Last week, I was being driven to court by one of our very good drivers. I have a deliberate habit of speaking to them on issues to do with personal development when I get time.
One of the days I challenged them to read one book at least per month. I sent dozens of books to their WhatsApp platforms. (If you want free eBooks, you can also join my Inspirational eBooks groups on WhatsApp).
I asked him, how many books he had read, and the answer was “none”.
The explanation was that it’s hard. This answer gave birth to a talk, which today I will further share with you, “stop doing what is easy! Start doing what is hard. The very things that you find hard to do are the things that will change your life.”
Stop doing what is easy!
You see, if you do what is easy, your life will be hard. But, if you do what is hard, your life will be easy.
Watching TV is easy; in fact, you do not need to do anything, but to just sit. In fact, television has advanced such that you do not necessarily need a television set in front of you; you can just stream from your phone or computer.
It’s easy to sleep extended hours and do nothing. It’s also easy to spend time with people who are unproductive, and spend considerable amounts of time with no serious progress recorded.
There are so many things that are easy to do yet they do not take us anywhere in life, and even an inch closer to our goals.
There is no growth
in what is easy
You do not grow by doing what is easy; you grow by doing what is hard. It is the thing or things that you often find hard to do that will actually change your life. Waking up early to read and exercise is hard.
Working into the night is not easy.
Planning when other people are playing is not easy.
William Arthur Ward captures the above principle in an interesting and profound way, “A Winner’s Blueprint for Achievement BELIEVE while others are doubting. PLAN while others are playing. STUDY while others are sleeping. DECIDE while others are delaying. PREPARE while others are daydreaming. BEGIN while others are procrastinating. WORK while others are wishing. SAVE while others are wasting. LISTEN while others are talking. SMILE while others are frowning. COMMEND while others are criticising. PERSIST while others are quitting.”
We choose to go to the moon
You may not know of this speech, or may not even have heard about it. You are like me; I only got to know of it through a certain website that used to send me updates of what was said at certain points in history.
“We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard . . .”
This statement really got me thinking seriously on the power of choices that I can actually choose to do something that is hard.
There is a context to this story which you need to pick. On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy stood in front of the American people at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and prepared to give a speech that would serious shape the direction of the United States’ (US) efforts over the following decade.
The speech was to change the history of humanity; and set an era of exploration and innovation in outer space. President Kennedy’s “we go to the moon speech” was delivered near the height of the Cold War and at the beginning of the “space race” between the US and the Soviet Union, were enormously significant.
The Soviet satellite “Sputnik” had been beeping overhead for 4 years, and only one-year prior Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had become the first human being in history to enter space.
The US was rapidly losing the race into space and in turn a competition in technological supremacy and prestige, to its Cold War adversary. The American public was on the verge of panic over the implications of a “Red Moon.”
President Kennedy clearly needed to forge a new direction for the US, one that would excite and energise the American public and re-establish American eminence in global affairs.
September, 1962, Kennedy set a challenge to the American nation, to “go to the moon before the decade was out.” The middle portion of the speech has been widely quoted, and reads as follows:
“We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own.
“Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the US occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theatre of war.
“I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all.
Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.
Do what is hard
You do not grow by doing what is easy; you grow by doing what is hard. Seven years later, July 1969, the Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon and indeed it was, “one small step for a man, one huge leap for mankind.”
Did you know that the computer NASA used to send a person to the moon and return him back only had 65KB memory size?
Just to give you a bit perspective, this computer size was the size of your pocket size calculator.
Your memory stick is actually more powerful than this computer, not to mention the fact that your smart phone is thousand times more powerful than NASA’s computer.
The distance from earth to the moon is 383 000 kilometres, and landing on the moon was clearly not an easy task, but that is the very reason why America chose to do it.
You see the moment you decide to do what is hard, you challenge yourself to stretch your capacity.
You are forced to think; you are forced to grow in order to achieve your goals. Stop doing what is easy!
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal development. Arthur is the author of the “Personal Development Toolkit” among other inspirational books. Follow him on social media or join his WhatsApp groups on +263718867255