In this day and age of modern conveniences most of us have become accustomed to simplicity and ease, ranging from quickly finding information on Google to having our food orders called in and moments later dropped off on our doorstep. While these advances are nice, they may be misleading when it comes to our personal happiness, health, and productivity. Unlike online food ordering, we can’t just push a few buttons on our phone and improve the quality of our life in any meaningful and sustainable way, but we have to instead put in the work and remain committed to the goals we set for ourselves. No, being happy, healthy, and productive is not as easy as ordering a car through a vending machine or a latte at Starbucks, but requires goal clarity, specific plans, and galvanized resiliency in order to make it through stress, adversity, frustration, and failure.
“Easy” isn’t an option
Happiness, mental and physical health, and personal productivity are human experiences we can all work toward, but being successful in any of these endeavors is rarely “easy.” In fact, at my office I regularly talk to clients who want to be happier, get in better shape, or be better at school or their job — and developing the plans to improve in each area is not very difficult. For example, if you wish to lose weight it is no secret you will need to eat less, and move more. Similarly, if you wish to achieve better grades in school you will need to learn better time management, develop study skills, talk regularly with teachers, and remain committed to experiencing academic success over time. In both of these examples the plans for improvement are not rocket science, but committing to the plans is anything but “easy.”
In fact, when you think of it, most of the things we do (or want to do) are not easy, including:
- Getting in good physical shape
- Dealing with daily stress in healthy ways
- Maintaining healthy relationships with others, including romantic partners
- Performing successfully at your job and/or school
- Developing a positive mental approach to life, even in times of distress
- Sustaining mental focus, especially when you are bored
- Parenting kids, getting good grades, balancing family and work/school, refraining from unhealthy foods, etc…….
It is only when we stop looking for easy solutions to life do we begin to see life more realistically, including the fact that there are rarely “free rides” when it comes to happiness, health, and productivity. Fortunately, by accepting the challenges that often accompany goals we can go on to experience massive, positive changes in our lives — even if it is not always “easy” to do so.
If you aren’t happy with something in your life right now, rather than try and find easy solutions it may behoove you to instead begin by realizing that change can happen — but that it will take effort. Yes, the world around us continues to offer life shortcuts by means of video meetings, delivered fast food, and grocery stores that will do your shopping, but we still have to work hard when it comes to life happiness, improved physical and mental health, and being productive in school or work.