Accept the challenge: You can’t win big without taking big risks
To this day the sound of the word ‘easy’ is like music to my ears. I take the fastest routes home, I like my cheese pre-sliced and I panic whenever I see stairs without accompanying escalators. It’s not that I’m lazy — I just prefer the easier way out; and actually, a lot of us are this way.
We’ve all know about life and it’s lack of shortcuts and how Rome wasn’t built in a day. The principals of hard work, to some degree, I’m sure, was instilled in each of us. But we couldn’t care less. Maybe it’s hereditary or maybe it’s a symptom of too much TV, but most people I know defer to what’s familiar and run from hardship. In fact, everyone I know is this way.
The problem with convenience, though, is that it almost always comes at a cost and although immediately beneficial doesn’t suit all circumstances.
Like, I don’t want a rush-job on my steak and I can sympathize with waiting in line at an amusement park. I didn’t’ mind the chase in getting my girlfriend and I relish a little competition when I play sports. Easy can only cover so much.
But I’ll take it a little further and say that we should change our perspective on how we see difficulty altogether. That, instead of avoiding what we deem as ‘hard’ or shriveling to it, we welcome it.
When choppy waters arise and we’re tasked with surmounting unforeseeable odds more times than not we respond with sinking stomachs. But if we could see opportunity in the difficult moments and approach them with the confidence that we’ll turn out fine on the other end, then we’ll find ourselves accomplishing more and being better people.
Because it’s inescapable
For some reason, the term ‘hard times’ gets more associated with financial difficulties than any other possibility of hardship. But the truth of the matter is that hard times knows no tax bracket, class or race.
Difficulty is inescapable. It comes in a variety of ways and hits in a number of places but what we do know is that we can count on it to always come. That’s why our attitude should change regarding challenging times in general.
Instead of cowering or resenting, we should bear down and zero in. Instead of feeling despair and contemplating the unknown, we should seize the moment and be willing to test ourselves.
One of two things is going to happen when you stand up and face difficulty: you’ll get smothered or you’ll prevail. Either way, you’ll learn something new about yourself in the process, and that’s far better than riding out in fear.
Because it pushes you
Will Smith has a video on his Instagram of people struggling to jump off a very high diving board of an Olympic size swimming pool.
They’re obviously afraid of heights but the point Will Smith illustrates as he commentates the footage of the shaking divers is that you never achieve what you set out to accomplish until you confront what difficult.
“We have to get comfortable falling,” Will commentates.
And while Will may have been speaking on conquering the fear of stepping out and doing, it remains relevant when facing difficult situations in life: you have to step up and do it.
The adrenaline rush you get from going forward with something despite knowing the risk is one of the best feelings you’ll ever have and it’s one that will help you to grow.
Trails are chances to prove ourselves and we should always be pushed to prove.
Because it reminds you what you’re made of
When you choose to stand and fight instead of retreat and run, it does something to you. It makes you feel fearless and act braver — even in a loss.
Battles test character and bring something new out of you that you may have never known was there but to battle, you must combat.
There’s something about standing up to our worst fears instead of respecting them that forces you to look in the mirror. Sometimes you think you have what it takes and you still get eaten alive.
Other times you’re not sure what you were thinking but came out on top anyway. You won’t know until you go for it.
When we start licking our chops at the sight of an upcoming task instead of sucking in our breath is when we know we’re at the right amount of tough to accept change and chase greatness.
No one has it easy, but the difference between the people who let it rule them and the ones who don’t are the people who jump up at the sight of besting the difficulties of life.