- Gilbert K. Chesterton
How many things have you heard from people (or on-line, or in books), pieces of sage advice, ideas, motivational speeches, systems, diets, exercises, business plans or whatever other things, that sounded great and got you really inspired? How many times have you been convinced that those should work, that these would be the real thing, the thing that finally worked, that finally got you off your ass and changed you, changed your life in some profound way?
Now how many times have you been disappointed? The advice didn’t work. The system didn’t work. The diet didn’t help you lose weight, or it did for a while but then you put it all back on, plus some. The training regime didn’t carve you into the bronzed sculpture of a Greek god like you expected. The business plan resulted in nothing but some money squandered. The “live your passion now!” course resulted in you feeling more miserable because you had failed to leave your mediocre job and routine, boring life.
And so you start to get jaded…you start to sneer, roll your eyes and poke holes in all the new pieces of advice, inspiration and motivation you hear. You start to “know” that it doesn’t work, that none of them work and that they are all a load of bollocks. You could be right, many of the schemes and scams and “you can do anything you want, yay!” dreams are just fluff sprinkled with rainbow dust and psuedo-science. But there are various things, probably a few that you have tried, that were actually viable, legitimate ways to fundamentally, powerfully change some aspect of your behaviour, some aspect of your life.
Yet you have dug yourself into a hole of not trying anything anymore, jaded by so many “empty promises” and disappointments that you have all but given up. You may still go through the motions of trying things, but it is with a heavy heart, prepared to fail, prepared to give-up, ever sooner. You feel you will fail even before you have started. You barely try anymore and start to justify instead just staying where you are and staying how you are.
But there are still things out there, good ideas, good dietary advice, good training regimens, good financial advice, good psychological and discipline focussed advice that could reap some huge benefits in your life.
BUT YOU HAVE TO KEEP TRYING IT.
Do NOT stop at the point where it gets difficult. Just past that point of maximal difficulty is where the real changes can come. And the difficulty never truly ends, it just ebbs and flows and gets harder and harder as you climb to greater and greater heights. Yet, if you KEEP TRYING, those harder and harder peaks of difficulty get mentally easier and easier as your self-discipline and knowledge of your abilities and your prospective rewards grow.
Some things may be terrible advice, terrible schemes or awful scams. But you will not know until you have pushed through that first peak of difficulty, not just the first moment, or day, or week of difficulty, but through that first entire peak of difficulty. After you have truly tried, if you are still not seeing benefits of any kind, sure, re-evaluate, ask around and consider putting it in the “scam” bin. But don’t give up without trying.
Whether it is some spiritual connection to your maker, some research or career endeavour, some health and physical improvement or some other goal, you must try and push past the difficulty barrier to truly assess it, otherwise all you can base any conclusions on is not the thing itself, but merely your imagination of the thing.
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”
- Gilbert K. Chesterton