Matthew Peters asked me an interesting question during our radio interview last week. He asked me if I was teaching people that they could be successful without working hard. More specifically, can people really succeed if they avoid all activities that are difficult?
The simple answer is "yes." I think you can succeed by only doing activities that are easy and enjoyable.
For example, I earned a doctorate, but it wasn't hard and it wasn't painful. I'm a nerd. I like to read. In school, I got credit for my reading and a certificate that I read and understood a lot of books. My educational success was easy and enjoyable.
I'm competing in a half-ironman triathlon on Saturday. Some people say that the race will be hard and training for it must be painful. But I'm hyperactive. I love to run and bike and swim. I love to challenge my body and my mind. Endurance races aren't hard, at least not for me. It would be harder for me to sit in a chair all day.
I'm going to Australia next week to do a series of keynote presentations and training sessions. I'll be working and earning money and traveling with my wife and celebrating our anniversary. I'll be working, but it won't be hard. I'm succeeding, but it isn't painful.
It is important to note that these activities might be painful or unenjoyable for some people. For example, many people don't want to be a public speaker. Because of this we think of the activity itself as hard, instead of acknowledging that some people like it and some people don't. Just like some people like certain foods and others don't.
Additionally, the things that I do find difficult, don't have a lot of potential to create either success or fulfillment. At least not for me. I don't like writing reports, organizing, routine tasks, listening, sitting still or following the rules.
All of these things can be safely avoided or delegated or outsourced. In fact, I'm probably more effective because I don't spend my time doing some of these tasks.
So what do you find difficult? Could you achieve greater success by avoiding those activities instead of struggling to complete them?
I think the answer is "yes!"
If you want to learn more about the importance of avoiding the activities that you don't enjoy, check out the final chapter in my new Freak Factor book.