Ever asked yourself, "Why is life so hard?" Or, "If life were easy, then . . ." I think you'd be in good company if you've asked yourself one of those two questions. Unfortunately life is hard. Sometimes it fees like it's harder on you than on others, and while that's not necessarily incorrect, a lot of times it just takes a little perspective to feel better. Here's my thoughts on "If Life Were Easy".
It’s Easy. Sometimes I pray before I go to bed. I’m not a deeply religious person, but I do believe. Something about praying before I go to bed, seems like a good way to end the night. I pray for Andrew, Melissa, Evan & Keller. Mom. Kailyn. And then anyone else that I’m thinking about. It’s a great way to end my day.
What Is Easy?
I often wish my life were easier. It’s easy to look back on my life and my hardest times and wish they had never been. But there’s no way to change the past. Besides, what is easy? There are a few blessed people in my life who I often think have an easy life. I doubt if you asked them if they feel their life is “easy”, they’d agree. Everyone has their hardships and perspective on life.
One thing I’ve learned through the sadness of my life, is that perspective is everything. When I say the sadness of my life, I don’t think my life is sad. I just think I’ve experienced deep sadness that has affected me in so many ways. But my sadness is no more sad than yours or the next person’s. It’s just sadness. And it it what it is . . . Sad.
Easy is NOT Easy
Contrary to what you may think, I don’t think easy is really easy. I think easy is HARD.
From what I’ve experienced, people who’s lives look “easy” so not have it easy. They have an image to uphold and making life look easy, is a daunting task. But there are some fortunate souls who seem to stumble their way into good jobs, healthy relationships, and happiness. But those people are few and far between . . . And are genuinely lucky.
But as the subheading reads, easy is not easy. It takes a lot of work, a lot of luck, and a lot of planning. I strive for a life that’s easy, but I don’t expect it to be that way. It’s not going to happen overnight and I don’t think you can plan for it. Easy just isn’t easy.
A Long, Hard Road
For most of us, life is a long, hard road filled with happiness and some sadness too. And that’s not a bad thing. In business I say that you don’t learn from your successes, but often times in your failure. That’s not 100% accurate but sounds good. There’s a lot to be learned from the mistakes you make, but I will attest that there’s a LOT more to learn from your failures.
I’ve failed many times in my life. My marriage, my businesses, my friendships and even as a parent. But that doesn’t get me down. I learn from those mistakes and try to become a better person. Here’s some learnings . . .
Man, marriage is hard. I wish someone would have told me how hard it was going to be. Two people, eternally in flux . . . Changing and learning at their own pace. And then the hope that love can keep the flux in parallel. Sounds impossible, and often times is.
In my failure of marriage, I learned that I need to be a better listener. My biggest regret about my marriage was that I didn’t know how sad and lonely my ex was. I was oblivious in my own world. If you held a gun to my head and asked how happy my wife was on a scale of 1-10, I would have said 8. In reality it was a 1-2. I was that far off. It’s a shame and a disgrace as a husband.
I’ll never forgive myself for this, but I can definitely learn from it. Maybe if I’m blessed to be in another serious relationship, I’ll learn to listen better and be a better husband. I was a 10/10 in some husband areas, but where it counted, I was a 1-2/10.
Learning to listen humbly, is a key factor in a relationship. Humble is the key word (but listening is a close second). Even though I felt I was a 8/10, I’m not sure I was humble enough to admit I was a 1-2/10. That’s sad. When you’re wrong you’re wrong. And even with you’re right, you’re wrong. I missed all the signals. But could I have been humble enough to listen to the signals if they were thrown in my face?
I’m not so sure about that.
Listening Humbly. That’s the key learning here.
Some is you may own your own business. Some may have a partner who does, and others this won’t apply to, but running a business is also hard. Running a business isn’t easy and it takes someone who can handle many moving parts to manage. The life of an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. But for those of us who choose to do it, we thrive on the challenge.
Like a relationship, employees, clients, vendors, and the market are also continually in flux . . . ever changing. If you don’t see the signs, and listen humbly, you’re done for.
My first mistake was my inability to read the market. I’m not alone here but the Great Recession killed me. I didn’t see it coming and when I was in the midst of it, I didn’t react quickly or decisively enough. If you want to be a thought leader in any organization, you have to think decisively. I did not.
The second mistake was allowing someone else to run my business who was more concerned about himself, than the collective good of our company. I let that happen, and only I’m to blame. Unfortunately as the leader of a corporation, you have to make decisions on behalf of your staff and they’re counting on you to make good ones. I made some selfish, bad ones and my company employees paid the price.
I’m a lot of ways, I look at my staff as my kids. I try and protect them, nurture them, and am their biggest cheerleader. I let them down.
Luckily I have a second chance to redo my business mistakes and I’m trying hard to be a better leader. And a better leader I am.
This is one that’s a bit harder for me. Friendships are far from easy. I have always wanted to be everything to everyone. I had to change my motto.
I have to be more to less, and less to more.
It became important for me to be present in the lives of the people who I cared for. Just as important, I needed to be more to people who cared about me. I never too much stock into how much people cared for me, but it’s important. We don’t live in a bubble, and learning to listen humbly to the signals from people who cared about me, is something I’ve grown to value.
The irony is that my ex and my ex-best friend used to tel me this all the time. They said that I spent too much time caring about my “B” and “C” list friends and not enough time focusing on my “A” list friends. I always said that I didn’t need to categorize my friends into lists, but maybe they were right. I have the ability to be friends with 1000’s of people, but I needed to take stock in those who took stock in me.
The other ironic thing is that when I needed my “A” list friends, most of them left me. That was my fault. I should have been a better friend. It’s not entirely my fault as these so called “A” list friends turned out to be more like “F” list friends, but that doesn’t change the principle.
Take stock in those you care about and make sure they know you care about them. Spend time, emotional capital, and love on those people. They’re the ones who count.
I could write an entire blog on my failings of a parent. Actually I did in my blog titled “Worst Parent Ever“. I don’t actually think I’m the worst parent ever, but let’s just say there’s room for improvement. 🙂
Parenting isn’t easy. Any parent will remind you of this OFFEN. :). But that’s the reason we do it. We want to make and mold a better human being at the end of the day. I just want to leave this earth better than I found it. Leaving Kailyn behind as my legacy is the most important thing I can do as a human. And that’s my focus.
I don’t want to blog tonight about my failings as a parent because I already have. Just know that if you feel the way I do, you’re probably on the right path. Any parent who thinks they have it all figured out is lying. We’re all wandering in the dark, just trying to do our best. It’s not easy, but it’s all we can do.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Our best is the best they’re ever going to have and it has to be good enough. 🙂
The good thing about life is that every day we get up, it’s another day/chance to learn from yesterday. And if we don’t to that, we’ll be static. That’s not a place you want to be.
Evolution is a good thing as long as you’re evolving forward. I suppose the opposite would be devolving. That sounds terrible.
Tonight, I’m lying in bed typing my thoughts out on my phone. Most of my blogs I do from my laptop, but tonight is different. I had a great day and a great week. I feel accomplished. I had two PTO events this week (and one next week), I took Kailyn on an incredible staycation before school, but most importantly I’m lying next to Kailyn as she sleeps.
My heart is complete and full. These past days and weeks haven’t been easy. I’ve been in a funk or maybe a mild depressing awaiting Kailyn’s return. I’m truly happy and that wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t feel incomplete these past weeks without her.
To be complete, you need to know what completes you. For a long time I didn’t know what I was searching for, so I didn’t know I was incomplete. I suspect that there are other things that I don’t know about, that when I obtain will also complete me, but for now I’m whole. And it feels great.
So with that, I’ll sign off. I hope you’ll all find what it is that completes you. It’s not easy. And without the long road ahead, being complete isn’t possible . . . Or at least won’t feel as good.
Life’s not easy, and it think it’s designed that way so that when things fall into place, it’s such a reward.
I expect that with life’s rollercoaster, that things will get hard again. And I’ll tackle those challenges with the knowledge and learnings of the past.
I hope you all find your paths, that you Stella your challenges and conquer them, and that life’s easy time will be upon you soon.
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