Choose Your Hard
When it comes to making positive changes in our health, wellness, and life, we often find ourselves fixated on two words: “It’s hard.” Indeed, the process of change can be a formidable challenge. Even if we’re dissatisfied with our current circumstances, the gravitational pull of our ingrained habits and routines is undeniably strong. For most of us, surrendering to the allure of maintaining the status quo seems easier than embarking on the difficult journey toward our envisioned future. However, when we take a step back to gain a broader perspective, we realize that the choice doesn’t boil down to “easy” versus “hard.” Instead, we choose our hard.
This principle extends to every facet of life. True, using a credit card to purchase that tempting item today might appear easier than the struggle of saving for it, but a life burdened by debt is undeniably harder. Indeed, indulging in junk food may offer immediate satisfaction, but its cumulative impact on our health and vitality will lead to a much more profound level of “hard” down the road. Hitting the gym or lacing up the running shoes can feel hard when the couch or bed is calling, but creating physical or energy-level limitations in our lives over time makes all aspects of life much harder.
The choose your hard concept holds true for relationships, finances, health, fitness, and our professional or academic pursuits. The option to evade difficulty in life is simply not on the table. We don’t get to choose whether we’ll encounter challenges; in some cases, exceedingly difficult situations may come our way without any relation to our choices. Nonetheless, in most instances, we have the power to select our brand of “hard”—either by consciously embracing it today or by having it thrust upon us in the future.
It’s quite common to reflect on our lives and think, “If only I had made different choices,” regarding the “hard” we might have chosen. We can all identify moments where alternative decisions could have been made. Stop. Don’t take the bait of thinking agonizing over the (completely uncontrollable) past will change our futures. Instead – take note, learn valuable lessons and lean into the next opportunity to choose your hard today in a way that will improve tomorrow. Yes – the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the 2nd best time? Today.