Why “the Laziest Way Ever” is the Path to Misery
You've seen sales letters advertising "the laziest way ever" to make millions in internet marketing. Today, I'm not going to try to convince you that those sales letters are scams. I'm going to talk about why they'd stink even if they worked.
They'd stink because a lazy life stinks. A hard life is better. Or at least a life spent doing hard things is better.
Don't believe me? Bear with me for a minute and you'll see what I mean.
My brother, Shaun, explained it well in a recent post on his blog:
I didn't always like hard things. I wanted everything easy and comfortable "“ who doesn't? But then something happened. I did hard things because I could not avoid them, and I learned. I changed my mind. I discovered the deep, exciting, satisfying appeal of the word "challenge."
Becoming converted to doing hard things doesn't mean I actively seek out difficulty and danger, but perhaps I'm wrong and my perspective has grown skewed. After solo climbing an extremely steep route 7,000' up Mount Timpanogos one spring, a friend asked me if it was hard. "No," I replied, "you just have to keep going."
"You never think anything's hard," he responded, "unless you can barely do it."
Maybe so. Maybe he's right. Maybe I hardly know the meaning of the word "hard" anymore. If that's true, I can't say that I mind such delusion.
It's easy to read things like that and think, "yeah, that makes sense...for him. But I prefer a life of leisure." But ask yourself this -- which would you rather enjoy: being lazy, or doing hard things?
I didn't ask which you'd rather do -- I asked which you'd rather enjoy.
You've seen people who enjoy doing hard things -- who just keep on going like an Energizer Bunny, and aren't afraid of anything (or at least they don't let fear stop them). Are they a different breed of human? Do they have different DNA propelling them forward every day while everyone else dreams of sitting in a hammock sipping lemonade? Or did they start off like my brother, wanting everything easy and comfortable, and then learn to enjoy doing hard things?
Can you learn to enjoy hard things, like my brother did? Sure you can.
Back to my question: which would you rather enjoy -- being lazy or doing hard things? How do you think your life would be different if you enjoyed doing hard things?
Imagine the difference between a hammock-bound lemonade sipper and a challenge lover when an exciting opportunity comes their way. They both visualize themselves on a fabulous adventure and get very excited. But while the Challenger leaps into action and makes it happen, Lemonade Man's excitement fizzles and he goes back to his hammock.
Sure, he'll keep on enjoying his hammock and lemonade. But there's no comparison between the lives the two will live.
Imagine the difference when they come up with a revolutionary business idea. The Challenger will dig in and reap the rewards. Lemonade Man will try to come up with a way to do it in 15 minutes a day without leaving his hammock. After 5 or 10 minutes without discovering the magic bullet, his mind will wander and the idea will be lost forever.
The Easy Life vs. the Easy Way
I'm not saying you should do everything the hard way. All other things being equal, you should do things the most efficient way you can. Then, once you've found an easier way to get the things that have to be done done, instead of being slogged down in the mundane, you'll be free to attack another hard challenge.
No one ever became great without great effort. Sure, a few rare people amass great wealth largely by luck or inheritance. But they don't become great until they, not their possessions, are great. No wonder rich people are often miserable. They don't have hard things forced on them, so they take the easy road to personal mediocrity.
I've come back to this theme over and over and over recently: never let fear keep you from doing anything. If you've got good reason for fear -- if there's a real danger involved, and the risk isn't acceptable -- don't do it because of the danger, not because of the fear.
If you can live that way, you'll accomplish things that not 1 in 1000 people do. Imagine what that will do for your business and for your life.
Easy to say. Hard to do.
But then, that's the point. And it does get easier.