tba, will be reorganized a bit with part to be pared out, but it is fully usable by anyone with basic intelligence.
The answer is...
The power to make it otherwise
What is meant by "difficult"?
Is life "miserable" on the average?
Oh, you mean that your life is fixed in being miserable?
Oh, you mean you're too ignorant and incapable?
Oh, you mean it's too much effort to learn and do?
Difficult to get myself to do things
Inexhaustible energy supply
The basic principle of "effort"
Smarter use of energy
The most productive "skill"
Why is it so difficult
Oh, you mean "discomfort" makes it hard?
Life should be effortless?
The grand conclusion about life
Hard is only a story that we make up about life, not a reality. We seek to explain things, but the problem is that we "make-up" explanations that are often not true (as in The Believing Brain). And then we use those explanations as ways to view things in life, but so erroneously that we create unhappiness where there is no true basis for being unhappy. If we strip away all that is untrue, that we "made-up", we can then identify reality. And reality, scientifically observed, feels quite good and has no difficulty. It is easier to work "in reality" to get the results you want, than to deal with the multiplicities in our numerous "fear-based" make ups - those exist only in our minds and are so erroneous that they cannot work to produce a good life - they lead only to the unhappiness that they predict and fear.
So, when we say "it is best to accept reality", we mean that reality is alot less fearful than the myriad of unreal possibilities that our minds make up - we don't mean "be disciplined and cold and ignore your feelings...etc.". The proper process is to "look" again at life and to see what parts of it are difficult and then to screen those out as to which are from reality sources and which are false premises misused by our primitive brain. After the sorting, it is inarguable that life is not difficult and that it is very, very, very good!
And in the real world, it is easy (and straightforward) to solve problems (once we learn the "procedure").
And in your realization of the truth of this and in adopting the very realistic viewpoint of life, it is then that you'll experience the ease and beauty of it.
This article is rather long, so here is a quick summary, from which you can select what to read further, from the subjects in the contents list above:
Life is not difficult or hard!
We create false expectations of how life should be and then we are always disappointed because reality can never live up to those false ideas. (This creates The Unhappiness Gap.)
There is much ado in philosophy about "accepting life as it is", and we interpret that as accepting something "bad". But the actuality of it is truly great.
We create life being "hard" by our emotional "resistance" (pushing back, using up lots of energy by pushing in opposite directions) of it, instead of the easy route of acceptance. And we need to determine what is truly important, and especially what isn't! Read The Concentric Rings Of Importance.
Perhaps most of all, the cause of life "feeling" difficult is the unpleasant feeling that is emitted by the chemicals in our brain when we give it the message that we are not surviviving well - almost all of which are made-up threats that have no sound basis, are truly nonsensical (when you examine them), and hugely exaggerated in the fog of vagueness. Do whatever you have to do in order to get rid of these. Don't stop short and leave these constant fight and flight response generators in place! Eradicate them!
Indeed, perhaps all the wisdom we need to know is encapsulated in this truth:
"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"
Auntie Mame (Read Rosalind Russell's Book and see the highly rated
movie "Life Is A Banquet".)
[Note also that when we stop dealing with lots of periphery low payoff activities and realize that "mental constructs" are largely not real, then we can focus our energies on where the big payoffs are - and in so doing we get so good at the key skills of life that we inevitably create a great life. The essential is to work on the "core" of life, as discussed in the article: The Core Of Your Life - Just Maintain This And Your Circumstances Will Not Matter.]
THE FULL DISCUSSION OF "WHY IS LIFE SO DIFFICULT?"
THE ANSWER IS...
1. You make it hard, and
2. You 'make-up' that it is hard.
3. You expect something higher than reality."
However, life is not hard, at all.
Life is just an opportunity to manipulate the wonderful resources and opportunities available and to play a game of our choosing. There is no "hard" in it.
Life itself is neutral, without prejudice.
Objectively (meaning "actually") there are abundant resources and more than enough opportunity.
While we do things that make life hard and we have bought into the belief that it is hard, the key cause of life seeming hard is that we are not clear on what the reality of life is and we create unrealistic expectations of what it "should be". Although we create expectations of what it should be, we believe those are reality.
Those who see life as it truly is and who accept life as it is do not experience life as being "hard". "Hard" is only a story that we make up about life, not a reality. I recommend that you de-fuse the story and that you not believe in stories!
Why do you think all of the great philosophical disciplines say that if you accept reality you can love life??!!!!??
AND WE ADD TO THE MYTH
Life would be easy if we did not make it otherwise.
But we do things that we get no benefit from, we goof unnecessarily, we "make up" misery from nothing, we make poor choices, we don't follow all the principles...and on and on.
Make no mistake about it, we create the difficulty. I discuss how, below, plus I discuss how to have life be relatively easy.
THE POWER TO MAKE IT OTHERWISE
If you "make up" the difficulty, then you have the power to "unmake" it and create a new version, a new "made up".
And, indeed, if you look at verifiable reality, life is the opposite of difficult.
It is miraculous, a gift, full of wonders, full of abundance and we have huge capabilities to learn and to harvest huge benefits for ourselves far beyond what is necessary to make us happy. (Of course, we have to learn some things, but that is not "hard", as it gives us alot of benefits. Learn first what produces happiness, in the Happiness section, so that you're not wasting energy on what doesn't produce happiness.)
WHAT IS MEANT BY "DIFFICULT"?
Difficult = Hard to do, involving trouble or requiring extra effort, hard to satisfy; it is something that is hard to do, make, manage or understand.
Trouble = Mental agitation, worry, harass, perturb, to cause difficulty or inconvenience to a person; calamity.
Hard = Demanding great physical or mental effort or labor; causing pain or discomfort.
Effort: The use of energy to get something done
Based on the clarity from these definitions, something is difficult if
It is fatiguing or demanding of great physical or mental energy.
But how many calamities do we actually have in life as a result of life itself (not as a result of ourselves)? And should we make ourselve miserable in the moment thinking about the possibility of something like that happening? Surely that is the equivalent of causing it to be felt right now and wasting time doing something that is not helpful for one's life! (Read Worry to explode the belief of its usefulness.)
The answer the question as to how many calamities in life actually occur: Almost none.
And if we do experience those, virtually everyone comes out ok.
Even W. Mitchell, after being burnt badly, eliminating most of his facial features, plus later getting crippled in a plane crash. Well, he's happy and a motivational speaker. The statistics are that someone who becomes a quadriplegic returns to their normal level of happiness within a year. Read about some of the many people who have come out just fine in Bad Past, Good Lives.
And interestingly enough those who do demanding labor can actually not suffer and can be perfectly fine with using the energy of their body to get something accomplished.
IS LIFE "MISERABLE" ON THE AVERAGE?
Do you mean being alive assures you of being unhappy or miserable?
If that were true, then there would have to be no happy people, but there are plenty of happy people, so it cannot be true that being alive assures unhappiness.
OH, THAT YOUR LIFE IS FIXED IN BEING MISERABLE
But, then, you must mean that it is your life that is miserable, kind of like a fixed, unchangeable condition?
I guess you could say that a person who lies in a big pile of manure and puts it all over himself might be kind of miserable, but his condition of being alive doesn't cause the misery. It just provides the opportunity to create that condition. But then the ability to choose to do that which makes one miserable certainly implies that one could choose the opposite. But it certainly is you choosing that which makes you miserable and it is certainly not valid that your life is miserable per se; it is only that you are choosing to cause it to be miserable at the time and if you chose otherwise, then your life itself would not be miserable.
OH, YOU MEAN YOU'RE TOO IGNORANT AND INCAPABLE?
So, I guess you mean that you are too ignorant to know what to do and are incapable of learning what it would take to be happy? Unless you have a brain that is wacked out or that you are a helpless vegetable, you have the capability of learning to be happy, so even your life doesn't have to be unhappy.
OH, YOU MEAN TOO MUCH EFFORT TO LEARN AND DO
Oh, you mean it takes too much effort to learn and then to do what it takes to be happy? But does it really?
Is it "hard" for you to get up and walk across the room to do something or get something? Or is effortless and pretty much without thought and certainly without judgment?
So, then, if we spend seemingly no effort in walking across a room then that disproves the idea that spending effort is "hard". Using energy is not hard. It's just using energy, toward getting what we want that is a payoff for us. It's just a supply of "energy money" that we dip into to spend to get what we want. Pretty darned good deal, huh?! And a new supply of that kind of money is provided every morning (and we can even do things to enhance the supply). Notice that we are very wealthy in that way, with this great long term supply of energy money.
Expending effort is not hard. It is easy.
DIFFICULT TO GET MYSELF TO DO THINGS
"But it is so hard to think and get myself to do things!"
But we've already proven that spending energy is pretty much effortless and not hard.
So you must mean that life is hard because you are judging that it is hard to spend effort to think. Certainly, thinking requires not alot of calories, so it would be hard to buy that you can't think. Yes, you could be having equal, or close to equal, and opposite files popup, so that your efforts to think are cancelled out. But it is not a given that those opposites will always pop up, as we have control over the learning that will unravel many of the opposites. You just believe that your belief is a fact, that you'll always have those opposing forces cancel each other out, but that is not a truth out there in the real world.
But it may be difficult to get myself to do certain things. But why? It is because of conflicting pushes and pulls. So it is difficult to make progress when we have two opposing forces that in effect cancel each other out. Metaphorically it would be like two people trying to push each other in opposite directions, being very hard because it takes alot of effort to make very little progress. Ah! That's it!
That's the source of the misery and you can't help but choose to have those two opposite forces fighting against each other, resulting in you having a tough time getting yourself to do something. But, if you're having this conversation, haven't you been able to get yourself to do a sufficient amount to be alive still? Who made it up that you need more than just a few basics in life?
It's true that one doesn't need alot in order to be happy. You can verify this what a prominent brain scientists calls the happiest people on the planet: Tibetan Buddhist Monks.
So, if you're unhappy, you're creating all that unhappiness and you simply need to learn how to create happiness, so we just need to get you to do those things that will make you happy. And, believe you me, as you learn that you will feel happy about making progress and eventually you'll learn how not to make yourself unhappy. But, then, you say you're too busy to do that. Too busy to be happy? Me thinkest not! You just need to stop a bunch of other stuff so you can devote sufficient time to learning how to operate life, for life is not difficult in itself. It is simply an opportunity for you to learn and then to choose happiness.
So, since life being unhappy is not a given, fixed condition or even anything inherent in life, you get to choose to have a happy life or an unhappy life.
That is your choice. You don't get to claim that your life is a must be unhappy series of events.
Will you choose to spend the time to learn how to be happy and to implement it?
We can make up false fear, but it is we who create the suffering, not life. And it is not necessary that we suffer. Sure, we'll have some pain, but that passes. Read the Suffering And Struggle page. There is zero need to suffer and most human beings can eliminate at least 80% of suffering, so that the rest of life averages out very, very good.
Of course, there is so much to be grateful for. The total abundance beyond what we ever need and capabilities far beyond what we need to survive and far beyond what we need to prosper.
If I have to go to work, is that too demanding? Certainly not, unless I'm in a hard labor job, but even those give some rest normally. But we can't spend more energy that
Creating expectations as "must-haves" causes us to exert more effort for very little return, although we "predict" that we will get a return, or we wouldn't put out the effort.
INEXHAUSTIBLE ENERGY SUPPLY
Energy is like a daily, hourly, minute by minute supply source. It keeps coming until death.
Spending energy is no problem, as we can just dip in to the renewing big supply, kind of like having a money tree.
We "spend" to "get" and we like to get more for what we spend. And if we don't get a good enough deal, we make ourselves sad. But we create it needlessly and senselessly. We don't simply accept that we received a return from something that actually costs us nothing, as it just keeps coming. Getting something minus a zero cost = a net gain.
Sure, there are some expenditures of energy for which we get nothing. On the average. though, we get a return. Positive returns + zero returns minus spending = a positive net. Unless we are being idiots about what we do. If we get a zero return or a negative return, that is simply from not knowing enough to get a positive return. And that serves as a signal that we don't know something, which in turn indicates that we better learn that something if it is valuable enough.
A great example of low or no returns for the energy spent is in the effort spent to control the uncontrollable. If you stop this, then the energy can be used for getting more of what you want, which may partly be to "make life easier" - which is guaranteed if you get wise to this principle. (Read Control in the Power In Life section, appropriately enough.)
We spend a huge amount of time trying to get things for others, as if we were still dependent, powerless little beings. Learning how to provide for ourselves all we need will have us be self-sufficient and dependent on no one, able to take what else we get as a bonus. If we don't provide for ourselves, then we have to try to get others to do it for us. We spend huge amounts of effort trying to get approval from others, trying to "look good", trying to "cover up" or "hide" something from others,
THE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF "EFFORT"
Energy, capability Push back, friction = Net effect
Push forward, less capable ---> <-- push against, friction = ->
Push forward, more capable ----> <-- push against, friction, = --> 2 times
Push forward, more capable ----> 0 = ----> 4 times
4 times as much out of life and just as easy (see the "net" dashes, meant to symbolize units of results or effort). Energy pushing against an energy that is going the other direction cancels out that much of the energy of the opposing force.
SMARTER USE OF ENERGY
Use the Living 80/20 Way to eliminate unnecessary wastes of effort and to increase results per amount of effort. If you studied this principle, it would be the highest return per amount of time, as it leads to lots of other results and savings of wastes of time. If you followed this, you would also not allow yourself to be driven by false desires to do "uber" (ultimate or hight) performance in any one area, for 80% of the possible results in one area come from about 20% of the most impactful things.
For instance, it would surely be unwise to sign oneself up for a high performance personal training regimen when it takes up the time that could be spent on changing one's internal conversation and beliefs to increase one's happiness.
Clear out 80+% of your most incorrect psychological thinking.
Make oneself more capable by learning and using the top life skills, as that is the highest priority.
THE MOST PRODUCTIVE "SKILL"
Being a master of self-motivation will serve you immensely!
What do actually want that we think we will get from being motivated?: Better results in life.
But the problem is that we are already motivated
That doesn't mean one has to develop some of kind of super willpower.
Life will be hard if we have to do the kind of motivation that is associated with the idea of "overpowering" or "disciplining" oneself to "force" yourself to do something. As such it is associated with a negative, effortful feeling. But proper motivation actually feels good.
It's easy to feel motivated toward what we want.
It is "no effort" to do something while one is feeling good and/or to do something one wants to do. Therefore, when we do something that does not create a feel good it doesn't take more effort, but since we add negative meaning to it it then "seems" hard. It is not the actual effort that is hard. We are only creating an idea of it being hard and then matching up old files in our brain that have a "pain" emotion in them. We are playing the file in our brain and creating pain. We simply need to learn not to play those records. And, I purport, we have more than enough time to learn that.
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT?
It's only difficult if we make it so or we let it stay that way, if we make it a struggle and alot of effort (mostly fighting ourselves).
Difficult = Hard to do, involving trouble or requiring extra effort, hard to satisfy; it is something that is hard to do, make, manage or understand.
We need to reduce the difficulty. Understanding always reduces the difficulty, as one can manage something etter if one has the skills, clarity, knows what to do and how things work.
We don't spend the effort to learn what makes it easier, often because we misestimate the effort require to learn how to reduce the effort and the net benefit.
We "forget" what works or doesn't work. The solution lies in such a system as the Remindrs Notebook
Life could seem difficult if we spend alot of energy and get little in return.
Life will seem difficult if we spend our energy on trying to control what is uncontrollable - and then trying even harder, in the illusion that if we do more, we'll get more.
Next-to-zero-result efforts then we have the low-result endeavors. You simply need to figure out what those are and then to delete them from your life. Some things one does are not even necessary to do - so how dumb is that. You should be 80/20 Living smart.
Learning to spend your effort wisely results in your being able to create a great abundance of the results you want, a cornucopia of plenty - effortlessly.
OH, YOU MEAN "DISCOMFORT' MAKE IT HARD?
Do you mean that an uncomfortable feeling in the body makes it hard?
If you feel hungry, there is a chemical released to get your notice. But is that misery, is that 'hard'? Or just a signal system to get us to replenish our energy supply by eating? I think, probably, that it is no big thing and that it is a small, teeny, tiny thing. Surely, the pleasure of eating dwarfs the little bit of discomfort, so we're way ahead on the deal. That not bad. And it surely wasn't too hard to eat.
You create most of that. Playing old files that are correctable and replaceable.
LIFE SHOULD BE EFFORTLESS?
Surely, you don't mean that life should be effortless where we are simply brought everything and fed and burped like a child? Would you be happy in that case, really???
THE CONCLUSION ABOUT LIFE
Life has lots of opportunities to harvest and we need to choose to spend some effort harvesting them, but it isn't too hard to do that and we have plenty of time. We can learn to not put misery onto ourselves. We just need to choose to do that learning. So, life itself is not difficult nor is your life difficult. Life is simply a harvestable opportunity where we only need to learn how to be happy and we have more than enough time to do that!!!!