WISER to do the Difficult Things
You don’t need me to explain to you that some things you ought to do are really difficult to start – and even harder to finish. Preparing for events that you don’t look forward to by making a will, getting your piles of rubbish in order (means, throwing away) to allow for redecoration, making an up-to-date list of medicines you must take (and those you mustn’t) – all these are irksome. They can always be put off till tomorrow or when you feel like doing them. Trouble is, you never will feel like doing them so the onus will fall either on you when you are not in a good situation to handle them, or on someone else, if you can’t handle them at all.
Among the truly difficult are getting a grip on your financial situation, now and for the future. Every year life expectancy extends and, at the same time, extended life becomes more expensive. People start thinking about their pensions and old age finances far too late to make the sunset years comfortable. The admonition ‘live life to the full’ is mistakenly taken to mean ‘ignore the future’. At the top of the Trouble Tree is Thinking. We are, of course, entitled to our leisure, our holidays, time with the family, time enjoying whatever recreation we like. Nobody wants a life of non-stop grind and efforts we hate making.
We already do things that are demanding of our body and mind as health enhancing and discipline demonstrating. They will likely be things we don’t want to do just now but we know if we don’t, we shall regret afterwards. These things take time and that is the time you have available to get your mind clear about the tough calls you have to address – sooner or later.
Each of us has our own way of dealing with reluctant work and you may well have yours all mapped out already. If so, well done. If you haven’t, here are some thoughts to help you. They are not a ‘quick flip’ solution. They will still demand the discipline of execution to get them done. But the mindset is the first and most important driver of achievement. And it is to the mindset that we must initially address our reluctance.
You need to make a list of these things. Do it so that you can keep it in front of you. Don’t make it a long list but do include the things that really matter. Obvious matters to put in it are your Will for who will inherit your property when you pass on, Insurance (especially health insurance – start young to keep the costs low), Savings to build Investments for when you are not earning, Ensuring that your career strategy is in the right direction (this needs refreshing every year), Relationships that may have gone wrong and that you would like to put right. You can remember these five things by the first letters of each which add up to WISER.
There will, of course, be other difficult things you ought to do. Add them to the list, but not too many of them or you won’t do them at all. Put dates by each of them to remind you when they must be done. As a child you ought to have been taught that when something unknown frightens you, you should head towards it. Running away is dangerous. There are situations such as a fire or a person with a loaded gun which are known dangers. You easily decide what is the most sensible thing to do when faced with these. With the unknown, it is different. Face it. That is what you have to do with the Difficult Things.
When can you best focus on setting about these ogres of action? Oddly, when you are doing something physically difficult like exercising. Stretching your imagination about the issues that frighten us all while putting up with some pain of exertion will both help the mind to work and relieve the strain of the effort.
Doing things we don’t want to do is a pretty mundane subject. Dealing with them as we suggest above won’t make them less mundane.
But it will help to get them done.
Do you have a good solution to Doing the Difficult? We’d love to hear it.
Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
AD-endum: At TMI we help people tackle the ogres of life.
14 July 2023