"Well, Jonathan, that's easier said than done." This is a common phrase and objection I hear from people when we talk about creating a GREAT relationship overall and/or specific strategies towards that goal. My response is, "Yep, that's exactly why most people don't get it done—lots of talk, little walk. Everyone says they want great relationships with spouse, children and self. However, look around. This is why most people have crap relationships, why most people complain about their children's poor behavior and why most people don't learn how to master their emotions. People complain about it being easy to say, but hard to do."
Of course, it's easier said than done—it's hard work. Period. Anything of great value rarely comes cheap, free or easy. Since when were great results ever easy? When did we start expecting that? Greatness, in any and every field, simply requires hard work.
Greatness Is Hard Won
Too many people buy into the pervasive, and TOTALLY unsubstantiated, myth that real/true/great love should be easy, should "just flow", etc. Please, please, please, someone show me where this works in any part of life. Why is Google great? Did Google "just happen"? How about Apple? How about Michaelangelo's David? How about any Super Bowl winner? Olympic gold medalists? The Cathedral of Notre Dame? Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.'s movements? Please show me where true and lasting greatness was not hard won?
The three areas I help people with (marriage transformation, parent training and self-mastery) all take hard work. Why should that discourage us, though? Shouldn't we be encouraged knowing that if we work hard to learn and practice, practice, practice the best ways to create a great relationship that we'll earn our outcomes? So, if we are going to do hard, we might as well learn the best ways to do it so our hard work is well-rewarded.
Hard and Easy or Easy and Hard?
The question then is not whether it's hard or easy. The question is, where do you want hard and where do you want easy? We know that the convoluted and complicated habits and messes we get stuck in are actually quite easy to continue perpetuating and falling back into. Bad relationship habits are easy to continue. It's just that the results of these patterns are really hard to live with. The work I require my clients to do is undoubtably hard to do, but boy! the results sure are easy to live with. Success story after success story keep rolling in like these two this week:
Thank you so much for helping me save my marriage! I don't know what I'd do without my husband! He is so amazing for me in so many ways!" —A Marriage Transformation client who loathed her husband and was ready to leave him
I can attest a LOT of very hard work went into this outcome. But the hard work is over for them. The easy part of living with what they have created, and earned, continues on and on and on.
[My wife] is amazed. You changed her life today with what you taught us about mastering strong emotions. The change in her in turn changed my life and hopefully her extended family's lives, too. You definitely do not hide your talents under a bushel. I so appreciate you." —A Self-Mastery and Parent Training client
So it's not whether the work is hard or not. It's going to be hard. The question is where do you want the hard and where do you want the easy? Easy to keep doing, but hard to live with or hard to do, but easy to live with?
Short term: EASY to continue habits = Long term: HARD to live with
Short term: HARD to change habits = Long term: EASY to live with
Take courage. The work is hard. The results are worth it.
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