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“All things are difficult before they are easy.”

“All things are difficult before they are easy.” John Norley. Feeling stuck? Challenged beyond your skills, resources or experience? Facing adversity, trials, or circumstances you don’t feel you deserve, or are ready for? Welcome to life. For most normal people life is not always as we would like it to be. But, sooner or later we all must handle what it gives us. Difficult defined: Requiring considerable effort or skill; not easy to do or accomplish. My definition: Stuff that life throws in our path that we need to use to learn how to overcome, manage and become better. So, if all things are difficult before they are easy what can we do to make them easier sooner? Consider the following; purpose – why are you doing it, talent – do you have all of the necessary skills to see the project through to the end, courage – do you have the will to handle any or all potential obstacles, resources – do you have access to all of the necessary resources i.e., money, talent, time, etc. to see it through to the successful conclusion, support – do you have the necessary support from others when you might need it for a successful process? There are others but these are the critical ones. Life gives us a choice in most circumstances – use it wisely, grow from it, learn from it or quit.

“If something doesn’t work in our life we tend to repeat the behavior.” Nathanial Branden. Boy, am I guilty of this one, but I won’t bore you with any details. But, let me ask you. Have you ever repeated a similar mistake in life more than once? Why? If yes, why . . . was it a lack of focus, arrogance, ego, fear, the need for approval or acceptance, or any of a variety of reasons too lengthy to list. Without divulging my reasons for my mistakes let me share what I believe are just a few of the common contributors. Denial in some form. An unwillingness to admit weaknesses or a lack of something; skill, a character flaw, inadequate experience, or emotional shallowness to make the outcome or result right, better, or successful than the last time. Or, just an unwillingness to learn from the past whether guidance, advice, counsel from others, or just the pain of the previous issue. One thing I have learned over these many years is that not hiding past mistakes or poor decisions and just getting them out there in the open can help better manage similar situations in the present. I don’t mean a constant desire for pity or condolence but simply admitting when appropriate that I’m not perfect.

“The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.” Alfred Adler. I don’t know if you know a perfectionist but during my life, I have had the privilege to have a few in my life in various roles and I have to tell you – they taught me a great deal. I’m a Virgo and supposedly I am supposed to be super organized, detailed, and a little too controlling in some areas. Well, I gotta tell you – none of these accurately describe me – no disrespect to this philosophy. I am not suggesting a willy-nilly life approach to anything and that risk-taking is not smart. All I want to say regarding this quote is that life requires balance. Sometimes we go for it and sometimes we don’t. I love white water rafting but I don’t jump out of airplanes. I love meeting strangers and experimenting with new business ideas such as a new book concept or a new marketing approach but I am not a big investor in the stock market. Not that any of these are good, bad, right, wrong smart, or stupid, but each of them requires wisdom, some planning, and thoughtfulness.

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