Anyone who has achieved any level of success will tell you that nothing worth having is easy.
It’s hard to get and stay out of debt, particularly in a culture that encourages you. Ditto for spending instead of saving, blowing your money instead of investing, and “enjoying today” instead of working for tomorrow.
This applies in many areas of life, not just personal finance. Career success is not easy. Often we look at the slices of work we see from someone higher up than us, and thing “jeez, I could do that.” That is, until you learn just what went into them being able to do that job, and the kinds of life sacrifices they make to keep that job.
And lets not get started with health – our culture encourages bad health in so many ways, from sedentary desk jobs, to junk food everywhere, to ads on TV/online/everywhere you go. Then we encourage expensive procedures and medications to fix what’s wrong, and blame you for not preventing it.
There is no get quick fix to big problems, and there’s no fast and easy way to big dreams. You have to remember that nothing worth having is easy.
It’s nine PM, and I’m tired. Last night, I didn’t get to my hotel until nearly eleven PM, having taken a 6 PM train out to DE after working a ten hour day. Today I woke up at five AM (well, really 5:30 by the time I actually woke up), ate breakfast, went on the elliptical here in the hotel, worked all day, went for a work dinner, walked around the hotel to get in 10,000 steps for the day, and wanted nothing more than to go to bed.
But I couldn’t miss a Friday post. So despite wanting nothing more than to curl up under the covers and go to sleep, here I am.
I’ve been thinking about this concept of nothing worth having being easy quite a bit lately. People so often look at the end result of years of hard work, and want that – without the hard work part.
The reason this has been on my mind has nothing to do with money. Although I’m quite sure many people would like to be in my financial situation, but without the twenty plus years of work, saving and investing. Or perhaps they’d like my income, but not the eight years of going to school while working full time. It could be they’d love to run a successful blog, but not put in two years of work to get there.
No, it has to do with health.
Specifically, this is an area where I need a reminder that nothing worth having is easy.
Health Is An Area Where I Suck
Here’s the confession, in large letters, for all to see. Yes, health is an area I really suck at focusing on.
Why? It’s so much easier for me to focus on finance, or work, or this site. I’ve never been one of those people who get out of bed eager for a run. In fact, I enjoy running, but every time I do it I end up injuring my knees. I’d rather stay home on a weekend and read, blog, or bake than go for a hike. My bike likely has cobwebs on it, and I haven’t been on it in years.
When I was sixteen I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, an autoimmune condition that results in an overactive thyroid. I had to take medication that slowed my thyroid, which resulted in weight gain. And then when I was eighteen I had my thyroid destroyed with radioactive iodine, meaning I had to be on thyroid medication for the rest of my life.
At the same time, I started full time work at a desk job, and I’ve now had a desk job for the past twenty years. Having three kids, working full time and going to school full time for so many years, it’s hard to make the time to do things you don’t like. Like exercise, and eating right.
I have gone through times when I’ve been willing to put in the hard work to be healthy, but it’s hard to keep up.
But nothing worth having is easy, right?
Frankly, the truth is that if I want to be healthy, I’m going to have to work hard at it – forever. It’s not going to be as easy for me as for some other people, because I have this thyroid issue, and because it’s not something I enjoy. But I know I can do it, and I have to if I want to live life the way I really want to.
You Can Do It
People who have the things you want are ordinary people, just like yourself. They have likely put in years of hard work – so many years, that what they do may now seem effortless.
Yes, other people might have advantages you don’t have. They might have less debt, family connections that help them get a good job right out of college, a higher income, or other such things. But if you work hard, and you work long enough, you can get the life of your dreams.
What do you struggle with? Let me know in the comments.