with them. Dealing with the low gas gauge now is easier than walking to a gas station or having to wait for someone to pick you up with a gas can because you avoided getting gas. My husband will laugh because I often let my gas get down lower than he would like. So I’m preaching to myself here too. I also have struggled with feeling my feelings, thinking that if I just smile it will go away….You can be an optimist AND still deal head on with the hard things in life.
Think about the things in your life that you wish would be easier. Your exercise? Your nutrition? Your relationships? You’re being a parent or a partner or an employer or employee?
Let me sneak this in here while Im thinking about it. Life is hard enough. We often make life harder by comparing ourself to someone else. That’s quickest way to get depressed then I can think of. I was looking at an instagram model, the other day and It sort of made me feel bad about myself for a minute until I realized what I was doing comparing my skin and my body to a 5’10” 27 year old model. Don’t compare your best to someone else’s best. We make life MUCH harder when we compare ourselves.
What does YOUR best version look like? A man with a small build asked his trainer how long would it take for him to have a physique like Arnold S and the trainers answer was brilliant. He said “generations” It would take generations for your body to look like Arnold because you aren’t built like him. Ha. He didn’t have the body type for that. We weren’t all built to look alike, just like we weren’t all built to be CEOs or Pilots or Moms. But guess what? he has his body type and he can build as much muscle as his body will allow. We all have this one life and one body. What can we do with that? If you’re working your hardest and doing YOUR best then you know how good it feels. And only you will know that. I know when I’m doing my best work whether it’s being the best wife or podcaster or sister or creating my healthiest body or my own healthiest mind. I know when I’m doing that because I feel amazing. I’m not worried about what anyone else is doing I’m happy for them not envious because I’m doing the best I can and that’s a really really good feeling. When I’m eating healthy food that nourishes my body, my skin and my mind I feel amazing. When I exercise every day in the way I commit to and it energizes me and makes me mentally and physically stronger I feel amazing. When I focus on the things that inspire and encourage me and others I feel amazing.
So that statement, Don’t wish for things to be easier, wish for you to be better. You know how things get easier? By doing them. By doing the hard things. How do we get better? By doing it by doing the hard things and not letting the failures stop you. Using those failures as a stepping stone to try again.
Our primitive brain wants us to stay comfortable, our intelligent brain knows that’s a trap. Our primitive brain says there’s no need to struggle, our intelligent brain knows that’s the only way we grow.
I love the story of how the butterfly’s struggle to get out of the cocoon builds it’s wings, if you take that struggle away, you take away its ability to fly. You don’t think that was by design? Of course it was. We are designed the very same way.
We think of struggle as a bad thing. Struggle is why any of us are here. The world was designed by struggle. If everything were easy we’d be soft and bored, maybe some of you can see examples of that in children that were cottled, what happens when they enter the real world..it’s a huge struggle. You aren’t going to get away from struggle. Life doesn’t get easier, you get stronger.
Don’t wish for your workout to get easier look forward to when you get so strong, that what once was hard is now easy. That’s how you get better.
Don’t wish for the thoughts to go away that tell you you aren’t good enough, they aren’t going anywhere, they will still pop up, but look forward to the time when you know they’re coming and you’re strong enough to keep going anyway. That’s how you get better.
And when you do that and you challenge yourself to keep going to the next level knowing and expecting it to be hard but also knowing that just like the Mario game, you never mastered that first level on the first try, maybe it even took you 10 times trying to beat that first level, you don’t automatically think that just because you beat the first level that the second level will be easier, no, you know it will be harder, but you do it anyway. Apply that same effort to every area of your life
When you’re struggling with something, The first think I would want to know is it just your primitive brain trying to keep you in your comfort zone? Be prepared for that, it’s sneaky. If it really is a struggle….is why you’re doing it worth it? Maybe you know it will make you a better mom or wife or it makes you better as a person. That WHY will help you overcome struggle every time if it’s big enough. Finally How can you look at that struggle in a different way, knowing when you get on the other side of the struggle and you will, you know life didn’t easier, you just got stronger……stronger in a way that will help you in every single area of your life.
My challenge to you for this week is that every time you find yourself wishing for things to be easier, instead ask yourself, how can I be better?
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I love you guys, I’ll talk to you in a few days!