The easy way to tackle challenges

It’s so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to.  ~Annie Gottlier

The challenge we face each day is to make each day a pleasurable one, an interesting one and one devoid of irritation, boredom and  dislike. The tough part of this is facing the reality that our daily routine is by and large well set and a good part of that routine is repetitive, stressful and / or  boring. The only consolation we can take is that the pattern is true for almost all of us and so we do not feel less privileged. Yet, when we see the enthusiasm and the energy and the euphoria that some people manage to display every single day, we wonder how they do it.

A clue to this can perhaps be got by examining our student days. If we simply looked back at our student days we would realise that we always favoured some subjects over others and we would happily spend a lot of time on those subjects. As for those subjects we disliked we tackled it with disdain, defiance and disinterest. In effect, when we were forced to study what we didn’t like, the effort was too hard and painful whereas what appealed to us was welcomed whole heartedly and enthusiastically. The secret then is to get to like what we have to do.

Is it possible for us to like what we have to do? Very few of us would like to take an injection for it is painful. Yet when we are left with no option we pluck courage from our deepest recess and go through the process. Perhaps the thought of getting relief or the fear of more painful consequences of not taking the injection spurs the person to voluntarily subject himself/ herself to the pain of an injection. Similarly the urge to score excellently or the fear of failure would have egged us on to study subjects we didn’t really fancy. In both examples there is a positive end result that actually directs our actions. If we can get some of this attitude to guide us in our daily life we would find life less stressful and perhaps even discover that in fact life is very invigorating. Overcoming our fear holds the key to beginning to like what we have to do.

It is not enough just to overcome our fear or reservations about things that we do not really relish but cannot avoid. To really want to relish whatever comes ones way it is essential that we have the right spirit, add a liberal dose of creativity to make things interesting, take occasional setbacks as experiences to learn from and be energetic enough never to get bogged down. Eg. A telephone operators job is perhaps one of the most repetitive and thank less jobs that can get boring, stressful and insipid. Yet some of the best telephone operators would sound as energetic at close of day as they would at the start of the day. Their success lies in visualising themselves as key cogs in the corporate communication wheel and also believing that they are the critical touch point for their corporate. The ultimate lesson is that one finds it easy to meet daily challenges if  one can  see oneself in the right perspective, as influencers in the spheres that we have to commit to, whether we forced into or otherwise.

Remember: There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.  ~Publius Terentius Afer

 Try this:

  1. You have  met with an accident and have to be  confined to bed rest for 2 months. By nature you are an outdoor person. How will you cope with this forced home stay? What activities will you indulge in? How would ensure that you are being productive and not bored?
  2. You are basically a person who prefers the indoors. Due to a sudden crisis you are forced to accompany a group of 50 school children to 2 week outdoor activity camp. You are aware that the children are boisterous and need to be kep engaged all the time. You just dislike the whole assignment but have no choice. How will you ensure that the trip is a success?

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