Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life Is NOT Easy - Stop Thinking It Should Be

I don't care who you are or what your personal circumstances are - life is not easy. In fact, it's downright hard. If it wasn't, then we would all be bored out of our minds. It is the human condition to create strife (whether by choice or circumstance) and to challenge ourselves to overcome it. It is the struggle of life or as Buddhists put it, "It is suffering".

From old to young, short to tall, rich, poor, Black, White, Latino, Native American, Catholic, Muslin, Jew, French, Japanese, or American, it doesn't matter, we live the circumstances we have been given. But, we choose the life we will have tomorrow.

This is the principle that we will be held accountable to our choices. Even though we may not have intentionally chosen the results, we did make the choices that led to those results.

The sooner we accept this fact, the quicker we can begin to change our current condition.

The Reality Behind The Power Of Choice

Let's face it. It's easy to feel sorry for yourself or anyone else because either you or they are repressed, deprived, starving or in other atrocious conditions. But, the truth is, every day, we all make choices to either perpetuate our current conditions or to change them. The fact that you aren't aware of this fact, doesn't make it less true - it only makes you ignorant.

I know this sounds harsh. But if you don't believe that you have a choice in your response to the conditions in your life, then you really have no hope to change your life - and you are forced to rely only on blind faith - and "hope" that someone or something will create happiness and success for you.

I'm not buying it. The way I see it, without accepting the idea that life is about liberty, freedom, and choices that you make in response to your circumstances every day, your existence becomes what others (friends, family, your Government, or your God) choose for you. And you are just living out what good (or bad) fortune life, God, or others bestow upon you.

Don't Give Up The Ability To Choose Your Own Life

Rather than looking at your condition as something out of your control, change it. Make a different choice that is different than the one you chose yesterday. Look not only at your current situation, but also the one you want to create and make you decisions based more on what you want tomorrow, the next day, or ten years from now, than what you want. . . right now.

I believe we make our life what it is - choose who we are and what we have - by how we respond to our circumstances. I don't care who you are, someone on this earth has now or has had in the past worse than you - and overcame it to make their life GREAT. The only real difference between the person living in strife and the person living in happiness is the choices they have made.

Stop blaming and make a change.

Most Don't Want To Believe This To Be True

The reason this is such an unpopular opinion is because so many, who don't have the life they want, don't want to admit that they don't have what they want, because they choose not to. They don't want to face the fact that their life could have been different (or even could be different), if only they had made different chooses in the past or even right now. They don't want to acknowledge that they may have been able to create the life they wanted, had they only realized the power was within them.

Those are hard things to face - but they are the truth.

It's Not Just A Matter Of Perspective

Sure, I've been dealt a pretty easy hand - a loving family that has supported me, a good education that has given me opportunities that I never would have thought possible, and genetics that have enabled me to be "lazy" with my habits and still maintain a relatively healthy body. My circumstances have been easier than most. So maybe it's easier for me to say these things.

However, that doesn't mean that I have been given everything I want - nor everything I need to make me happy.

Circumstance and fortune are wonderful things if they line up in your favor, But it is still your responsibility to choose the right path - often the hard path to get what you want.

An Easy Life Doesn't Guarantee Happiness or Success

Frankly, a life without strife and hardship to overcome, although easy, is a double edge sword - because nothing great lasts forever and past happiness and success doesn't guarantee more of the same in the future.

Additionally, the one thing in life that you can count on is change. Unlike those who battle daily - overcoming their struggles - those who have been given everything, or had it "easy" as a child or even as an adult, often hit a wall, when they face real life struggles - circumstances which they did not foresee that are devastating to their current condition.

The rich turn to drugs and alcohol at alarming rates. Divorce rates are higher in the more advanced "Western" cultures than in less sophisticated third world countries. And the suicide rates of "well to-do Executives" are as high if not higher than those of inner city homeless people.

If happiness and success were dependent solely on circumstance, none of these things would be true.

Look at your own life, did you learn and grow more from the things that came easy to you, or those that you earned. Do you respect yourself more or feel more pride in your efforts if what you achieve comes to you easily or as a result of considerable effort.

Bottom line is that your life isn't defined by your circumstances, but instead by your choices.. Life is a balance of opportunity and misfortune. And happiness and success exist in our lives based on the choices we make given the circumstances we face each and every day to create the world we want to live in. But don't kid yourself, just because you have the choice, doesn't make the choice easy. . . it only means that it's your to make.


  1. I recently read a book, and though I honestly forget which it is as I have read a lot of similarly themed books lately, that addresses just this point. The basic premise is that the reason that people suffer so much is because they don't accept that life is hard. Once they accept this, they don't feel so bad about it and can actually move ahead with living their life instead of figuring out why life is so hard and how they can make it easier. Great post!

  2. You are so right. Geez, I agree with you so much I feel like I am becoming a Blog Groupie. ;-)

    You are so full of wisdom. I am actually grateful for the hard things in my life because I know they are making me stronger day by day. Thanks for the reminder once again.

    And thanks so much for your awesome coaching program that is helping to change my life and so many others. I truly appreciate your dedication to helping others achieve their full potential. It is such a blessing to have you cheering me on when I am heading in the right direction and giving me a gentle nudge or even a swift kick in the pants when I am heading off the path that leads to my happiness and success.