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Doing Hard Things

Hey friends, today’s topic is so relevant in every aspect of our lives. I decided to talk about this after having a conversation with my daughter about a new routine she was finding difficult doing. She was very unhappy telling me how she really hated the newer option and felt her old option was easier and better. I knew the problem she had was not that the old was better, but that she was reluctant to try this new thing. It felt hard. It got me thinking about normalising that word hard and not giving it a bad connotation. By the time we had a whole conversation about the result of doing hard things, she woke up the next morning and picked up her tablet to do the work without prompting her, and this has continued since then. What changed for her? So today I want to talk to you about doing hard things, especially in these times where it is thought that the easy way is the best way. Ok don’t get me wrong, I will pick the easy option but being easy would not be the first reason to pick the easy option. So what would be the first reason? We’ll get to it soon.

Doing hard things can be seen in your parenting, an example is when you know you need to admonish your children for something they did wrong but you feel so sorry for them afterwards that you find it difficult to stick to the consequence you have given them initially for their wrong action. In a way you have internalised that the chastisement you have given your child which can be classed as a hard thing, is actually a bad thing. Hard things in this context should not be seen as a bad thing. I remember when we first relocated to the UK and had to quickly adjust from having all the so-called luxury of help at home and family around, to the reality of caring for the home and family without any help while working full time. It was a hard thing but not a bad thing. So I believe doing hard things is down to one’s mentality. How do we process our thoughts when classifying hard things. One scripture comes to mind – For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross. This is the story of Jesus as he endured the humiliation of the cross for our sakes because he knew this was a means to an end. He knew there was a plan and the joy he had for the end, brought him endurance during the process. So what am I saying in essence? Doing hard things should be viewed as a means to an end not an end in itself. There is a motivation that comes from embodying this mindset.

I remember running my first half marathon race. For me that was a hard thing. Even though I had trained for it, I found myself almost giving up especially as the race got too hilly. What kept me going was seeing myself at the finish line with my family congratulating me and also remembering that I had trained for it and finished the race during my trainings. So, with this in mind, I kept putting one foot in front of the other till I reached the finished line. Oh! It was a great feeling to accomplish this, and I went on to run yet another one.

You see my friend, doing hard things is experienced in every season of life especially when you are about to pivot to the next level. It can also be witnessed regularly in your everyday life. For example in marriage, doing the hard thing of keeping your mouth shut, when what you really want to do it is rant to your spouse. You see for the joy of respecting your spouse and seeing your spouse feel valued and heard, you decide to hold your tongue and think carefully before speaking, ultimately creating a thriving marriage. For the joy of raising a child with a healthy mindset and view of life, you know when to do the hard thing of regulating the use of their mobile device, not as a bad thing to be done when you are not happy, but as a hard thing to be done when the child requires it. For the joy of parenting the next generation with life skills, you do the hard thing of giving them chores which might not be done to your taste but patiently developing them till they are good at it. I tell you it is hard allowing your children to clean the house or cook when you know you can do it better and more efficiently. But I am learning to turn a blind eye to their initial imperfections in this area, even if it means having a less tidy house than I would like for a while. They are doing the hard thing of doing the chores and I am doing the hard thing of allowing them do it because as we both endure it, they become better and I see the sense of achievement they feel cooking a meal or doing their chores properly.

In doing hard things, we feel challenged, we learn to be better, we keep growing, we keep developing and we keep thriving. No one can take away the experience we get and the sense of achievement we feel. So in answer to my earlier question of what will be my reason for choosing the easy option, I will choose the easy option if we are comparing apples to apples and the easy option will get me to the result I want not a result I don’t want.

In summary, doing hard things should be normalised and not seen as a bad thing. It is a means to an end and not an end in itself. So like we are reminded in the bible, let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Until next time my friend, it’s your host Sylvia Nwokolo reminding you too keep winning, shining and thriving. God bless.

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