Do the hard thing

I’m not sure where this thought came from; it’s certainly not original, but it has thumped me on the nose a lot recently.

You earn a good reputation by volunteering to do hard things and by doing hard things well. Also, it’s usually the right and noble thing to do.

Sometimes it involves doing simple but unpleasant tasks.

  • When my two-year-old grandson went ballistic in a restaurant, I volunteered to skip my meal and babysit him.
  • Boxes—heavy and light—needed to be moved. I went for the heavy ones.
  • Someone must work holiday shifts.

Sometimes it means committing to complicated challenges.

  • Starting a graduate degree later in life.
  • Working a second job to get out of debt.
  • Becoming the caretaker for an invalid.

Some people only do easy things; they always flow in the path of least resistance. At work they do the minimum required to keep their jobs; they don’t want to be inconvenienced in life; they never volunteer for optional tasks. Don’t be like that.

Leap at the chance to do things that other people don’t want to do. When others hesitate, act. Volunteer to do things you’re not responsible for or required to do.

Potential benefits?

  • You’ll garner a reputation for being action-oriented.
  • You’ll be a source of momentum and positive direction.
  • Difficult tasks develop strong “muscles”; you’ll grow in wisdom and ability.
  • You’ll benefit from the fact that accomplishing hard things is usually more rewarding than doing simple things.

I work with a man, I’ll call him Jason (that’s his real name) who personifies this mentality. He’s eager to work, he’s low maintenance, he volunteers for extra assignments, doesn’t mind doing manual labor… Thanks, Jason.

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2 thoughts on “Do the hard thing

  1. Don,
    I appreciate all your essays, but I thought this one had a particularly good message! God entrusts more to those who take on more. Sometimes He’s leading us down a path we’d never expect and we need those “strong muscles”. It’s always better to choose the hard road rather than the easy road.

    • Thanks, Kathy. I like your phrase “strong muscles.” We need strong muscles in every area of life: emotional, mental, spiritual, social and physical.