Hard Things

Life is hard. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, life throws hard things our way without any consideration of how we feel about it. Life can be ruthless, unforgiving, and at times, stone cold. Sometimes this is due to our own choices, but there are times when life throws us curve balls that we aren’t ready for. Besides death and taxes, there is one thing we can be guaranteed in life – hard things will come our way.

Life doesn’t get easier. As an educator, I have always heard students say, “When I get older, things won’t be so hard for me.” As an adult, I know that these students are in for a rude awakening. The truth is – life doesn’t get easier. We just get better at doing hard things. 

What was once hard for us in our younger years is seen as trifle compared to what we have to deal with as we get older. When we were learning how to ride a bike, most of us probably fell a lot. We probably scraped our knees, our hands, and got banged up. We probably thought, “I’ll never figure out how to ride a bike.” Years later, I am going to assume that you can probably ride a bike just fine. For those of us who didn’t quit, kept getting back on the bike after we fell, we learned how to do something hard. 

As adults, we are faced with hard things. They may not be anything like riding a bike, but we still find ourselves struggling, falling down, and getting beat up. This could be mental struggles, emotional struggles, habitual struggles, relationship struggles, spiritual struggles, or _________ (fill in the blank) struggles. The bottom line is that hard things mean we struggle. We get tired and fatigued, and we are faced with the choice of quitting and giving up or getting back up after we have been knocked to the ground. As Rocky Balboa once said, “It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.”

Hard things will never cease coming for us. We must purpose within ourselves that we will get better at doing hard things. What does that mean? It means that you get back on the bike. It means you try again and again and again until you succeed. It means you make healthy changes to better your mental, physical, and emotional health. It means you don’t give up. We get better at hard things when we push ourselves to overcome the things in our life that are hard. Just remember, life doesn’t get easier. You get better at doing hard things, and the only way you get better at doing hard things is by pushing yourself through it.

There is a simple truth in life – the more you do it, the better you get. This applies to nearly everything in life. Sometimes we get better with one or two tries. Other times, it takes try after try after try. The moment we quit, we have allowed what we considered to be hard to beat us. I want to tell you right now that you are better and stronger than anything you are going through in your life. Yes, you can beat what is hard. Yes, you can get better at doing hard things. It takes will, perseverance, grit, determination, and most importantly, discipline. It’s never going to be easy. Don’t forget that.

In today’s society, people no longer rise up to face challenges like they used to. When something gets hard, people want it fixed for them, or they will quit and complain. Many times, people would rather play victim to hard things rather than overcome and conquer the hard things in their life. People have a tendency to see hardship as a personal attack on their character and abilities. In reality, something is hard because we haven’t learned how to do it, get through it, understand it, you name it. Instead of feeling defeated by hard things, we should have an attitude of, “Challenge accepted.” 

Here’s another example. In school, some of us struggled with some kind of subject. Most of the time it was math, and if it wasn’t math, it was probably reading. Either way, we struggled with it and said, “It was hard.” However, as we progressed through our education, what once was hard became less difficult and was replaced with “harder” things, and what we once thought was hard is easy. That is what the essence of learning is all about. People who quit stop learning. People who stop challenging themselves stop learning. People who are complacent stop learning. People who stop pushing themselves stop learning. In other words, if you’re not willing to put in the work, don’t expect anything in your life to get any easier.

Getting better at hard things comes down to one thing – having a particular mindset. After all, mindset is everything. If hardship is seen as a blockade or a wall that is standing in the way of progress, then we must ask ourselves how we will get through the blockade or get over the wall. Most people see hardship as a sign to quit and give up. Some see it as a personal reflection on themselves. Others see it as a challenge that needs to be overcome, and those who see hard things in this way are those who get better at doing hard things. 

So the next time you are faced with hardship in your life, accept the challenge and do your best to learn, understand, grow, and become better. This way, you will get better at doing hard things.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

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