LIFE IS EASY...
IF YOU FOLLOW THESE CORE BASICS!
It is vital that you "get" this and then do those things that make life truly easier - and much more satisfyingly and happy!
And does it make sense that if you resist (fight against, dig your heels in, etc.) something that will take more effort.
The first problem of not spending more effort than needed to get a desired result can be solved easily, in terms of a strategy that works. Also, if I define it as getting the most value from getting the right results, I can make myself even more "productive" - defined as producing more benefit per amount of effort.
And the latter is the end objective of life: getting as much happiness and satisfaction and appreciation of my life and being as I can - rising to higher levels of being able to enjoy life.
In addressing this, we must first make sure that you have all the basics exactly correct and understood, as each leads to the effectiveness of the next principle and ultimately to the effectiveness of a person, which in turn leads to that person producing the desired results in terms of happiness.
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE
The first principle involved is that we need to learn how to do certain key things right - or we'll do them wrongly and we will get undesired results more often. (Duh!)
It's funny how people agree with that idea (who couldn't?), but how few then follow with action that is in accordance with that principle.
THE SECOND PRINCIPLE
The second principle, since we as humans can't learn everything perfectly at first, is to directly acknowledge that we have obtained an undesired result and to then do what it takes to learn to do it right (if the effort to learn is worth the increased benefit). (Human beings seem to know that this makes sense, but for some reason they don't do it. A big portion of the reason they don't do it is their false preconception that it is hard PLUS the fact that they mostly have not developed a key skill: the skill of changing. Also, and listen up here!: We don't schedule it in, which means it is far more likely to not happen, since urgency is a direct signal often but importance with no urgency doesn't happen on its own - that is a principle also. Read Importance Versus Urgency - One Concept..., Huge Difference In Life Success! This, of course, lies at the heart of the lifestyle I recommend: Living The 80/20 Life - A Life Of Ease, Grace, High Effectiveness And Unconditional Happiness.)
This, in fact, is the function of the higher brain (mostly, though the lower brain does some elementary learning). Therefore, we must choose to use the higher brain. (Duh!)
Basically, we form a "belief", which is a "this is how things work" in the following manner:
(Sensory input, information)
Belief (This is how it works)
However, at times, perception of data can be wrong, unless done in the right way, and, of course, prior knowledge can be wrong. Other than direct study (like you are doing right now), we will only discover that it is wrong by looking at the best indicator: an undesired result that you caused (or allowed to happen). [Some things that happen are not in your control, of course, but your actions to deal with those are in your control.]
Do something → Notice result → Learn what is right → Implement (Adjust, to
(= "feedback") produce the right result)
The "secret" here, of the greatest champions, is to increase:
1. The frequency of feedback (and the quality of the feedback)
2. The rapidity of adjustment.
It is similar to flying a commercial jet. If you don't notice you're off course (an undesired result along the way) or running out of fuel, you'll end up in the wrong place and/or die. If you allow yourself to drift for a long time, then you'll have to come back further - and you'll take more time and energy (fuel). [Most people know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Accordingly, the less straight the line, the greater the distance and energy needed to get to the same destination!]
While it is obvious in the airplane example, it is not so obvious in life. And if we don't see something or see what the long term effect will be, we will either not adjust at all or take too long to begin to adjust. The ironclad proof is that human beings most often do not take significant action until they get a wake up call, such as a heart attack, diabetes, kidney or liver malfunction, cancer, etc. We would all agree, I would think, that action "should be" taken way before, in order to prevent the problem and not lose our lives or the quality of our lives.
However, we do not bother to learn how important it is to do what it takes to frequently adjust course. We do not understand the great cost of not adjusting frequently, which is the equivalent of leading life largely ignorantly. We fall prey to the highly, highly erroneous cultural assertion that we will simply learn life automatically as we go, or as my father used to say "throw them into the water and they'll learn how to swim" - the motivation idea may be valid, but otherwise there are obvious flaws! (Read The Law Of Randomness - Directionless, Resultless.)
Parents (and other influencers) pass these damaging false beliefs onto their children and thusly perpetuate the children living a far less quality of life than they could live otherwise. Sad, but true, in example after example, and somewhat differing by culture.
Increase learning (prior knowledge to apply to a problem, wisdom) deliberately by
1. Following a systematic program
2. With expert accurate resources
Increase learning based on rapid and in-depth "learning from our mistakes"
1. With greater feedback (scheduled reviews, accountability and measuring results, using better experts to "see" errors better so we know when to correct and to teach us better, and/or helpers who call attention to these, such as coaches)
2. With better quality input that is more effective.
3. Quick action to try it out and/or get it into practice
The great, admired champions were, at the basic level, no more gifted than others, but the difference was that they paid attention more often and adjusted more often, so that they had 100's of improvements as opposed to the less successful who had far fewer improvements - and remember that improvement "compound" over time to cause "geometric" improvements, where growth is faster and faster. Ironically, it seems, the rapid and frequent improvements take much less total effort than those who spend less energy in the improvement part and then waste lots more effort in performing less well!!!!
IS IT WORTH MY EFFORT?
If we make a decision "in the moment" where we might be less energetic, less alert, less psychologically filled up, in a hurry, etc., we are by far (hugely) less likely to make a good decision. Important decisions should be made in advance and only during the time when one's full faculties (and higher brain) are being engaged. And then, highly obviously, they should be implemented and skillfully kept in place using an effective procedure to do so (i.e. a predetermined, well-designed "way" to do things). [Consider reading: Super-Principle: Good Programs And Good Procedures - For Life To Work Well!!!!!)
Generally, learning is well worth it. If you follow the old adage of "a stitch in time saves nine", you'll, obviously save effort. If you follow the fact that more knowledge produces better results, while ignorance produces the opposite of bliss, you'll be much better off in life. (The old trite and false belief: "Ignorance is bliss.")
"But, I can't spend so much time learning as I won't have a life."
That false belief, true only to an extreme of spending time with no action from what one has learned, is ignorant of the fact that the learning (of the reasonably important core things in life) frees up time - and therefore it has no net cost in time, you come out not only with a better life but more time to do other parts of life! This is also true financially, when a person can make more per hour, then the person needs fewer hours to accomplish his goal (net of any foolishness).
So, the reality of it is that we do have some limits, but we can easily profit from and do 5 hours a week, with some of it in the form of daily journaling (use Effective Journaling as a practice). 10 hours is very doable also, but the best way to do it is not to fit it around the edges of daily work and living but to set aside a half-day, a day, a week or ? in order to focus on learning without interruption and/or to do "immersion" learning, which is highly effective! (See Methods Of Learning - Includes immersion learning and also a ranking of modes and The Best Ways To Learn - The Importance Of Learning How To Learn.) See also the Hours Needed To Learn Life Skills At Different Levels, for the overview.
Making this a priority can seem difficult...but if you use the scheduling techniques recommended it will be relatively easy, as it becomes a habit AND you do not seem to notice that you have fewer hours left for the rest of life - you seem to transform your view of time, so it all works out.
Please do remember, however, that it is essential that you do the items that require more energy (effort, brain power) when you have more energy. This seems obvious, but few do it. It makes things be easier to do, especially compared to trying to do a high energy requiring function when you have low energy - the key to frustration and giving up.