mountain path

Resolve: The Harder Path

Dear Blackest of Hills,

It’s that time again! When we, the marshmallow people, get a little uppity and think we can break out of the bag and become something else.

That’s right, I’m talking about New Year’s Resolutions! Well, how about something a little different this year? Instead of the usual “I’ll definitely hit the gym tomorrow,” or “maybe I’ll cut down to one pie a week,” how about we sweep a whole category.

Do Hard Things

I recently had an email exchange with one of our members who told me the idea of taking the harder path resonated with them. I was glad to hear it, and thought I would elaborate a little on what “the harder path” meant to me in my daily life.

Then I totally stole the phrase and shared it with you here. Yoink!

Here is part of that email:

I’ve thought of it as “seek discomfort,” and it’s something I’ve been working in myself for the last couple years. Trying to not be soft (fortitude, resilience). Not letting “easy times” create “soft men.” Run in the heat of summer (discomfort). The dead of winter (resourcefulness, perseverance). Take cold showers (many health benefits, besides the mental game). Yes, parking further away. Or even ride a bike or walk (how inconvenient). Being active outdoors (gratitude, contentment). Making the choice to do the things you don’t want to do RFN, rather than wait (service, integrity)…Not eating “luxury” food (health). Rolling on the mat. Fight people. Lift heavy things. Shoot stuff. (training, learning, self development, preparation, etc…).

What this member has recognized is that we are already a soft people, addicted to comfort and convenience, ready to give up all rights and responsibilities if we could just have everything safe and easy. Marshmallow people; soft and squishy.

The Principles

Though what I wrote in the email above wasn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, I listed the principles and values behind the idea of taking the harder path in order to get to a place where ideas grow. Everyone has different preferences, vices, virtues, and daily life. What’s hard for me might not be hard for you. The idea is to increase these virtues in ourselves and make our preferential and operational choices based on the principles of “the harder path.

Not everyone will, and that’s OK. The harder path; the narrow way; seeking discomfort…it’s not for everyone.

But if the idea resonates with you, then I’m challenging you to stand up and do hard things. Avoid creature comforts. Take the harder task, grab the heaviest gear. Go the extra mile, do the extra set. Challenge yourself. Do what others won’t.

The year is 2021. NOW is the time. Light yourself on fire.

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