A friend once explained all of the steps he’d taken to self-publish a book, in the days before Amazon made that relatively easy. I was impressed and told him so, that I had no idea the steps for self-publishing were that simple. After hearing a few more details, I again expressed admiration, saying I hadn’t realized this process would be that easy. My friend then gently corrected me: “Ah Kelly…just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.” I immediately recognized his point as profound.
I’ve thought about my friend’s words many times in the years since, realizing they’re true for far more than books. There’s much in life that’s simply about perseverance: painting a house, graduating college, maintaining relationships. And yet so many of these stick-with-it activities are abandoned before they’re completed, or never even started in the first place. Their steps may be simple, but getting through them all before we wear out or are distracted isn’t always easy.
Fundamentally, this “simple but not easy” principle actually describes life itself. Surviving is not only pretty simple…we’re wired for it. All that’s required of us is to make it through one day at a time…pretty simple, but not always easy. Sometimes in the middle of a long, drawn out process–when I’m tempted to give up–I try to remind myself that I just need to focus on the simplicity of putting one foot forward at a time. That focus has comforted me and helped me persevere.
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races, one after the other.” –Walter Elliot