MKelberer’s tongue-in-cheek comment/question to my last post, “Why is ‘hard work’ always the solution?” reminded me of one of the most powerful questions I ever heard: “What if it’s quick, easy and now?”
Years ago, I spent an entire coaching session affirming to myself and my coach Val Olson my commitment to tenaciously pursue my writing goal and persevere through whatever frustrations and difficulties I might encounter.
“What if you don’t have to struggle? What if it’s quick, easy and now?” Val asked innocently, as if she didn’t know the question would implode my world view. It was like preparing yourself to jump into Lake Superior in January and stepping into a hot tub instead. A pleasant shock, but a shock nonetheless.
Val knew persistence is one of my strengths. She also knew that a strength overused is a weakness.
The Poet’s Perspective
Life is hard; be steel, be a rock,
And this might stand him for the storms
And serve him for the humdrum and monotony,
And guide him amid sudden betrayals
And tighten him for slack moments.
Life is soft loam, be gentle, go easy,
And this, too, might serve him.
– Carl Sandburg
Life is full of polarities like this. When life is hard, we must be willing to persist. When life is soft, we must be wise enough to go easy.
David Cooperrider’s research in Appreciative Inquiry demonstrates that expectation determines experience. We get what we expect to get and see what we expect to see. If you think life is hard, you’ll find evidence everywhere to validate that belief.
Val Olson gave me a great gift: the insight to challenge my assumption that reaching a goal would have to be difficult. Val alerted me to opportunities to stop looking for struggle and start seeing possibilities for the quick, easy and now.
Today on December 22nd, we are sandwiched between the Solstice and Christmas, following the heels of Chanukah. Many spiritual traditions recognize that this is a time of miracles, a time of small bright lights shining in the darkest moments.
I invite you to entertain your own small miracle this week: the possibility that your writing be quick, easy and now.