The #1 Solution for an Easier Life… (yup, this will work for you too!)

Easier Life.jpg

Making Life Hard… 

I have a friend who’s always looking for the latest app, or shortcut, or system to make his life easier.

At least that’s what he tells me, but I wonder, because he always seems to be on a short fuse. Overwhelmed, or struggling.

We were on a call this weekend and he told me about the latest calendar app he’d installed to help with his scheduling.

It’s so easy!

he told me.

…Versus Easy

In my head I wasn’t so sure I agreed with him, so I asked if I could share something…

You know, Bob (not his real name), ‘easy’ is a state of mind; it isn’t always about finding the best system.

Maybe there’s something that could shift the way you’re looking at this whole ‘easy’ thing?

At first, he was skeptical.

If I save time, surely that’s what makes my life easier? I don’t have to spend so long going backwards and forwards with emails. I hate scheduling.

Ah, therein lies the challenge.

If we think we hate something, chances are we’re going to find it ‘hard’ (or some other negative adjective — boring, difficult, complicated…) but it isn’t the task itself that is ‘hard’, it’s the state of mind we bring to it.

Of course, we can always streamline our processes — and it seems pretty sensible to me to cut down time spent to-ing and fro-ing to find suitable dates for a meeting!

And, like most of us, I love to hear about what my friends and colleagues are using, what new app I can download, or what time or effort-saving technique I can implement (I’m forever grateful to the friend who introduced me to do-note!)

But does that automatically make something ‘easy’?

Not necessarily…

No Amount of Apps… 

No matter how streamlined my processes, sometimes I experience them as easy and sometimes I experience them as frustrating. And, conversely, sometimes I love to immerse myself in the task at hand; to take time and pleasure in the doing.

However, what’s different about my experience to that of my friend, is that I know when I experience frustration, it’s not about the task itself, it’s coming from me. I know that what makes most of my activities ‘easy’ (and his more challenging to him) is the degree of engagement and the assumptions I’m bringing to them.

I also know when to back off.

I know that when something starts to feel sticky or complex or overwhelming, it’s my state of mind, therefore the best thing to do is to back off for a second, or an hour, or however long it takes for me to get perspective again.

Where is ‘Easy’?

I know to look to my state of mind for an explanation, not my systems and processes. In a different state of mind, I can more easily see whether I do in fact need that process-based solution (and, I’m more likely to find it!)

My friend and I went on to have an interesting discussion about this, looking at all the times he finds life easy no matter what he’s doing, and the times he can find those same activities confusing or annoying.

Huh, I’d never looked at it like that.

Maybe I’ll try to slow down when I’m losing the sense of ‘easy’; take a break, or at least take a breath.

He concluded.

That sounds perfect,

I said,

…because that’s where you’ll see what to do next. And it’s also where ‘easy’ lives so you might find there’s no need to do anything at all!

It’s funny how we often make things in our lives much more complex than they need to be.

And, in the complexity, we can lose the sense of what it is we’re doing, or looking for.

It’s not so hard to come back to our centre when we know where it is.

With love,

Cathy

P.S. I’ve just launched a new podcast where I talk about everyday work and business challenges in a very human context. I’d love you to go over and check it out!