There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering. – Theodore Roosevelt
Never in history has the easy life led to a great life. Not in one case has something great come without tribulation, struggle, or failure. Instead of fearing struggle, strain, and tribulation, you should embrace it; nay, seek it at every opportunity, and incorporate it into your life daily. It’s in struggle that you experience growth. It’s in conquering obstacles that you experience life.
A Case Against the Easy Life
Ease isn’t living, it’s dying. It’s forgoing life and awaiting death. Ease brings a halt to your growth and evolution as a human being.
Every year I do an exercise where I write out my perfect day. The other day I looked back at what my ‘perfect day’ was 5 years ago. It was almost the exact opposite of what my vision of success is today.
Back then I wanted ease. I wanted no alarm clock, little work, and a life of luxury. What I’ve come to understand is that in creating the ability to have that life of luxury, I’ll have to go through my fair share of failures and struggles.
Those failures and struggles are where I’ll develop into a man, a success, and a better human being. Why, then, would I want to forgo that growth? Why, even if I’m able, would I reach my idea of success, and then simply stop my evolution by lulling in to a life of ease?
Today, I know I wouldn’t. Just because success is attained doesn’t mean our growth as people, entrepreneurs, or leaders, comes to a halt. Look at Teddy Roosevelt. He never stopped achieving, accomplishing, and growing as an individual until the day he died. The same with Steve Jobs, Napoleon Bonaparte, Andrew Carnegie, and any other person in history who accomplished anything of great value.
Ease is Not Only Useless, It’s Evil
There’s a commonly held world view that your life is your own and you have the right to do what you want with it. I disagree with one aspect of this argument, and that is with regards to laziness.
Just like ease has created nothing of great value in the way of great people on this planet, the fundamental understand that your time on this earth is limited and dwindling has led to great accomplishment, and names worth remembering.
It’s a universal truth that the day you’re born is the day you start dying. Those who accomplish greatness understand this, and they don’t let a day go to waste.
It’s also a universal truth – especially in this free, democratic, capitalistic society – that many have died so you and I can live the freedom you so casually take for granted. They’ve sacrificed their lives in battle. They’ve laid down their lives in protest. They’ve given their lives to innovation and helping others.
Those who came before you, and died before you, have done so in vain if you give your life to laziness, and that’s when laziness is no longer a right, but an evil.
Ease’s ugly cousin is laziness. To be a lazy person is a slap in the face of anyone who’s sacrificed anything to give you the life you currently enjoy – to give you the option of being lazy. Be it your mother, father, grandparents, or that soldier who died in the Second World War whom you’ll never meet, but owe so much.
How to Truly Live: Embrace the Struggle
The goal for all of us here at Addicted2Success, is to create a successful life. I’m sure we can all agree that a successful life, in part, is one truly lived. That is, a life filled with accomplishment, adventure, highs and lows, struggle, defeat, and victory. A life is filled with action, not ease.
Look back to the man who gave us that famous quote at the beginning of this article, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a man who embraced the strenuous life. He saw the value in hardship, and the evil of a life of ease. As such, he accomplished more in his 60 years than dozens have in their 100.
To create a life of accomplishment, and one of success, YOU have to embrace hard work. Hard work creates grit. It gives us a sense of pride, purpose, and accomplishment; without which, we can never truly feel as though we’re giving our best to this dying flame we call life, or our true value to the rest of those we’re connected to on this planet.
Instead of looking forward to a future of ease, embrace your present hardships, and look to add more strain to your life. This is how you grow. This is how you evolve. This is how you live.