4 Oct, 2019Are You Making Life More Difficult Than It Needs To Be?
Would it be okay if I tell you a story about someone I knew who was struggling to give up smoking?
He came to me because he was desperate. He had tried again and again to quit. He knew smoking was bad for him (his father had died from cancer) and he knew it was an expensive habit that was setting a poor example to the rest of his family.
Could I help him?
I said yes – giving up smoking was easy….
Giving up smoking is as easy as not buying cigarettes.
“I know what I need to do, but it is so difficult to do it”
Sometimes, the challenge is in how we look at things. We focus on what is difficult.
If you are trying to give up smoking, the habit, the nicotine addiction and the mental association makes you feel that giving up will be difficult to do. So you focus on how hard it will be and the enormity of the task ahead. But what if, instead, you just don’t buy cigarettes one day. That’s easy to do, right? Just do that. Every time.
That’s just one example, of course. Think about the goals you have for yourself right now. Are there which are easy to do but just as easy not to do them? Things that, if you did them (or didn’t do them) would make a big difference in your life or in meeting the goals you have set for yourself?
For me, for example, I know that meditation makes a significant difference to my focus and ability to concentrate and yet more often than not, I find it just as easy not to do it. In fact there are lots of things I find easy to do and easy not to do – getting out of bed, exercising, drinking water or not buying chocolate (I LOVE chocolate).
But, because I think to myself ‘this is easy’ instead of ‘this is difficult’ – and because I know that this feeling of ‘easy not to do’ is always there, it allows me to recognise that I need to take decisive action with these small but important steps. So I meditate, I drink water, I get up when the alarm goes off, I exercise, I walk past the sweet shop….
The genius of the ‘two easies’
This is the attitude of a genius. I was reflecting on this in my podcast this week, which is about Michael Jordan. He once did a TV advert where he listed all his failures: 9000 missed shots, 300 games lost, 26 game-winning shots missed. Failing over and over again.
In the face of all that failure, it would be easy not to give his all in every game. Why bother? But he knew that learning from the failure was what made him succeed. So, instead, he imagined that every game was played for the one person in the audience who had never seen him play before and would never see him again. That made it easy for him to give his all.
(You can check out my podcast on Michael Jordan at https://petecohen.com/podcast/ if you want to know more about him.)
So think about the easy things you could do to make a difference in your life and take the decision to act on them every day.
If you have goals you want to achieve and want to do the easy things every day to make them happen, take look at my free online video and book a call with me to se how coaching can help. https://petecohen.com/coaching/