Former US President Theodore Roosevelt’s wise words:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
These positive, wise words can, unfortunately explain away negative situations such as “advance aging” because advanced aging is most often the result of backing off from doing the hard things, especially regarding our health.
In life, we are constantly tempted to take “the path of least resistance” because, well, it’s the easiest and usually the quickest way. But easy does not translate to better nor does it translate to growth. Easy translates to lazy. And, when it comes to our health, lazy translates to disease and “advanced-aging.”
An Exchange of Energy –
Have you ever really gotten anything of lasting value in your life without some form of valuable/energy/ monetary exchange? Certainly nothing that has any lasting value comes free because everything is an energy exchange.
When we put a little energy into accomplishing or achieving something, the “little” value we receive back matches. But when we push the envelope and challenge ourselves to do the harder thing, to reach beyond our current limits, our ROI grows expoentially.
There’s no better example of this than lifting weights in the gym – one of the best things we can do to sculpt our bodies and strengthen our muscles. What’s hard today, won’t be after many repetitions. Enjoying the benefits that stronger muscles provides us demands that we continually challenge ourselves by adding more weight.
There is no gain in life without some sort of stretch/pain. It’s called evolutionary growth and all human emotional, mental and physical challenges hold within them the greatest opportunity for growth.
Rather than avoid the “hard stuff,” we need to see the “silver lining” hidden within the hard stuff and stop running away from a race we can never win.
Perceptions are Key
Shifting our perceptions is the starting point. Seeing challenges as opportunities for growth is the clear answer to confronting fear and eliminating its paralyzing effects. Challenges boost our adrenalin and energy output and increase our heart rate but not the same way as a “fight or flight” response would.
Different hormones are released when we’re faced with challenges; we’re more focused and able to access our mental and physical faculties easier.
We’ve become weak as humans, literally and figuratively because we “take the easy way out” too often. This explains the reasons we are currently experiencing a global health crisis.
We want to be healthier but it’s “too hard to lift weights or make time to go to the gym
We want to be healthier but it’s too hard to let go of unnecessary easy things eating up time
We want to be healthier but it’s “too hard” to give up our destructive diet in lieu of nutrient dense foods
We want to be healthier but we don’t want to take time to cook and prep our own meals. It’s too hard and so we opt for “fast foods”… (the only thing fast about fast foods is how quickly they destroy our health).
We want to be healthier but want it as a gift, not something we’ve earned through “hard work” and as a reward for adjusted lifestyles
We want to be healthier without putting forth any “hard effort”
Easy doesn’t push the envelope. Life is not set up to operate that way. Life is set up as a reward – give and take system. What you put in, you get out. It’s really that simple.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
-Thomas A. Edison
Pushing challenges aside and continuing to opt for the easy way sends very clear messages to our minds and to our body that we are satisfied with our lot in life. Life returns the same to us and rather than pushing the door to new opportunity wide open or healing us from the inside out, it begins the process of sedentary decay.
The raw truth is, we are either moving in a forward direction by tackling the “hard stuff” or we subtly move ourselves in a negative direction by staying in our comfort zone of safety.
Success at anything is directly connected to sacrifice. Sacrifice most often means giving up something in exchange for something else.
The “good” we’re all searching for in life is cleverly wrapped up in a willingness to tackle the “hard things” rather than wimp through the easy ones. Our current health status is the perfect example and reason to begin tackling the “hard things.”
It’s time we traded our “easy path” false delusions about getting healthy for some real growth “hard solutions” because we cannot move forward or heal completely from any health crisis, personal or global until we address the causes. If we have not focused on and addressed the initial causes, it is only a matter of time before another global health catastrophe reappears cleverly disguised in a “different virus or disease.”
“It is better to make many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”