Getting rid of the "too hard basket".

“But whats in it for me?!”

Ever heard question pop up in your head when asked to do something? It may not have been those exact words but it would have been asked in some way or another.

Don’t worry…no ones judging you, it simply means you’re human.

I was teaching a meditation and mindfulness class today and as we do, had a bit of a chat about things afterwards.

Something that came out of the discussion was the different level each student was at, which created an undertone of “Oh no, I have a lot of work to do!” in some people. That’s not a judgement either, simply an observation.

As the students were leaving, the following thought struck me:

“Those that have more to do have more to gain.”

I think thats a pretty powerful statement because by nature, an untrained human mind will tend to go into all the reasons why they can’t do something, and come up with all the limitations in the world that are stopping them.

Or, as I call it, we take the easy path.

We encounter resistance in the form of adversity or hard work and immediately create an aversion to it. It’s pretty normal…we all do it to a degree, but it’s not going to help us down the track.

So for the students in my class, I thought it was a good opportunity to provide a tool (in the form of a “mantra”) to use when the aversion pops up.

Being empowered with a strategy to employ when the mind tries to take its natural course is critical in being able to evolve and get stronger.

When the thought of how hard something is comes to mind, it is now an opportunity to do a few mental reps, to train the brain and get the mental health into better shape by overriding the initial thought with “Those that have more to do have more to gain!”

This expression works because once again, its human nature to only do something that we feel we’re getting something out of.

Looking at hard work as an opportunity filled with potential sits much nicer in the mind than seeing it as hard work and effort.

Its motivating and fuels us to break through a mental barrier.

We also spoke in class about human nature, and how I see it as a “disease or affliction we’re all born with.”

I say it with tongue in cheek, but I do believe there to be an element of truth in it.

If you think about it, as kids, we’re completely irrational and illogical, filled with demands and ego and self importance.

“I want this” and “You have to do that” and eruptions that would rival the best of Mount Etna!

The world is meant to revolve around us and when it doesn’t, there’ll be hell to pay.

It’s normal, or “human nature”, but as adults I feel its our responsibility to mature and evolve out of that behaviour.

From personal experience, its bloody challenging work.

Constant self evaluation, being given homework to do by teachers, getting out of the comfort zone, being vulnerable and taking responsibility for ones thoughts, feelings and behaviour…it takes effort and repeated effort.

The return on that investment however is immeasurable.

One day naturally experiencing a sense of calmness and composure when faced with a difficult/challenging/confronting experience…it seems surreal at the time.

When all the hard work and effort kicks in and you find yourself completely present and in the moment, able to consciously choose how you respond to things is incredible.

The point I’m trying to make is that yes, there is a lot of work to do but for those willing to throw themselves into it, whats on the other side is well worth the effort.

So if you find yourself ruminating over how bad at something you are and contemplating whether its worth going back to the gym or meditation class or uni course or whatever it may be, take a moment to think the more you have to do, the more you have to gain.

Hopefully that helps.

Nick Sutherland