新年快. That’s Chinese for “Xin nian kuai le” or Happy New Year.
Yes, it’s 2015 already. Did you ever think you’d live in a time like this?
As Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times – it was the worst of times.”
So true. Always.
The worst is always here. So is the BEST.
There are always good times ahead – and tough times. There are always tough times behind us – and good times.
But we can make the tough times easier and the good times even better by how we picture them in our own minds – and by how we talk about them.
Yesterday I was working with an athlete on some exercises that are currently difficult for him.
As he struggled I caught myself saying, “It’s hard, huh?”
After catching myself for saying such a thing, I added, “It may feel difficult right now but it’s going to get easier and easier and easier the more you train it.”
Before the session ended he’d made great progress.
The other day I took a line from Shakespeare and rewrote it:
“Nothing is easy or difficult until thinking makes it so.”
Consider the baby as you ponder the above.
All able-bodied babies learn to walk as well as talk. Yet, I’ve never heard of a parent who told his infant that walking is difficult. Can you imagine how stupid it would look:
“Son, pretty soon it’s going to be time for you to walk. And let me tell you, it’s really hard. It’s really difficult. You’re going to need to work real hard on it if you want to learn how.”
Yet, everyday coaches, parents, teachers and friends tell you that what you’re working on doing is hard, too hard or difficult.
In order for work to have any value it must be “hard work.”
Did the baby put in a lot of “hard work” to learn walking, talking and everything else?
The baby gets an idea, a mental picture of what he or she wants to do, then he playfully practices. It’s not “hard practice” – it’s “playful practice.”
The baby is having fun – no matter how many times he falls.
And then one day, the baby walks.
As I look back over the years, everything I got good at could be lumped under the category of “hard work.” But if I really take the time to think about it, the “hard work” wasn’t “hard.” I was having a blast. I was doing and am still doing what I love to do.
Writing a book is hard – according to most. Yet, it’s really isn’t hard when you’re in flow and the words are pouring out of you.
Teaching a seminar or class is hard – but then again, it isn’t when you know your material and you’re flowing before a responsive audience.
Learning a foreign language is hard – but then it’s not if you’re immersed in the culture (like a baby) and you give up whatever resistance you have to learning.
Advanced math is difficult. So is running a business. So is everything, especially when you think it so.
But the second you allow yourself to think of your difficult task or hard work as EASY – even when it isn’t, space gets freed within your brain, body and central nervous system, and what you’re doing gets easier.
So here we are in another New Year.
Are you going to make it more difficult than it already is by telling yourself that it’s hard?
Or are you willing to experiment in the art of making tough tasks easier by seeing them as easy – even if they aren’t?
That’s the question and the challenge.
The truth is that whatever you’re good at now – at one time, it wasn’t so easy. But by practice you made it so.
So, why not accelerate the process by being baby-like? No matter what you’re doing, regardless of how difficult, avoid thoughts of it being hard. Just get on with it. Just do it.
But before you do it – t ake a few minutes to picture what you want to be doing n your mind’s eye. This will make all the difference in the whirld to you.
It’ll help make the difficult a LOT EASIER.
Coach Matt Furey
P.S. By the way, don’t make any New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, exercise or anything of the sort, either. Instead, picture yourself doing, then watch as you flow in the direction of action toward what you want. For world-class guidance on this, I recommend you become part of the Furey Faithful.