No one ever said the right thing would be easy. No one ever told me that it would be easy to deny the body or to deny my thoughts. No one ever told me this.
There are times when we want to quit. There are times when we feel pain. We feel anguish. Our anxiety hits the all-time high. There are times when we experience conflict. There are moments when there is work to do but our body does not feel up to the task; and therefore, our mind does not feel up to the task. There are times when we lack the push and the shove or the drive we need to get us through the day.
There are times when all we want is life to be simple. We want to take a break but the day ahead is long and our plate is full. There are times when we have to perform, and yet, we don’t believe we can reach our potential because we “Don’t feel good.”
We all know the difference between right and wrong. We know what we need to do and what we have to do. Sometimes, however, it seems as if we don’t have what it takes to do what we are supposed to do.
I get that.
The problem here is the weight becomes heavier. The more we allow our thoughts to burrow us deeper, the deeper we sink into a pile of ideas that weigh us down. And to get out from beneath this is intimidating.
There is work involved. Perhaps the battle is uphill. The anticipation of strain is enough to keep us buried beneath our mountain of excuses. Perhaps the anticipation of the work and the effort is enough to make us quit before we even begin. (Know what I mean?)
No one ever said any of this would be easy. Then again, no one ever said this is supposed to be easy. No one ever stopped to think that there is a reason why lessons are not easy.
Take a simple lesson for example. Think about the first time we learned math. Think about the first time we learned about problem solving and how to add, subtract, divide, or multiply according to a mathematical problem. Do you remember the word problems?
Example: If Anthony used an 8’ ladder to climb up to the roof of his house and the ladder was 2’ short, then Anthony climbed up and additional 12’ to sit on the peak of his roof, how many feet did Anthony climb in total?
(By the way, I use this sample question as a means of humor. This is an inside joke to be honest. First and foremost, I actually know someone named Anthony who wondered why I used to climb up to the roof of my house. And to hell with all the things I was doing at the time but yet Anthony’s response was hysterical to say the least. But enough of the tangent.)
Either way, life is complicated. Life takes figuring. We all have our own set of personal math skills.
There are times when life is intimidating enough to crush the spirit. There are times when our mindset alone is enough to keep us from reaching our tasks. We quit or we postpone. We procrastinate and we excuse ourselves while rationalizing the reasons why we just can’t do it. There are times when we subtract ourselves because we’re not too sure how we add up.
There are tasks ahead of us. And to each their own. There are tasks that I have to accomplish, each and every day, from now until the hour of my death (Amen).
We all have work to do. We all have to learn how to endure the tasks. Our math skills might not be the same. Either way, there are calculations we make that are pertinent to our destinations in life. So, add carefully. Subtract what you have to and multiply when you can. Just be mindful not to find yourselves divided.
It is not always an easy thing to deny one’s self. It is not easy to stand up and keep going, especially when you’re tired. It is not easy to moderate the way we eat or put down foods that we know we love, but yet, our body does not respond well to them.
It’s hard to face the day sometimes. It’s hard to get out of bed when the jobs in front of us are long and heavy. And me? I hate paperwork. Paperwork is intimidating to me.
It is hard to have the discipline to make the changes and adjustments in our life to reach our goals. It is hard to quit the bad habits which have become our coping devices for several years.
It’s not easy to deny ourselves the quick comforts; to deny the flesh, to deny the stomach, or the child within which in fairness, we all have this. And in all fairness, these are the temper tantrums we throw when we don’t get our way.
As I write to you, I currently have more than 2’ of snow in my driveway. I have a lot to handle today. I have a lot to shovel. I have cars that need to be dug out, and of course, I have the snowplows to thank for covering my driveway with mounds of snow that seems to high to bear. The thought of digging out is already enough to make me cry for help.
I have projects on my plate. I have new projects that I have to create and old projects that I have to update. I have business to tend to. I’ve sold a few of my ideas. This means I have to follow through with them. And the funny thing is people forget this.
People forget that when they land a job that it means there is work to do. This means we have to hold up our end of the bargain.
I remember being young and working with real men for the first time. I took a summer’s job with my Old Man and worked with my hands. I had to carry tools. I had to clean up. I was the helper, which meant I was the grunt. And no one took it easy on me. The Old Man made sure of that.
The Old Man would tell me, “There is no boss’s son on my jobs!”
He’d say “If they work, you work, and no one here is going to take it easy on you.”
The Old Man was firm on life’s lessons. He would tell me “Life doesn’t care who your father is.”
He’d try to teach me that work is inescapable and the people that look to escape work will never learn what they can do or how to build. The only thing they will learn is their limitations. A man can only be limited if he believes in limitations.
One day, the summer was hot as ever. I was outside, breaking up the concrete in a sidewalk and then digging a hole to replace an oil line that fills the oil tank for a building’s heating system. My back hurt. The blisters on my hands had already popped.
I remember one of the mechanics telling me, “That hole ain’t gonna dig itself.”
It didn’t matter that I was hurting. It didn’t matter that I had a lot more digging ahead of me. There was a job to do. And I was part of that job. Like it or not, I had to keep digging.
Life doesn’t consider us or the pain we go through. Life doesn’t care if we are tired or intimidated. A good boss will understand that life has its ups and down and that personal problems happen.
However, a boss understands that life happens. And so does business. This means regardless of our setbacks or personal complications, we still have a job to do. This means we have to find the math to sort out the equation. And in my case at the time, regardless of my pain, I still had a ditch that needed digging.
Life can be an uphill battle.
I get that.
The lessons we learn are not always easy.
I get that too.
(By the way, the snowplow just passed my house again and plowed more snow from the street and onto the front of my driveway. I write this to you while shaking my head. But enough about the tangent.)
We all have tasks in front of us.
Not all tasks will be easy or enjoyable.
But they do have to be completed.
The math itself is really simple.
Sometimes, the complication is us.
Perhaps it’s best we learn to keep it simple.
(Know what I mean?)