Easy gets a bad rap.
Going easy means you’re not trying hard enough. Choosing easy means you’re not being ambitious enough. Taking it easy means you’re not being industrious enough.
Tell me if these sound familiar to you.
“It’s so difficult because it’s worth it.”
“No pain, no gain.”
“Harder the work, bigger the prize.”
We glorify the difficult, the painful, the grueling and the arduous. A person’s success is measured by how much more he is doing and how hard he is toiling. After all, the more difficult the path, the more credit he gets for crossing it.
“She slogs 15 hours a day. Clearly, she has what it takes to succeed. ”
“Of course he works on weekends. He’s a professional!”
“She’s trying so hard to make him stay. Their bond will be stronger because of this, you’ll see.”
It’s the pull of the good old hard-to-get. The belief that if it doesn’t come easy, it must be the best stuff. But this way, you get so busy acting as per how you think it’s supposed to be that you forget how you want it to be. Because if you stop and think, you’d realize that deep down you don’t want your life to be one extended battlefield.
This whole hard-to-get theory never really made any sense to me, anyway. For instance, if I am interested in being with someone, why on earth will I run in the opposite direction? And if someone doesn’t want to be with me, why would I slog myself to dust, trying to make them see how wonderful I am? Isn’t it easier and far more sensible to find someone who wouldn’t need so much convincing?
The same goes for your career, friendships, hobbies, et al. If it’s making your life difficult, filling your days with stress or making you feel inadequate, what’s the point in soldiering on? Look, choosing the easy doesn’t mean there won’t be any work for you to do. You’d still have to put in the requisite effort. Just that, it won’t feel like soul-sucking-work.
When you choose the easy, you remove the unwanted friction from your life.
Suddenly a whole new world opens up where you have ample time to relish what you already have and get more of what you really want. Choosing easy takes courage because it’s not what everyone else is doing. You’ll end up questioning your choices a lot. But realize this: if something feels easy to you, it’s because your desires and energies are perfectly aligned with it.
It feels easy to do what you really enjoy. It feels easy to be with someone who cherishes you. It feels easy to talk to the one who listens. It feels easy to work on something you’re naturally good at. It feels easy to be who you truly are. See what I mean?
Choosing easy doesn’t mean picking unethical shortcuts, being a slob, telling lies, sweeping matters under the rug or settling for mediocrity. These actions come from a place of avoidance and lacking integrity. Here, instead of picking the easy, you’re picking the cheap. Know the difference.
True ease comes from a place of self-love and belief. By reducing the unnecessary friction in your life, you’re being kind to yourself and respectful of your own wishes which, I feel, is a pretty good life strategy. Besides, why would you need someone else’s validation on how you’re leading your life? It doesn’t matter if the world thinks you’re an “underachiever”, as long as you are achieving all that matters to YOU. Everyone’s definition of success – be it at work, life or love, is different. Instead of following the stock definition set by the world (or Google), find your own, and stay true to it. And you’ll see, you don’t usually have to kill yourself for a shot at happiness. It arrives quite easily when you correctly recognize where your happiness lies.
The way of less resistance is the one where you pick what really matters to you and work on that, be with who makes you happy, say no to what doesn’t fit your priorities and choose what makes your heart go – this feels so right! Incidentally, this is also the way of a life well lived.
In The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware, the top 2 regrets went something like this –
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
So stop making life so hard and choose the easy. You may not have everyone else’s approval on this one. But you may end up dying without regrets. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.