Jerzy Gregorek is a Polish weightlifter who has won four World Weightlifting Championships and achieved a world record. Since retiring from competitive posing (sic) he has established a brand called ‘The Happy Body’ (https://thehappybody.com) serving his clientele in terms of the provision of nutritional and exercise advice.
But he is mentioned here because of a now famous quote attributed to him, which parallels the First Resolution, and which is the subject of today’s blog. The quote read:
“Hard Choices, Easy Life: Easy choices, Hard Life.” Four words, used twice, and an enormously powerful and profound truth that most of us try to avoid.
We know that eating nutritious food in sufficient quantities is good for us, but the easy choice leads us to the tasty stuff.
We know that exercise is good for us, but we park as close to the office entrance as we possibly can rather than use those dangly things hanging from our hips.
We know that doing an excellent job is the right thing to do, but if we can get away with it, we’ll do a ‘good’ job. But as Stephen Covey espoused and Jerzy agrees, the Good is the Enemy of the Best.
Hard Choices require a disciplined mental approach. They require that we look at our situation, the challenges presented, and consciously us the Gap between that stimulus and our yet-to-be-decided response and decide – what is the best thing to do, now?
Various alternatives will present themselves, and in that moment, the success or failure or ‘just get by’ is decided. To get the success – or at least the longer-term, substantial and irrevocable success – you have to make the Hard Choice.
That may only mean getting out of bed when you really want another five minutes, but that initial personal victory can have surprisingly powerful effect. It may not seem so in the gloom as you stumble for your slippers, but doing it once makes it easier to do again, and suddenly your time is being utilised better, your self-esteem expands, your results improve.
Which leads to the second truism. The Hard Choice rarely has an immediate payoff, whereas (psychologically) the easy choice provides exactly that, an outcome that doesn’t serve us at all. And you know that. You just needed reminding, like me.
What Hard Choices do you need to make, today? You’re already up so that’s one you can’t make again. But how about lunch – jacket potato, salad and beans, or a huge coronation chicken baguette? How about that difficult conversation? How about parking at the far end of the car park (unless it’s raining. I understand the practicalities of wet clothes in an office).
What can you start doing that’s better in the longer term? What can you stop doing that’s convenient but less conscientious? What are you doing that is already good, perhaps so good that you could do more of it?
Make the Hard Choice. It’s a heavy lift, but in the end you know it is the way to success in any area of life. Ask Jerzy.
For more on the subject, buy The Three Resolutions, available HERE at Amazon in paperback or Kindle format.
Or listen to this podcast