There are two ways to do things in life…Hard->Easy or Easy->Hard.
If you are always doing the Easy thing in life, then slowly things are going to build up and you will hit the wall as the Hard stuff inevitably emerges. If you avoid frank conversations with your spouse; allow little debts to begin piling up; sleep in a few days in a row…its a heck of alot of tougher to break through.
However, if you do the Hard things up front–be honest, delay gratification, ask for forgiveness, save money, wake up at 4:45AM, you will discover that over time things get easier. The discipline to do what is hard, will help give you margins to do what is easy later.
We were designed to do hard, but fear causes us to default back to do the easy.
In fact our culture perpetuates this mentality. Not only due to the immediate gratification of fast food and Netflix. We also tell folks to “do what comes natural.” We promote an emotionally based type of “love” that as long as it feels good it is good. Anything that would restrict pleasure is seen as oppressive and archaic. To “wait” is existential punishment.
Therefore, marriages are built on convenience. Jobs are chosen more for their benefits then the sense of productive toil. Leadership is based upon someone’s personality.
In the past, leadership was based not on personality but on the man’s character. Character is what develops over time through the refining fire of the Hard. Os Guiness wrote, “Whereas a combination of faith, character, & virtue was the rock on which the traditional leadership was founded, each of these components has crumbled in the twentieth century.”
So, what hard conversations are you avoiding? What hard work is before you? Are you allowing the Hard to refine who you are?