Doing Hard Things Well

Doing Hard Things Well

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Show High-Lights

  • Anybody can do easy. It requires resolve and grit to do difficult things. It requires skill, talent and solid determination to learn to do hard things well.
  • We’re the constraint.
  • The value is in battling ourselves, not others.
  • Feelings don’t equal evidence. Figuring out what’s real and what isn’t is hard work worth doing well.
  • Don’t discount your will power. Don’t over-estimate it either. It’s a major component of the work, but it’s not the only component.
  • Who you surround yourself with matters. The environment we put ourselves in has a major impact in our ability (and agility) to navigate figuring out how to do the hard things well. We’re all influenced by our surroundings. Guard your environment.
  • Beliefs become reality. But delusions – which seem real – are still delusions. That’s why evidence based living is still the path forward to mastering hard things.
  • Consider what’s possible even if you initially think it’s not. Learn what you don’t yet know. Figure it out. Just make sure you’re not restricting yourself with false notions. Don’t feel sorry for yourself or feel like others can do it, but you can’t.
  • Ponder your ideal outcomes. Imagine what might be available – and possible. Often, there’s sufficient evidence for what probable, while we refuse to think it’s even possible. It stops us dead in our tracks when we could be many miles further up the road to greater success!
  • Compounding is powerful. Doing a little bit consistently over time likely beats trying to sprint until we’re winded.

    LTW compounding a penny

  • Learning to do hard things well takes time and repeated efforts that become ingrained. Doing hard things well is habitual. Otherwise, it’s inconsistent. Anybody can be a minor league player. Only those who perform well every single time can be major leaguers.
  • Laziness and procrastination are easy. That’s where the masses live. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can behave just like them and achieve something greater than average. Or worse.
  • Berating yourself is worthless. Accurate self-examination is priceless. See yourself for what you truly are and fix what ails you. Lean into your strengths. Shore up weaknesses so they don’t derail you. Devote yourself to making yourself better in every way. Accept nothing less. Remember, you’ll either make a way, or you’ll make an excuse.
  • Learning means making mistakes, but it means making mistakes where you’re still doing your best – and making mistakes you know you can recover from. When you get it wrong – and you will – determine that you’ll make it right. Only fools repeat their mistakes. Learn from yours and get better. Always be getting better!
  • Working is hard. Retirement is hard. Health is hard. Sickness is hard. Being in a great relationship is hard. Being lonely is hard. Whatever you choose to name, on either end of the spectrum – it’s hard. Every day we get to decide which hard we’ll pursue. But there’s a major difference in the positive things that are hard. They require more effort on the front end. A higher investment upfront. By doing that, we may be able to forego a tougher consequence.
  • Self-discipline is the key. Let’s be clear about the definition of discipline. Discipline is the quality of being able to behave and work in a controlled way which involves obeying particular rules or standards. Self-discipline is our ability to control ourselves. 
  • Execution matters! If we’re going to learn to get good at doing hard things well, we have to find the way to do them well more often than not. Ideally, to do them well all the time, every time.
  • Doing hard things well drives success because it makes us unique. It gives us a competitive edge over everybody else who is unwilling or unable to do the hard things. The harder it is, the fewer people willing to do it. Or the fewer able to do it. So if you will – and if you can – you begin to join the ranks of a more exclusive, high-performing crowd. Be a lemming, be average or put in the work and be something much, much more.
  • It’s true in all areas of human endeavor. These senior years for us are proof. Shameless retirement – a show I did not that long ago – isn’t just about being unashamed in front of others, but mostly it’s about being unashamed of our own choices and way of life. It’s about doing whatever we can do we don’t intentionally create regrets. Lifestyles creep up on us if we’re undisciplined. Lots of people follow our federal government by spending money they don’t have. Every good program – every good thing to buy – doesn’t justify the purchase. And just because we need it (or claim to) doesn’t mean we can afford it. But the bigger the government gets the more we spend ourselves silly justifying it by exaggerated claims of the good it will do – or the dire need for it. It’s no wonder that our federal government has corrupted our entire culture to feel justified with idiotic spending. Spending is easy. Restraint is hard.
  • The battles of life – if we’re going to win – require learning how to do hard things well enough.

Randy Cantrell

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