Life is hard….and then you die

I’m hearing everywhere, how hard life is, especially if you want to succeed. The idea that anything worth having, will be a struggle to obtain, seems to be getting more and more popular. For instance:

I didn’t say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it

Will it be easy?

Nope. Worth it?

Absolutely

It’s tough, but tough isn’t impossible

If I still allowed anything to depress me, this would depress me! These sayings and the many like them are setting us up for difficulty before we even start; they are warning us that we have to be very strong and special people if we are to successfully follow our dreams. I’m sure that some of you might find this motivating, and this must certainly be why they originated, but many will shy away that the tremendous hardship we’re told about. What if we’re not up to it? What if we’re not one of the chosen few? What if we fail? What if we do all the required work and it’s still not enough. The more cynical and conspiratorial of you might even think it’s almost like there are a few elite who don’t want to have any competition for their wealth and status. Or maybe, they feel so guilty about how easy it actually is, they feel the need to fabricate a story of burden and discomfort.

I’m actually fairly certain that there is no hidden agenda behind these so-called motivating quotes, I just think people have jumped on the bandwagon without really thinking it through or maybe it has been their experience and they truly believe there can be no pleasure without pain….I blame Muller for their Corner adverts; they’ve given, what I believe, to be the wrong idea, to a whole generation!

What’s the alternative?

I have started and run several businesses; there has always been quite a lot of time consuming stuff to do. My experience has been exciting, exhilarating, interesting, rewarding, satisfying and, admittedly, sometimes tiring, but never tortuous or painful and when it has got challenging, I found that my adrenaline saw me through. I’m not the most patient person or the cleverest or the strongest and if I hadn’t find the whole process so fascinating, exciting and fun, I would have stopped at one, rather than carrying on and setting up more. So when I hear someone say

Life is hard

I think “compared to what?!”

I can understand people who have very little money believing that life is tough (though it is actually only their thoughts about not having enough money that are upsetting them – read more about this in Ditch toxic people and situations right now! Or not…) but for people who are desperately trying to join the echelons of super rich, is it really tough? Really?? I’m pretty sure that a lot of people who are struggling financially would give their proverbial eyeteeth to have the opportunity to have such a hard life. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective and luxury quickly becoming necessity.

Are you scared yet?

Though not as scaremongering or extreme, I also can’t agree with

Nothing great ever happened in your comfort zone

or

Do something that scares you every day

My blogpost Feel the fear and do it anyway is about how we can choose to lead productive, creative and happy lives despite the fearful thoughts we have. I don’t like feeling fearful and know that I don’t ever need to feel fear again. I better quotes for me, are

Do something, every day, that used to scare you before you learned that you could choose whether to give energy to the fear or not.

Isn’t it wonderful to feel comfortable and yet be able to achieve so much?

But maybe these are not quite as snappy as the original memes…?

No pain, no gain

I also find I’m often told that

Through pain we become stronger

It sounds sensible enough that overcoming challenges helps us grow but I always prefer to meet everything in life with love. You might like to read Choosing fear over love and How happy are you? Love is always the answer…whatever the question for more on this. I don’t see any point in experiencing pain when we don’t need to and surely through love we become even stronger still? Another popular quote is

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations

This can be true, but by the law of averages, it isn’t always and can be the complete opposite. I can understand wanting to sugar-coat a difficult journey by saying that it will be worthwhile but, personally, I’d simply prefer not to experience the road as difficult. I opt not to be paranoid, not to assume that everything and everyone is out to get me and choose rather, to believe that there is a kind design behind life, that the universe is conspiring in our favour. Not everything we encounter will go according to plan but we can simply accept that without lament or analysis and move on, thereby not making our road any more difficult. If we can keep our calm, we won’t turn mole hills into mountains and we will be able to deal with anything and everything with wisdom and clarity.

Fight club

Fight for it – be a warrior

I don’t like the idea of fighting or being a warrior. I much prefer to meet whatever life sends me with love, with gentleness and with kindness. I like Socrates’ quote

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new

And Bryant McGill’s

Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges

Although I could quibble with the word ‘weapon’ and substitute ‘resource’.

Rather than focussing on how stressed we are, let’s remember how blessed we are

Next week I’ll be talking about factory resets. Until then, I hope you have a happy, peaceful and love-filled week and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Love Catherine x

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