We assume that something has to be hard for it to work.
No wonder there is no shortage of bumper stickers, business books and novelty shirts with slogans that reinforce this fallacy.
If it’s easy, then it’s not worth doing.
If it isn’t hard, then it doesn’t count.
If you’re not struggling, then you’re doing it wrong.
f it’s not painful, then you’re not trying hard enough.
Protestant work ethic, you old sweet talker, you. Where would capitalism be without it?
Robinson wrote an entire book about this very attitude. He explained how the idea of hard work in our country is one in the same time, a religious virtue, a form of patriotism, the best way to win friends and influence people, and the way to be healthy, wealthy and wise.
As someone who used to bow at the altar of hard work, let me tell you, it’s mostly just exhausting. In every sense of the word.
But what life has been showing me lately is, just because hard work has become the god to whom we pray, doesn’t mean our solution to every problem should be trying harder or working more.
Naturally, many things are going to be difficult in this life, as they should be. But let’s not become bound and determined to make everything we do as hard on ourselves as possible, just because hundreds of years of puritanical genetics have made us experience shame any time we take it easy.
Something our mystical friends in the far east figured out long ago is, there is an art to the economy of effort. And once we figure that out, it’s astounding just how light life can feel.
My first job in the corporate world involved long hours, late nights, intense stress and embarrassingly low pay. It was hard, and nobody there gave two shits about my contribution.
Fast forward to many years later, and my current job involves regular hours, balance outside of the office, and generous pay. It’s not an easy job by any means, but the delta between effort and output is dramatically different than before.
Not to mention, my contribution is actually valued.
Proving to me that not everything has to be hard for it to work. When something flows easily, we can trust it.
There’s no catch. The other shoe isn’t going to fall. We simply give thanks and enjoy it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Where might you be making things harder than they need to be?