“It is easy to hate, and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very easy to get.” – Confucius
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/confucius_119273
Ever wonder why things that are bad for us are so easy to do and the things that are good for us are so hard to do? I have read a string of books by Stephen Guise and this is one thing that pervades his work. The bad things that are easy for us to do are there because they are easy and bring almost immediate rewards. Because they are easy and bring rewards each time, we do them, they become habits.
Conversely, the good things we want to do for ourselves are not so easy. They must be learned or practiced, which takes time. They also give us rewards but they are not instantaneous.
Bad habits like binge-watching television, eating junk food, or mindlessly surfing the Internet are all so easy to do and rewarding. We literally need zero effort to accomplish these things.
Good habits like reading every day, writing every day, exercising every day, or learning every day take work. They deliver tremendous benefits over the long-term but only if we make them habitual.
Our brains are wired to resist change. When you have a food manufacturer that offers a “healthy” option that takes 3 minutes in a microwave to prepare—beware. The rewards for this option are easy to cook and get into our bellies. The huge disadvantages are the chemical soup that is within each of these so-called, “healthy” meals, the overabundance of salt, sugar, and fat, and the preservatives, unnatural coloring, and processing that occurs that change whole foods into “Franken foods” (Stephen Guise uses this in a book I just finished about weight loss.)
If you are unsatisfied with your life, look at what you do every day. Are you on autopilot or are you making conscious choices about how you fill your day? Are you moving toward anything meaningful or are you just filling your day with meaningless activities?
I’m not trying to guilt you out. I am merely asking the question. If you are totally happy with your life as it is—don’t change it.
If you are unhappy with your life, take some time to contemplate what is missing. Take inventory of how you feel. Examine your emotional states. Are you bored? Are you stressed? Do you feel terrible and apt to get sick more than most people? Do you have back problems or issues with obesity? Are you depressed?
If any of these things sound like you and you’re tired of feeling or being this way, take some steps to make a change. You don’t have to strike out on some crazy crusade. Too big of a change will not work. You will try for a day or so and digress to your old patterns and behaviors. Make really small changes. Changes that don’t require too much willpower or motivation to accomplish.
If you’re wondering why I ask all these questions and tend to gravitate toward this subject matter on most of my postings, there is a reason. I used to be that guy. I could play video games for 24 hours a day. I could binge watch entire seasons of shows on Netflix, all while stuffing my face with absolute garbage. What was the result? A back surgery that put me down for 2 years, walking around with a back brace. Massive weight gains up to 247lbs before I put a stop to that. The loss of not one, but three separate marriages. I also filed for bankruptcy—twice!
I’m trying to provide advice to people who may be in the same situation as I was. It is a horrible place to be when you realize one morning that you can’t make yourself do what you know you should do. I was really in a very dark place.
How did I turn things around? I took some time to do some research. I began searching for information about how we form habits. I began looking for information about how to make changes. I began to examine the things other successful people were doing each day that made a difference in their lives.
My searches resulted in some books that I re-read every year. These books are here for you. Read these books and put the suggestions they offer to good use. These books changed my life for the better and will do the same for you—promise.
- Mini Habits by Stephen Guise
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen
- The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad by Paul Twitchell
These books helped me create a personal framework for self-improvement. They gave me categories of life to cultivate. They gave me a meaningful way to write down my goals, plan my weeks and days, and utilize an “outside brain” instead of depending on my own brain for everything. They taught me how to make very small changes that have a lasting and awesome impact. They opened my mind to wisdom, truth, and provided me with an architecture of what our existence is truly about.
My levels of self-discipline, motivation, and determination are on an entirely different plane. I found that our improvement never ceases. There will always be another plateau to reach, another level of proficiency to attain, a new area to explore. It all starts with very small steps.
If you are tired of the way things are in your life, take some time to read one of these books. I would recommend Stephen Guise’s book first. It is the easiest read and contains the means of starting your transformation with very little effort. His book is the one that jump-started my journey.
I wish you well.
Until next time…