There is a great story (I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s still a good story) that the early astronauts found that pens didn’t work well in outer space. Just like when we hold a pen with the tip higher than the column of ink, pens wouldn’t write in the absence of gravity. NASA spent millions of dollars researching and designing a pen that would write well in space. The Russian astronauts simply used a pencil.
The point is that we often make things unduly hard for ourselves. Sometimes we insist on doing everything ourselves when we could easily delegate some tasks to others (see my post, Advice from a Recovering Control Freak, for an easy and effective method for successful delegation: >https://helanefronekmd.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/advice-from-a-recovering-control-freak/). At other times, we allow movable obstacles to make our path more costly in terms of time, energy, or frustration.
Whenever we feel that sense of frustration, we can stop, hit the imaginary “easy” button and ask ourselves, “How can I make this easier?”
It might be as simple as finding someone who has done this particular thing before and asking for their advice. We can also pinpoint the limiting step and find a way to bypass it. One of the most effective methods is to ask ourselves, “Why do I think I need to do it this way?” That will uncover some rules, usually arbitrarily imposed, that we feel we need to live by – even though they create significant and unnecessary hardship for us.
A busy and extremely competent client was used to excelling in every area of her life. Not surprisingly, she was overwhelmed when she had to move, adjust to a new, multi-faceted job, furnish the family’s new home, assist out of town family and continue to parent three children, one of whom was applying to college. Anyone who has tried to help a child go through that process knows how challenging it can be, even in the best of circumstances! Although she was more than capable of assisting her child and had always been a hands-on mom, she enlisted the help of a professional college counselor. This allowed her greater flexibility for the many other demands on her time and eliminated much of the conflict that parents and children frequently experience during this stressful time.
Is there something in your life that is weighing you down? That you don’t know how to begin to approach? That seems so difficult? Hit that button…
How can you make it easy?