Why Doing Hard Things is Worth It

Dear Christian Radio,

Shortcuts…the easy way out…we all look for them.

We attend conferences, listen to Ted talks, buy books and go to seminars trying to find an easier way. Sadly, we’re not looking for the keys to success; we’re in search of a shorter route.

FACT: All success comes from doing the hard stuff.

The great inventor, Thomas Edison, said, “There is no substitute for hard work.”

Founding father Thomas Jefferson was said to have spoken these words, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Pinterest, the online “pinboard” service, is filled with images of amazing projects and ideas. In contrast, “Pinterest fails” provide a sobering and sometimes humorous return to reality with examples of why hard work truly matters. For instance, a mom posts a beautiful cake that she both baked and decorated. Someone discovers her creation on Pinterest—believes he or she can do it, too—and, instead, experiences a Pinterest fail. What none of us have considered is this: The number of times the Pinterest mom practiced baking and decorating before she posted the picture of her striking creation.

In high school, my golfing hero was Curtis Strange. He was the first pro golfer to ever earn a million dollars in a single season. He had a fiery temper and would talk smack to his opponents. He won the U.S. Open two consecutive years in a row. I wanted to be Curtis. Each time I went to the course, I expected to hit perfect shots and beat all my buddies.

What I didn’t know…

Curtis practiced daily; he didn’t just show up on the weekends. In fact, every morning, when not in a tournament, he would:

  • hit 500 golf balls
  • spend an hour practicing out of the sand traps
  • play 18 holes
  • eat lunch
  • play another 18 holes
  • hit 500 more golf balls

Why did he win two U.S. Opens? Why was he the first golfer to win a million dollars in a single season? Because Strange did the hard stuff. He knew easy didn’t win tournaments.

My dad was my golf teacher. I was frustrated with my game and belted out, “Dad…I want to be Curtis Strange!”
Dad responded with, “Then practice like Curtis Strange.”

Boom.

My Dad had just unloaded a massive truth bomb that would become a foundational life principle for me—Easy Never Changed the World.

As a leader, #ENCW means:

  • having the hard conversations
  • working the long hours
  • taking risks
  • trusting others
  • being comfortable with loneliness (leadership can be lonely)
  • coaching and encouraging others
  • not being in love with ideas, but pitching them and allowing your team to make them better
  • keeping a consistent schedule and having the same meetings week after week
  • believing in the mission and vision even when it isn’t popular

Why is doing the hard stuff worth it? Because doing the hard stuff wins championships. It builds amazing organizations. Your life takes on a purpose. As a leader, you get to see others use their gifts. Dreams are achieved. You get to see God do miracles. And…the world gets changed.

Ever notice the two following statements and how challenging they are when you put them together?

1) Matthew 28: Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations….”

               The takeaway: We are to change the world. That’s the mandate.

2) John 16: Jesus is quoted as saying, “…In the world you will have trouble…”

               Translation: So, it’s going to be hard.

We are to change the world, but we’re told it won’t be easy. Here’s why…because God wants us to realize we can’t do it on our own and He wants us to see our great need of Him. He also wants us to learn that easy never satisfies the soul or helps us feel we have accomplished something.

Do the hard stuff. Put in the hours. Dream the dreams. Take the risks…

…because easy never changed the world.

 

#ENCW–

Brian Sanders
Executive Vice President
Positive Alternative Radio

 

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