It’s Only as Hard as You Make It

Good morning! I hope your day is starting nicely.

Have you ever gotten halfway into something and wondered why you put it off so long? It’s so simple, you should have done it weeks ago. Or maybe you’ve thought, “There has to be an easier way to do this! I’ll never get this done!”

All too often, we make things harder than they have to be. I’m a planner. I love to plan things out. I want to know exactly how things will progress and what to expect. All the tools and materials have to be right there at hand (except the ones I forgot, of course), and I’ll study the landscape for several minutes or longer before I get started. By then, I need a break.

Okay, that’s how we approach a job we really don’t want to do. Tell me I have to make a pitcher of Pina Coladas, and I’ll be right on it. Tell me the kitchen sink isn’t draining, and I have to draw up a set of blueprints. I’ll grab the plunger, run a coat hanger down the drain, or try any of a dozen other ineffective remedies to avoid what I know I’ll eventually have to do. Just take the drain apart, Dave!

And once I get started, it’s not really that hard. For me, the hardest part is getting down on the floor and situated in front of the cabinet so I can reach the drain. Once I clear a few things out of the way and put my wife’s favorite pan under the drain to catch the inevitable deluge, taking the drain apart is simple. Within three minutes, I’ve cleared the trap, put things back together, and all is well.

Hopefully you won’t have any drains to clean out today. Hopefully I won’t. But how many things during the day do you approach with an equal sense of enthusiasm? Things you know you need to do, and if you don’t get them done, they’ll still be there waiting for you tomorrow. Nobody is going to swoop in and do the job for you, and if they do it’ll be for their benefit, not yours.

I mentioned last year the concept of eating the frog. It’s pretty simple. If you’ll have to eat a frog sometime during the day, just do it. Get it out of the way first, and then the rest of the day will be pretty pleasant, by comparison. And if you have to eat a bunch of frogs, eat the biggest one first.

I didn’t dream up that little gem, but I think it carries a lot of wisdom. But it also needs some perspective. Because your willingness to eat the frog depends to a large degree on how it got there in the first place. Sometimes the boss sets it in front of you and said, “This is your job today – bon appetite!” In that case, you do what we’d all do. You pinch your nose and dig in.

But sometimes the frog is there because you went looking for it. You have a goal or dream, and it requires you to step outside your comfort zone and do some things you’d rather not do. But it’s the only way to accomplish your goal. So, you put the frog on a plate, grab the salt and pepper, get the proper place settings, put a napkin in your lap, say a prayer, and … the frog is still there. Damn.

Or worse yet, the frog hops away and now you have to chase it down and start all over. Because the path to success didn’t magically change while you were planning that first bite. You can plead, bargain, plan, and look for shortcuts all day long, but the fact remains – if you want the reward, you have to eat the frog.

And when you finally do, you often find out it’s not really a frog. It may not be filet mignon, but it’s usually not quite as revolting as we first thought. You may never come to truly enjoy it, but if you do it enough times, it just becomes a part of your day. You do it without even thinking about it. Then one day you look up and there’s the Emerald City, so close you can reach out and touch it.

Do the things you need to do. And when you come to one you’d rather not do, then get it out of the way first. Anything worthwhile is worth the effort. Keep your eye on the ball and don’t sweat the small stuff. Success isn’t always easy, and the path isn’t always smooth. But none of that matters once you reach the goal.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved