You remember that scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest and Bubba arrive in Vietnam and Lieutenant Dan immediately gives them a lecture on the importance of socks?
If you’re like me, you were probably sitting there laughing a bit at the scene, thinking that with all the dangers out there, socks really can’t make THAT much of a difference.
I was was wrong.
Lieutenant Dan was 100% right.
And I learned the hard way.
Last week I spent four full days and nights backpacking on The Colorado Trail. I thought I had packed well. I had layers for rain and sun and cold and a brand-new sleeping pad that I was unreasonably excited to sleep on (seriously, camping gear is SO much better than the last time I went backpacking!).
The day we started, I slipped on the same hiking boots and socks I had worn for the last several months in Minnesota. Just a few hours into our 50 mile trek, I knew I had made the wrong decision.
By the end of our first day I had blisters on the bottoms of both my feet.
The next day the blisters spread up through my toes and I got a new one on the side of my left pinky.
On the third day, I rubbed the back of my right heel raw. No blister – just raw.
On the fourth and final day I got another blister on the side of my right foot.
Each morning my hiking partner taped up my feet as best as possible, but despite the extra layers of cushion, the pain persisted.
It wasn’t excruciating, but it was there. For every single step of every one of our 50 miles.
And here’s what I learned from that:
HARD ISN’T BAD. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.
So often I see social media posts about how when it’s the right thing, it’s easy. When you’re the flow of the universe, everything will magically appear in front of you without effort.
I’m calling BS.
Sometimes things ARE easy. And sometimes they’re hard.
The value of what you’re doing isn’t dependent on ease.
When something is HARD, it’s not necessarily an indication that it’s WRONG.
Case in point: Running a business is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my career – and it’s the best.
Instead of ease, look for ALIGNMENT.
Does the thing you want to do align to your values? Is your heart and soul calling out for you to take action? Does the thing lead to the life and world you want to see?
If the answer is yes, do the thing. Even if it’s hard. Because you can do hard things, too.
Hard things like deciding to break the rules you’ve been taught and create your own set of rules for life.
Hard things like speaking up against the status quo, even when it’s scary and you’re worried you won’t do it perfectly.
Hard things like saying no, quitting your job, disappointing someone, or following a calling that may not make sense to anyone else, but you know is right for you.
Just take one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. You will get there. The journey and the destination will both be worth it. You might even get some views like this: