WOW Word-Of-the-Week #427: Hard

October 9, 2012 by  

Hard – requiring great effort or endurance.

Do you think that “life is hard?” Have you ever accomplished something that required a great effort on your part? Do you think that anything can be accomplished if you stay focused and are positive?

This quote triggered this week’s WOW. “When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?’ – Former columnist Sydney J. Harris

Then I found Dustin Wax’s article titled, “10 HARD Ways to Make Your Life Better” on Life Hack and thought it was a great fit. The next three WOW’s will cover his commentary.

Dustin starts by saying, “Some of the most worthwhile things in life aren’t easy. One of the things I dislike most about “power of positive thinking”- style personal development philosophies (such as “The Secret”) is the implication that if you just have the right attitude and the right state of mind, the rest will just fall into place. I think it causes a lot of hurt and disappointment in people who invest their time, effort, and of course, money into these systems and find themselves, one or two or five years down the line, exactly where they were before.

“You must not have wanted it badly enough,” the authors of these philosophies seem to be saying. “There must still be something wrong with you.”

I don’t think that, ultimately, God or the Spirits or the Universe or the world “provides.” I think a lot of times the world puts obstacles in our way, and no amount of positive thinking makes them go away. And I think that a lot of the people who are “successful,” by whatever standard you want to use, have as much “wrong” with them as a lot of the ones who aren’t successful. Maybe more.

In any case, wherever the motivation comes from, the things that really make our lives worth living can be quite difficult. (And who knows, maybe thinking positively helps take some of the edge off of doing the hard stuff?) What’s more, they can take a lot of time to do and even more time to get right. But I think that doing is the important thing, not the result — throwing yourself into something with all your heart, mind, and soul is the success, not the “growing rich” part.

This week focus on those things that you think are hard. Does it feel like you have more than your fair share of obstacles? Do they scare you or motivate you? Have you ever thrown your heart and soul into a project? Did you enjoy all the hard work and feel successful in the end?

Reader Responses

“Sent out your Word–of-the-week to my team this week as usual. It was a homerun for one of my employees. Thanks for the continued WOW words of the week.” – Jeff

“Nothing worthwhile in life is easy. There are obstacles thrown in our paths every day – some out of our control, others of our own doing. It is dealing with those, but not letting them block out our goal. We still have to keep our eyes on the prize and do the footwork so that we can accomplish whatever it is we want. The first step is commitment. We have to be committed to a goal or a way of life or something that we want. We must know what steps we have to take to get there, and have a realistic time frame as to when it can be accomplished. If some obstacles do start to get in our way, we have to find a way to get through them, but one at a time. Once all of these have been settled, we push ahead, staying positive and keeping our eyes on the prize. The key is staying committed to the goal even with all of the obstacles that block our paths. If we follow all of this, more often than not we will achieve what it is we want. But we must realize that there is no magic formula. Just because we keep a positive mental attitude does not mean that the pathway to our goal will be laid out before us. Each of us was given free will. We have the free will to do whatever it is we want, but it is up to us, not anyone else in our lives. No one can do the footwork required of our goal. Now, there are always going to be times when after all of our work and positive attitude and belief in ourselves that we don’t reach our goals. That is life. It happens. But this simply points out that the goal is not always the end-all and be-all. It is the journey in search of that goal that makes us better people. And quite possibly prepares us for another goal that might be more important to our lives in the long run. Great word, Susan. Have a wonderful weekend.” – “Warrior” Joe

“PERFECT WOW for me today. Thanks” – Debra