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Stop Making Your Life So Hard

Feel like things never seem to go your way? Use these tips to live an easier (and happier) life.

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Stop Making Your Life So Hard

I'm not a lazy person. Really, I'm not. You can ask anyone who knows me. I'm like, the least lazy person to exist. Ok, well maybe not the least. I like to relax, but I don't consider that being lazy. I just know how to live a good life. I'm not too hard on myself. I don't guilt trip myself for getting lost in a good book, taking a long break during the day, or working only a few hours a week. I'm not a lazy person. I just know how to work the system. The system of life, that is.

Now that that's out of the way you won't be so surprised by the news I have for you which is this: Life doesn't have to be so hard. Really. It doesn't. You don't have to feel so much stress. You don't have to have sleepless nights, chronic anxiety, or obsessive thoughts. You don't have to fight so hard to make a living or to be heard. You don't have to be the best or do what anyone else thinks is best for you.

The struggle is exhausting. You're tired, aren't you? Putting all of your energy into the fight depletes you and deprives other areas of your life. It reduces your overall quality of life. And more than that, it doesn't actually help. Believing that things are hard actually makes things more difficult than they need to be. Because, well, you believe it's hard. So, it's gonna be hard. Duh.

I spent a good many years struggling. Things always felt difficult. I would overcome one obstacle only to get ready to tackle the next. And now I'm done. I'm done with things being hard. I'm done with the long road and the jumping through hoops and the climbing mountains and all of the other cliches that we use to romanticize the struggle. I'm ready for the smooth ride floating down the river.

Here are a few things I've discovered in my quest for the easy life:

There is no end goal.

There is never an ending. Say you have a goal to get a promotion. You spend all your days and nights working really hard for clients. You skip meals, deprive yourself of sleep and forget about your social life. You get promoted. Do you think you kick your heels up and now the hard work is done? Hell no. Now you're either inundated with work (a.k.a. still living the hard life) or you've picked another goal for yourself to attain (again, still living the hard life).

There's nothing wrong with creating goals and attaining them. It's fun, right? Right? That is the whole point. It should be fun. The quote, "It's about the journey, not the destination," did not become cliche for nothing. If you're not enjoying the ride nothing else matters. Because the ride could stop at any moment.

Controlling things only makes it worse.

Control is an illusion. We try to control things so we feel safe. When you try to control too much you're making your life difficult. Stop. Take a breath and ask yourself what would be so bad if things didn't turn out the way you want them to? When you can't accept things being some other way than you think they should be you're swimming upstream. You will win some and lose some. How much energy do you want to put out fighting?

Fighting isn't worth it.

Yes, there are some things worth fighting for but mostly there aren't. The more I let go and accept things being what they are, the happier I am. You don't want to date me anymore? Ok. You want to stop being my client? No problem. You're rejecting my writing? Sure thing.

Sure, it might sting (or it might kick your ass). But wasting your energy on people who don't want to stick around or sulk over things that just aren't fitting? Not worth it.

All your problems lead to one thing: whether or not you love yourself.

It's simple and profound and cliche all at once. But it's also true. When you love yourself you show up for yourself. You don't let your mind bully you. You don't look in the mirror and see flaws. You see beauty because that's what love is. When you love yourself you don't get too far off balance, you don't let people walk all over you, and you don't make choices that don't serve you. You don't do all of the things that make your life hard. Because why would you do that to someone you love?

Don't believe your mind.

When your mind is building a barrage of arguments to justify your position you've found your red flag. It's wired for negativity, and it builds stories to protect the ego. Your ego doesn't want you to let go. It wants to fight, to create drama, to indulge in the struggle. But you don't want that. You want easy breezy. You want carefree and simple. Don't you?

When your mind builds its walls you can knock them down by one simple act: ignoring it. And if you want to take a second step you can place your attention on something positive. You have the power.

You're like The Hulk or Superwoman.

You've got the magic touch. You can create whatever reality you want. Life is magic. Your brain is magic. The fact that you're alive is magic. That's how I choose to see it. And it lights me up. It excites me and fascinates me and leaves me in awe all the time. 

I could choose to be a cynical person. I kinda used to be like that. I used to poke holes in everything. I used to always need to be right so I could feel like I was in control. So I could feel safe. But that world I was living in was hard. And it was no fun. It was hard and no fun, and I decided I didn't want that life anymore. 

So now I have a life that is full of seeing things with awe and letting go and trusting that the Universe has my back. And guess what? Things are a whole lot easier, and I am always ok. But when I hold on too tight? Things get really hard.

Your life is a science experiment.

I'm not asking you to take my word for it. I'm not asking you to just let go of the hard life you have and let everything be easy. Ok, I kinda am. But, come on, you want things to be easier don't you? You want to look in the mirror and love yourself. You want to feel more joy. You want to fall in love. You want to make money. You want to enjoy life. I know you do.

Apply all that saved energy.

And here comes the contradiction. We waste all of our energy struggling for the surface things in life. When we begin to allow things to be easy we have more energy to apply to the hard work of facing your pain. This can be hard. It can be really hard. We're so habituated to running from our pain we're not even aware that we do it. 

In order to heal, to learn to truly love yourself, you have to walk through the difficult emotions you've pushed deep into the well of your body. You have to begin to ask the uncomfortable questions. This is where you need to apply that saved energy. 

The big difference here is that there is an other side. You apply the energy, face the feelings, and come out the other side a new person. This is where the hard work is worth it.

So go play. Treat your life like an experiment. See what happens when you try on positivity. See what happens when you poke holes in your mind's stories. See what happens when you set an intention and believe it's going to come true. Write down your results. See the truth, and then come find me when you start living your easy life.

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