It’s a wonderful question. My first coach, Val Olson, gave it to me years ago. I’d spent an entire coaching session affirming my commitment to tenaciously pursue my writing goals 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.
Carl Sandburg advised
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.
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.
Whether life is hard or soft is not just a matter of chance. 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 writing is hard, you’ll find plenty of evidence to validate that belief.
What could happen if you entertained the possibility that writing can be easy?