03 Feb Ease
Would it be ok with you if life got easier?
You might think that the automatic answer is “yes,” or “of course,” or “are you kidding me? Heck (or another expletive) yes!”
That may be true for some people. But for many people that question makes them think of doing next to nothing, while the goals seem to “show up” in front of us. But “nothing” could be further from the truth. Read on and I’ll explain.
I’m not talking about “easy,” as in “easy-peasy.” I’m referring to The Principle of Ease.
Ease is a reflection of being conscious. It comes when we take small sweet steps toward our cherished goals.
The opposite of Ease is not hard. We can work, or play, hard with ease. The opposite of Ease is called struggle.
Here is an example of Ease, instead of struggle, as a way of life. This story is personally embarrassing to me, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway!
I’ve hiked up and down the Grand Canyon twice. The second time I vowed to do it with dignity!
What happened in the first instance that had me clawing my way to the top of the canyon after experiencing something called “Jacob’s Ladder”? For those of you who may have hiked the Grand Canyon, you’ll undoubtedly remember that the last three miles of this switchback-laden trail takes you up about 3,000 feet! That’s almost straight up… or at least that’s what it felt like.
The problem was that I hadn’t prepared the way I should have. For four weeks before the hike, I walked about five miles a day on streets that had a very slight incline. I thought I had it made because after all, I told myself, that was two miles more than my daily walk. And I climbed a 15 story building on the four Saturdays before the hike. Besides that, I reasoned that a 20-mile round trip hike, with two evenings at Phantom Ranch, wouldn’t be that difficult to manage. I was so wrong.
On the way back up I had to stop every 50 yds or so to rest. It was torture! What made it even worse was this couple in their mid-70’s that passed me by! When I asked how they were doing, the gentleman told me, with a light-hearted smile:
“Oh, we do this hike down to the river and back with a one-night sleepover at the bottom at least twice each year, my dear! Now, you take care!”
Not to let this happen again, I prepared and prepared for that second trip to the Grand Canyon. It took me some months. I didn’t overdo the training. I’ve heard of those who trained too hard, for so long, that their knees failed them within the first three miles hiking down. One person had to be carried by mule back to the top before ever reaching the Colorado River.
In my new training approach, I took small sweet incremental steps, eventually teaching my legs to climb up and down 26 stories of a local hotel at least four times before stopping for the day. Three times a week. I trained hard but didn’t struggle.
This second time coming up from the bottom of the canyon, my trip was difficult but not exhausting. There was no struggle or suffering as before. I was able to make it back up Jacob’s Ladder, pausing at the rest houses along the way. My group had brought water pistols so that we could aim at the folks hiking down. It was really, really hot, around 106 degrees! They were happy we watered them down, and I was too! I had made it back up with dignity!
You might wonder what this has to do with being financially successful. Or, by now, you might see some analogies in these examples with how you are in your relationship with money.
In my last newsletter, I suggested that you focus your attention for seven days on a small, sweet money goal. Maybe a vacation savings account. Or an account for spending on presents and celebrations during the Holiday Season. Or funding a worthy cause. What happened when you put five copies of this goal around your home and office (or home/office) where you could see it numerous times a day?
Did you experience some ease or fun when you focused on your goal? Possible ways to make it happen?
Conversely, were you somewhat bored by the goal you created? Or, were doubts, worries, and fears present? If you were bored, maybe you were struggling because what you created wasn’t a goal but rather a “to-do.” Like reconciling your credit card bill. If the second scenario is true, then maybe you were struggling because you’ve created some sweet money goal that was too ambitious at the moment, like doubling your income by the end of this year.
Save the “must-do’s” for a different occasion. They are important, but not relevant here.
The same is true with those “big hairy goals” that some people create for themselves. Do that another time.
Please go ahead and make a small, sweet money goal and follow the instructions in the last newsletter. I promise that you’ll teach yourself how to bring clarity, focus, ease, and grace to your relationship with money.
Wishing you all my best,