What Doing Things the Hard Way Will Get You
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We live in a country where, instead of doing things the hard way, we are often encouraged to do things in the easiest and most efficient of ways. Now, I don’t have anything against efficiency. In fact, as a homeschooling mom of four kids, I’m constantly looking for ways to get things done quicker and easier. But it occurred to me the other day that this isn’t always the best route. Here’s what happened to make me appreciate the value of doing things the hard way:
Our son, a fairly novice reader, asked me to listen to him read his Curious George book for his reading portion of his schoolwork. I was finishing up some blog work, and told him I’d be with him in a minute.
When I got back to him, he had a different, easier book in hand.
“What happened to Curious George?” I asked.
“I don’t want to do that one,” he answered, “it’s too hard”.
Immediately I went into drill sergeant mode.
“Umm, yeah; you’re reading Curious George.” I replied.
“Okay,” he answered, with a tone of resignation in his voice.
The reason I took such a serious stance with him on this subject is that there is an inherent danger that comes with always taking the easy route. Not doing things the hard way can lead to several attitudes that will most certainly cause trouble later on down the road:
Doing Things the Hard Way Stems From an Unwillingness to Challenge Yourself
When we make things too easy, either for ourselves or for those around us, we can usher in an attitude of complacency. We can start to reason that a challenge, of any sort, that makes life different or uncomfortable is a bad thing, when in fact, doing things the hard way helps us to grow into better, stronger people.
Inability to Follow Through With a Tough Job
When I think of this danger, I think of our current “tough job” of getting out of a massive amount of debt. For years we just muddled along in our massive drainage ditch of debt, simply because the thought of making a journey out of debt seemed too difficult. I’m not going to lie to you: it is difficult to plan and follow through with a debt payoff plan, especially if you’re in a tight situation like we are. However, if we are willing to follow through with the tough job, there is a huge reward at the end of the journey: financial peace. Practice preparing yourself to be able to get through bigger tough jobs by not always taking the easy way out when facing smaller tough jobs.
I have seen the tragic result of making things too easy on your kids in many, many families. Kids, and adults who are not challenged to do hard things slowly get more and more unsure of themselves and their ability to be able to do anything new at all. There’s something about taking the easy route too much that slowly convinces us that we don’t have the ability to accomplish new or difficult tasks. We often think that by giving our kids or ourselves an easier life, we are giving them “better than what we had,” but often, we are simply making life harder in the long run.
Doing things the hard way can seem counterproductive at first glance, but if you look deeper, you’ll find that, when picking the right jobs to do the hard way, it really can give you a great sense of accomplishment and teach you a lot about navigating through life.
What could you be doing the hard way that could add value and instill character in yourself or those around you?
Photo courtesy of: Brian Cribb