Life is Hard, But it’s Still a Game

Life is hard. We inherently know this. What we don’t realize is it is also the point. Not saying you want to purposely put road blocks in front of yourself. But it isn’t so bad when given the choice to take the hard path every once in a while. If you think about it what’s the fastest way to something you want? Usually the hardest. And so many of us (yes me too!) don’t realize how often we try to take the easier route. Or avoid doing anything altogether. Yet we expect things to be different. Well I am sorry to burst the bubble but if you want things to get better, get used to hard, train it into yourself. In the end he who can cope with more shit probably has a happier life.

Now hear me out. This isn’t some doom and gloom blog where I tell you to suck it up and get tough. While I believe there is a time and a place for pushing harder what I really want for you and what I have had to train into myself, is to disassociate the word hard with bad. Think about where your brain went in the first paragraph. I wrote hard, you though something bad. Right? If I tell you to do 50 push-ups it would typically feel like punishment, it by no means needs to be a reward but push-ups are the single handed best bodyweight exercise a human can do? Wouldn’t that help make you stronger, tighten your core and reduce back pain. Are those bad things? Not at all, they are actually awesome. Doesn’t make them any easier, especially at the start but the reward at the end far outweighs the short term hard.

Unless you live under a rock and have denounced all electronics you’ve probably been to a movie or watched one at home in the last couple of years. It doesn’t matter at all what the movie was, could be a rom-com, horror or a children’s show. Think about the movie for a moment. Was there adversity in the movie? I can guarantee it. As a species we literally crave the shit. No one wants to watch a movie where the premise is everything’s easy and nothing goes wrong. Adversity is built into our DNA, it’s built into every living things DNA. Almost every story we ever tell has adversity in it otherwise it probably isn’t worth telling. We are meant to strive, to work hard for what we want and to maybe make a sacrifice along the way. Easy is boring it’s vanilla and it doesn’t put us in the situation where when it is our time we are ready to succeed.

I am a guy that had to learn this. And I learned it the hard way. I was 32 I had a 2 year old daughter and I was soft in every way imaginable and my life was crumbling around me. Now when I say soft I mean I was breathing heavy going up the stairs, a minor inconvenience would cause a meltdown and I couldn’t cope with anything, sometimes even when it went the way it was supposed to. I would either grab a drink or wallow in my own self pity. I was close to destroying my marriage and I hated myself. I would love to pretend I didn’t know how I got there but even as it was happening I knew, just like you probably do too. I spent most of my energy avoiding anything hard, procrastinating and just generally trying to have the easiest life possible. I thought that was where happiness would be.

But there is a funny thing about happiness. It is never where we are looking for it but always right where we left it. Think about it. Have you ever finished a workout and been upset with yourself? Nope, typically your pretty content, maybe even a little proud. But then you don’t go back to the gym for a week while you are out searching for happiness like it is somewhere you don’t know of yet. All the while you probably have a building frustration as to why you can’t find happy. How have we become so dumb and brainwashed that we cannot retrace our steps to happiness. Why do we always need to search for it in a new place rather than the last place we had it? What a funny thing when you really think about it. Happiness has never been lost, It can’t be but what we seem to forget is that it has to be earned, it is made and the payment is hard work.

But the best part about the hard work is it’s all relevant and hard and fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Your hard is just that YOURS. It may take something completely different for me to feel I have put the necessary work in. But isn’t that awesome? You get to define the rules of  the game and the more you understand that and work at it the better you get at the game. It doesn’t get any easier but you know what is really fun? Being the best at the hardest game, not winning the easiest one.

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