burning candle at both ends This is for you.

I was you.  I sometimes still am you.  It’s hard not to be you.  The world expects a lot of you.  You expect a lot of yourself.

What if you just started to do the things that are easiest?  What if you took the easy way?  What if you started to do more of what you enjoy, that comes easily, and that you’re great at?  What if you began to do less of what is difficult for you, less of the things you hate to do, and less work that feels hard?

Through my life, I have achieved a lot.  It has always been through lots of hard work.  I have always valued hard work.

My parents, teachers, friends, and colleagues have all demonstrated the value of hard work, and have taught it to me.  So far it’s worked well for me in terms of getting me to the point of success in most things that I have done in my life.

What if there is another way?

Recently as I was preparing to give a live speech, I was having trouble presenting the right persona on stage.  My friend, Nisha said to me, “Why don’t you try just doing it the easy way?”  Speak in your real voice, as yourself, just like you would if you were talking to a friend.

Lo and behold… it worked!  Doing the easy thing, even on stage in front of 150 people made the whole experience fun, easy, and even successful.

I have begun to test the waters in other ways too.  When I write now, I like to follow the advice of Deepak Chopra, M.D, and do it from a place of “effortless efforting.”  I speak from my heart, hide less, and keep it simple.  Not only has this new perspective on writing made it easier for me, my readers like it too.  I no longer overwhelm them with detailed evidence that makes my writing look more high and mighty, but in the end, feels confusing.

I plan to continue to take the easy way in my work.  I will be exploring if it makes me more productive, while physically stressing me less.

How could you take the easy way this week?

Here’s one exercise to get your “easy way” juices flowing.  Give yourself some quiet time to think.  What are your top 3 priorities right now?  The next time you’re asked to do something, consider if doing so will add to your top 3 list?  If yes, say yes.  If no, say no.  Easy.

For example, imagine that your top 3 priorities right now are spending more intimate time with your spouse or partner, reaching the next level of success at work, and donating more money to your favorite charity.

This week you are asked to organize the neighborhood Halloween block party.  Would saying yes be easy and supportive of your top 3 current priorities?  Ummmm… probably not.

However, if your top 3 priorities are to make more friends in your community, spend more time having fun with your kids, and volunteer more, saying yes is likely a great way to add ease to your life by helping you to align with all of your top priorities with one event!  So go for it.

The key is to know your top 3 priorities.

Then be fearless enough to go out and get them.  (The easy way.) 

Share with us in the comments below what would happen for you if you were to make only easy choices today?  Does that thrill you or scare you?