Tag Archive | effort

Why is it so hard to …

Why is it so hard to …, well you can fill in the blank. It could be dieting, exercising, working around the house or on a fun project. It doesn’t seem to matter that these are really good things especially when they are completed. After all, you do get a good feeling and a sense of accomplishment when they’re done, but for some reason there are times when you just can’t get started or if you’ve started, finished. What’s the deal with this?

A good quote may motivate you. The story about a successful athlete (like those in the Olympics) or a saga about someone who beat overwhelming odds can inspire, but the bottom line is we need to get up and do it. No one will come knocking on our door and offer to do it for us. We’ve got to move ourselves to action. Do we need to realize that our lack of action will bring consequences or do we just wait and hope we don’t reap negative rewards for our lack of effort?

I spoke with a frustrated teacher the other day and after listening, I’d feel that way, too. He was telling me about some students in his class who basically refuse to read – we’re talking English class where that’s the main focus! The problem is these students would prefer to play video games or hang out with their friends rather than read. They are  capable, but because they made other choices when it came to the use of their time, their skills in the area of reading were diminished. When the teacher apprised the parents about the problem (Guess what. The kids were not doing well in the class – surprise, surprise.), their comment reinstated the fact that the kids did not like to read. If the kids don’t care and the parent’s don’t care, it’s a whole lot harder for the teacher – not impossible, just more difficult.

The thing is, these kids illustrate some of my own struggles and maybe some of yours. I don’t like to diet and exercise and so I have to really push myself to do it if I want to lose weight. Sometimes I’m successful and other times, I’m not much different from those kids. At least I know that I have no one to blame but myself if my clothes don’t fit. Those kids and their parents probably won’t look into the mirror to find their culprit.

What’s the use?

If you’ve had the opportunity to visit a botanical garden like Longwood Gardens in the outskirts of Philadelphia, you know firsthand about the fantastic displays both indoors and out. It is an awesome experience. You make your way through the various buildings and flora-lined walkways, but as hard as you try, you just can’t take it all in on one visit. 

Can you imagine how many people and how much effort goes into making each garden bloom on cue according to the seasons? (You don’t grow poinsettias in April or daffodils in October.)  They do all of this while maintaining the grounds and facility in readiness for a vast number of tourists seven days a week. Think, too, about the challenges these horticultural wizards face between the elements of time and weather alone. It goes without saying they tackle other obstacles on a daily basis. Yet they achieve outstanding results because they continually focus on the plan. To the outside world, it looks easy. 

As we go through various seasons in our lives, we, like Longwood Gardens, must adjust to new expectations. At times, this requires a total makeover. All of this reinvention requires prayer, organization, time and action in order for a successful change to take place while life goes on and business continues as usual. Some days you can remain on task and schedule, while on others it seems you meet obstacles at every turn. When this happens, return to the plan (or make one if you started off without one), refocus, make adjustments as necessary and move forward.    

Doing this may be difficult. You could find a host of people and situations to blame or throw your hands in the air crying, “What’s the use,” but that won’t get you Longwood results.