Hard Now, Easy Later vs. Easy Now, Hard Later
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Imagine if you:
• did one workout and looked like a fitness model
• made one phone call and scored that big deal
• had one romantic dinner and solved your relationship struggles
• ate one healthy meal and lost the excess weight
Sounds great huh?
Unfortunately, many of us look at others who’ve achieved those goals with jealously, envy or a sigh of discouragement as if they somehow don’t have what’s necessary to get there themselves. But if you look closely at all of these accomplishments, very often they have one consistent theme in common…Hard now, easy later. What do I mean?
Let’s start with the fitness model example. While others may have been sitting on the couch, finding excuses to stay out of the gym or exercising…their right not to exercise, our sleek, toned, 6-pack example has spent the time, effort and energy on getting results. She’s pushed herself to either get up a little earlier, do more than she thought she could do, and had a fierce determination to achieve the results she now enjoys. By working hard daily to reach her goal, she’s created habits that make fitness a part of life. Period.
In some ways, it’s almost easier for her to tackle a grueling workout because it’s simply part of who she is and what she does. She takes the stance of “hard now, easy later” and doesn’t have to overcome a major hurdle or gather any momentum to motivate her to get moving. The momentum she’s created by her daily actions and habits keeps her moving forward and she simply does what she’s committed to in order to maintain her results. Hard now, easy later.
Let’s take a look at our example of someone who scored that big business deal. I don’t remember who said it but I remember hearing once, “It takes years to become an overnight success.” While others ended their workday early, put in minimal effort or were willing to settle for mediocre results, our “hard now, easy later” person had a much different approach.
He made that extra call, made changes when things weren’t working, read books, went to seminars and listened to experts so he could learn, grow and evolve. While others were taking it easy, he refused to settle and continuously moved towards progress on what others may have seen as an agonizingly slow and unexciting journey. He took those daily, measured actions that were far from glamorous. These daily actions didn’t look like much on the surface so they often went unnoticed. Until one day, when, as a result of knowledge, skill, confidence and relationships that were built over time…he scored big. Hard now, easy later.
How about our example of someone enjoying a great relationship? If you speak to most couples who’ve been together over time, they’d probably tell you things like; great relationships take work, nothing worthwhile comes easy, and over time, they’ve had to negotiate and navigate through their relationship ups and downs to find a middle ground both partners would be happy with. Was it always easy? No, but when we see them together enjoying the results of the time and energy spent making their relationship great we may only look at the end result and not at the daily, seemingly small actions, behaviors and habits it took to get there. Once again…hard now, easy later.
Finally, let’s look at our weight loss example. The person with the lean physique is often the one who takes the time to preplan their eating, works on improving their eating habits and spends time learning the right things to put into their bodies that will nourish and fuel them. They don’t just do this sometimes; it’s a way of life. If they go overboard, they’re quick to assess why and pull back the reins so they can get back on track. While the way they feed themselves and their families takes effort, they’ve included into their lives as a necessary component to healthy living. Would it be easier to stop at the drive thru to pick up fast food on their way home? Would it save time to purchase premade, processed food that just needs to be heated and served? Would it be easier to just open up a bag of snack food instead of preparing something that needs to be washed and chopped? Yes. Yet these thoughts are often non-negotiable and the extra time and attention it takes now ensures health, energy and confidence later on. Hard now, easy later.
With almost everything you do, you’re making one of these decisions and taking one of these roads. You’re either choosing the “easy now, hard later” approach or committing to the “hard now, easy later” way of life. So, which approach will you take starting...right now.