Do parents want to hurry along the progress and growth of their new-born? Do they want to shortcut their holiday to the end? Or maybe speed up the life of their ill parent because it’s just too hard caring for them?
No of course not. So why do we do it when it comes to self-help?
Are people really as lazy about self-help as Tim Dowling suggests?
In part I agree with Tim Dowling’s article here, and to be honest it saddens me. I do understand the possible reasons because our lives are so busy and crammed full of responsibility and guilt for not doing something we think we should. People want short-cuts, they want the easy way, the quick way and don’t want to invest in a lengthy process to make some changes in their life. Is this ultimately just because of time or because they don’t feel they are worth the investment? Maybe it’s because we perceive the journey to be too hard so the destination is the only attractive part of the process.
A quote by Theodore Roosevelt springs to mind:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
There’s No Point In Wasting Time
I have to agree with Tim in this article about finding what’s relevant to us and skipping the rest, there’s no point wasting time on things that aren’t going to help us. However, from my own experience what I’ve learnt is sometimes we can’t know how something will help us until sometimes after. Trying something, no matter how obscure or fearful we may be could be the best decision we ever made. Ultimately we want to live a pain free happy life.
But we all know that’s a dream rather than a reality. Pleasant and unpleasant feelings and experiences are part of what makes us grow, learn and appreciate things. Without the bad we can’t be grateful for the good. Is there an easy answer, of course not but is the answer hard work, it doesn’t have to be. I think it really depends on how we approach it, how kind we are to ourselves and our expectations. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to boost our confidence and make us feel values and good about ourselves. Maybe if the journey of self-help gave us regular rewards then it would be a big enough motivation and incentive to keep going. We need to see anything we’re doing make a difference, no matter what it is. We don’t want to waste our time on something if we aren’t gaining anything.
But… Change Takes Time
Obviously some things take longer than others, but we’re always going to get frustrated if we set out with expectations that don’t get met. I’ve tried so many different techniques, therapies and tools over the years. Some have worked well and some haven’t, some weren’t right in that moment but then helped years later. In summary I believe that we’re living in a pressured world with expectations that we can’t meet or if we try to we’re compromising a lot in our life.
We can choose to continue down that road, or start listening to what’s right for us and choosing something different. If you really want something, it’ll be worth the investment. I like that years ago you had to save up if you wanted a car, you couldn’t just get a loan and buy it the next day but you can bet your bottom dollar you’d appreciate it when you sat in the driver’s seat. Patience is the one of the keys to long term change.