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The Easy Way Out is a Dead End

Posted Oct 01 2011 6:44pm
“We have many reasons to hope for great happiness, but . . . we have to earn it. And that's something you can't achieve by taking the easy way out. Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy. Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.” Anne Frank, July 6, 1944
As we all know and can attest to, not many things in life are handed to us on a silver platter. All of the wonderful things in life come to be and continue to exist because we have worked hard for them. Relationships take effort. Becoming successful in ones career takes effort. Learning new skills, developing talents, and pursuing passions takes effort. Committing ourselves to a faith, whatever it may be, takes effort. A lack of effort typically results in an extinction of these things. In order to obtain and maintain anything we desire in life, we must make sacrifices. We must prioritize the thing we desire, dedicate time to pursue it, and give up whatever prevents us from achieving our goals. We must willing compromise for the sake of what’s to come. 
I wonder why, despite our knowledge of this, the temptation to find the easy way out is so present in our lives. We all seem to want a magic solution to eliminate effort. I believe there are many contributing factors to this in our present society. For one, the advancement of technology has planted in our minds the need for immediate gratification. We need to have what we want right now. We are able to communicate across the world with a single mouse click. We have the internet- a world of information- at our fingertips. The idea of waiting in our society is such a burden. I’m not complaining... I love technology and I think the benefits are numerous. But I do hate that we seem to no longer appreciate what we are able to achieve when we devote our time to the things we desire. We seem to think that the immediate nature of the availability of information, entertainment, and resources should permeate into every aspect of our lives- including our health. Unfortunately, this can only serve as a hinderance to reaching our full health potential. I also believe that a sense of entitlement has creeped its way into our nation. We seem to believe that we should all be given what we want. Not only should it be given to us immediately, but it better be what we ordered. We should never have to do anything we don’t want to do and when it is what we want to do, we shouldn’t have to lift a finger. Find someone else to do it for you. Why put forth effort  when there is something or someone else available to do the work instead? When there is an easy way out available (whether it works or not) why not take it? It’s there. It’s easy. I’m going to relate this to our physical health, but if you think about it, the temptation is there to apply this to all areas of our life. I’ve come to realize, although the easy way out may make certain legs of your journey easier for the time being, it robs you of the joy and satisfaction of success and removes the desire and motivation for future endeavors. You can probably guess where I’m going with all of this, given the nature of my blog. It’s plastered all over magazines, billboards, TV commercials... “take this pill and burn more calories to lose weight”, “eat our food to lose weight without doing a thing!”, “have this surgery to look skinnier, younger, and more beautiful”. Why are we willing to work so hard to advance our career, but not to feed and properly care for our bodies in a healthy way? Isn’t it interesting that despite the growing number of diets, weight loss pills, and elective surgeries out there, the rate of obesity, disordered eating patterns, and other related medical complications are on the rise? Clearly, the easy way out isn’t working. Until it does, I will continue to advocate for healthy living- eating in moderation (not in deficiency or excess), ensuring adequate intake of the nutrients we need, physical activity in the correct proportion of duration and intensity, relationships that build us up and spur us on to good deeds, and devoting our lives to a cause that gives us something worth living for. And the truth of it is- this takes work. It’s not a pill that cures all of our ills. Living a healthy and purposeful life requires effort on our part, but this effort leads to satisfaction, enjoyment, a sense of achievement, and the peace of knowing that you have taken full advantage of the life you’ve been given. There’s no pill that can provide you with all of that.
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