Maybe this is why your life is so hard

The average person likes to do what’s easy. The average person has a hard life. Don’t be like the average person.

If you want an easy life, you need to do what’s hard. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s not.

The easy choices often have negative long-term consequences. The hard choices usually have positive long-term consequences. This is essentially about thinking long-term rather than short-term.

Would you like a slice of delicious 700-calorie chocolate cake?

Of course you would. That’s the easy choice. Make these easy choices too often and you’ll end up overweight with maybe some life-threatening diseases thrown in for good measure. The result will be an incredibly hard life. Don’t believe me? Go talk to some older people that made these choices.

It’s harder to turn down that offer of a delicious chocolate cake. But make that hard choice and you’ll be rewarded. You’ll remain slim and agile. You won’t have any life-threating diseases to contend with. Life will be easy.

The hard choice will only be momentarily hard. Later in the day, you’ll already have forgotten about the chocolate cake.

The easy choice will be hard for maybe decades of your life.

Look at it that way and it seems obvious that you should always opt for the hard choice.

Some more easy choices

Do you want to stay in this unhappy relationship? It’s easy to say yes, but it will only lead to more unhappiness. It’s hard to say no, even though the long-term outcome will bring you happiness.

Do you want an extra glass of wine before driving home? The easy choice is saying yes because you don’t want to offend your hosts. It may lead to you getting arrested for DUI. You may even end up killing someone. The hard choice is saying not. You might offend your hosts but you’ll stay safe, keep your license and not kill anyone.

Do you want to go partying with your friends? It’s easy to say yes. But if that means neglecting that side hustle you’re working on, the consequences won’t be great. What if you make the hard decision and said no. Your friends may be upset for a few minutes, but you’ll get extra time to work towards your goals. That will lead to an easier life.

I think you get the picture.

The way I make these decisions is to think longer-term. I always have goals in mind, so I ask myself how a particular decision will affect those goals. I don’t always make the best choice, but I do most of the time. I’m not perfect.

If you think of the many decisions you make over a lifetime you can see that these will compound. Your life can get progressively easier or progressively harder.

Next time you have a decision to make, take some time to reflect on the longer-term consequences. You’ll make better decisions. Your life will become easy.