Simple does not mean Easy

I swim every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30. The two most difficult parts about this do not have anything to do with the actual swim workout (although it is very intense). One of the hardest components is getting out of bed at 4:30 AM to get there on time. Getting out of bed when the alarm goes off is very simple, I have to  physically get out of bed, but definitely not easy at that hour. The other difficult element is getting in the water. Diving into the water is very simple, but not easy when you just came out of your warm bed. I have the knowledge and skill set to easily execute these two activities, but that does not mean that they are easy.

I believe a universal trait of mentally strong people is that they excel at those tasks that are simple but not easy. Willpower is required and willpower has nothing to do with genetics. Willpower is a difficult skill that must be built, maintained, and strengthened by continually putting it to use. Being average is addicted to comfort; the mentally strong people focus on being comfortable with being uncomfortable. They embrace simplicity because it allows them to center on the things they can control in their lives...their focus, attitude, and actions. (See my earlier post on this

To get great at those things in your life that are simple but not easy you have to begin with the end in mind. You must know what you want to do or accomplish and WHY this is important to you. Clarity is key. The more clarity you have with your desired outcome and why this is meaningful to you, the more likely you are to succeed in reaching that state. The journey to being better than yesterday requires you to know and continually revisit your “why” of doing whatever is that you are doing. This “why” will be the fuel for you to execute the actions that your dream state demands. Your focus in the moment is connected to your end vision. The clearer your vision for the the future, the easier it is to focus on what is currently required of you.

Embracing those tasks that are simple but not easy involves breaking what you want to do or accomplish into clear concise attainable steps. Again, clarity is key. These unambiguous steps must be right on the edge of your current skills and desired skills. They have to push you out of your current comfort zone so that you build the new skills that your goal state requires.

For some not as mentally strong people, simplifying the task actually makes things more difficult because there are no excuses to hide behind since the task has been broken down into manageable steps. Because their goal has been dissected into accomplishable steps, it is “Do or Do Not, there is no try.” (Yoda).

Recognize those things in your life that are simple but not easy. Embrace and get really good at these. Connect them back to your “why” and let this fuel you when life gets difficult.

Below are a list of some common simple but not easy things in life:

Waking up early/Going to bed early

Saving money

Maintaining/Losing weight

Not getting a speeding ticket

Working out

Eating healthy

Public speaking

Being positive- not Blaming or Complaining

Being in the moment

Giving your best effort


Be Better Than Yesterday,


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