Embrace the Difficult

If that thing you’re doing right now is difficult, stay with it. Work hard. Eventually it will become easier.

Over the weekend a friend said something really profound as we both sat and watched our sons play soccer. Her daughter is in gymnastics. They have recently upped the amount of hours and difficulty of her training.

She mentioned how hard it is on her right now. And then she reflected on her improvement upon starting gymnastics.

At first she couldn’t even do the simplest of stretches. That didn’t stop her though. They worked on them every night. They were painful at first but eventually she became very flexible and could do every stretch as well or better than everyone else.

Right now the level of her training is hard on her.

But she knows that as she continues to work hard it will become easier.

And eventually she will be more able to do even more difficult training.

She will become better because it’s difficult right now. She's stretching herself and working at the edges of her current ability.

I have thought about her daughters experience with gymnastics. In so many ways, if each of us were more like her daughter with the work we do we would be capable of so much more.

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.”

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, if that thing you’re doing right now is not easy, stay with it. Work hard. Eventually it will become easier. And even more importantly, you will be able to do more. Or simply do it better.

Remember and celebrate the challenge and when you become better, celebrate your increased capacity.