Do the Hard Thing

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ Thomas Edison

We all like green pastures and blue skies. We like downhill paths and couches with remote controls and open-book tests. But we also know that such things don’t require much from us and that things that don’t require much tend to inspire, build and produce just as little.

It is in the effort, the exertion and resistance, the pressure, even the pain and burn that muscles are tightened, perseverance is strengthened and character is built.

When we confront difficult challenges and meet them, life’s next series of challenges are made easier, not because the nature of the challenge is softened, but that we have become stronger.

So next time you have a mountain of problems to climb and adversity to endure (or if you’re passing through such things now), when life seems to crash down around and upon you, resist the temptation to whine and moan or scream and cry out, “Why me?!”

Instead, take a deep breath and take a step back and smile knowingly as you look past the difficulty and the challenge to the increased resolve and stamina, the patience, compassion and empathy that will be waiting for you at the other end of the trial.

The true measure of a life dedicated to personal excellence is one that’s not only thankful for the green pastures. It’s one that is also grateful for the uphill climbs that so often draw out the very best that’s within us.