Thursday, May 20, 2010

It is amazing what you can accomplish with a little effort

I am sure you have heard all of the platitudes:

"Things will work out as they are supposed to."
"When you stop trying things happen as they should."
"It was meant to be."

And they are reassuring on the surface. They make you aware of a bigger picture and relieve the stress of facing an particularly difficult, maybe unsurmountable task. Allow you to relax and take a step back. And totally immersing yourself into a bad situation without a plan or an escape route can be detrimental.

Life can throw you under the bus. You can lose your job. Get into a car accident. Be diagnosed with a malignant form of cancer. Lose someone important to you. All thinks bigger than you that make you feel helpless.

But life is hard. I think we forget that. We all live in a cushy environment, and there is not a whole lot that can really keep us from living as we want. No gun-toting militias to pillage and rape in a bid for power. No real lack of food for us and our children. No lack of necessary medical treatments. We are not helpless often. So when we are faced with that, I think we should do as we have always done to get into this cushy life. Fight. Be strong and unsatisfied. And not be deterred at how messy life can get.

I have found the best things I have ever experienced was preceded by at least a modicum of effort. A given example are the births of my children. Never have I ever been so exposed as a human. The process is so intimate, agonizing, and messy. Your civilized facade is ripped away, and you are forced back into the animal-state that we as a people once needed everyday to survive. And yet, once it is done, you get to experience the greatest joy ever holding that child in your arms.

But as an example, it tends to be overused and too feminine. So, let's look at completing a marathon. Not a half marathon, but a full 26.2 miles. You strive for hours to finish something created solely to test you both physically with pain but also exacts a mental toll. There is a reason that less than 1% of the population has done one. And when you have crossed that finish line and handed a medal and offered some basic foods at the end? That is the best damn banana, yogurt, chocolate milk, hell - water that you have ever had. In. Your. Life.

Even a little effort makes anything better. Homemade meals over takeout. Working hard and getting praised for it. Dressing up for a date and noticing that he paused when he first saw you. Foot rubs at the end of a day. These little bits of effort add spice to what could already be good. They make it great.

So, I am sure that is all worked out as it should. But I also tried my damn hardest to make sure it had turned out that way.


  1. Nice write. Every once in a while I'd like to get some satisfaction on something that's easy too though. :)

  2. Dude, I agree. But if you looked at it, you'd realize that at some point you did do something that helped that "too easy" happen.