Easy Vs. Hard

The expression “work smart, not hard” is advice about efficiency by leveraging resources. It presumes that working smart leads to easier work. Efficiency and a lighter burden are always good goals as long as the easy way and hard way both lead to the same destination. The critical question when faced with an easy vs. hard choice is, “Do they really go to the same place?”

As human beings, the natural tendency is to pick the path of least resistance even when this is not expected to produce the best results. Always choosing easy over hard is based on near-term mindset. Instant gratification is an example that comes to mind. In the long run, we end up settling for far less in life if we make a habit of taking the easy path. Being one who is willing to consider and choose the more challenging path, whenever it makes long-term sense, requires a deep-seated commitment to the future.

“Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.” — Benjamin Franklin


“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.”
— Anonymous

Easy and Hard Can Be Matters of Perspective and Attitude

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.” — Terence (185 BC – 159 BC)

“Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy; in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.” — Baltasar Gracian

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

Difficulties Help Sharpen Our Axes

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” — Seneca (5 BC – 65 AD)

“All things are difficult before they are easy.” — Dr. Thomas Fuller (1654 – 1734)

“If at first you DO succeed, try something harder.” — John C. Maxwell

Facing Difficulty Requires Courage

“It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes.” — Louis Pasteur, microbiologist

“Courage and perseverance have a magic talisman, before which difficulties and obstacles vanish into air.” — John Adams

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” — Sam Ewing

Dealing With Difficulty

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” — Dale Carnegie

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.” — Phillips Brooks (1835 – 1893)

Finally, always remember the words of Edward R. Murrow:

“Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.”

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Prepare for Luck

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca, Roman philosopher

It’s amazing how much better timing seems when we’re prepared. It would seem obvious that preparation begets confidence, which begets action, which begets success. But, if it’s so obvious, why do people spend so little time preparing?

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” — Brian Tracy

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson

In modern times, personal development has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry that has produced countless tools and techniques, including: books, magazines, Internet, CDs, DVDs, college education, night classes, seminars, sermons, lectures, computer-based training, on-the-job training, journaling, memorization, puzzles, mentors, ad infinitum. Although I love to read, I am a big-time advocate of CDs. They allow me to turn my car into a mobile classroom. Combining driving and learning takes some of the sting out of $4 per gallon gasoline. Come to think of it, my car has also been used to conduct meetings, eat meals, place calls, check email, change clothes, store stuff and take naps (not all of which occurred while consuming gasoline.)

A good preparation strategy focuses attention on the the four aspects of being human: intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Together, the following quotes about preparation address all four.

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.” — John Adams

“A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner, so if one’s life is cold and bare he can blame none but himself.” — Louis L’Amour (1908 – 1988), ‘Bendigo Shafter’

“Read something positive every night and listen to something helpful every morning.” — Tom Hopkins

“Success favors the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur

“Exercise alone provides psychological and physical benefits. However, if you also adopt a strategy that engages your mind while you exercise, you can get a whole host of psychological benefits fairly quickly.” — James Rippe, M.D.

“To resist the frigidity of old age one must combine the body, the mind and the heart – and to keep them in parallel vigor one must exercise, study and love.” — Karl von Bonstetten

“A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up.” — Anonymous

“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.” — W. Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965)

“Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, bending over backward, lying down on the job, sidestepping responsibility and pushing their luck.” — Author Unknown

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” — Bible, Mark 12:30

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com