Can You Take a Different Route?

Does working hard make you a better person?

A more successful person?

Well I’m of the belief (or at least training myself to believe) that we are all ‘enough’ as we are. We’re born ‘enough’.

Hard work won’t make us anything more or better.

Sure, hard work is (to an extent) necessary for our growth, development, creativity, contribution…

But there are far too many things we put effort into that get us nowhere fast – and far too many things we MAKE hard for ourselves.

Are you making things too hard? Can you take a different route?

Why?

Why have we been taught this lie?

Political regime?

Schools?

Parents?

Religion?

"Who doesn’t work doesn’t eat" – Soviet poster issued in Uzbekistan, 1920

“Who doesn’t work doesn’t eat” – Soviet poster issued in Uzbekistan, 1920

May be it’s just something in our genes – like having a Type A personality.

Anyway, whatever the reason for this – I found myself contemplating it on the walk I was dreading, from my flat in Kemp Town to Hove.

A walk I do most days, but no matter what, still manages to piss me off – some of it does anyway.

It starts out on my street, happily enough… then BAM – an impossible crossing that seems to forget pedestrians altogether.

Once that’s over there’s the busy and bustling pier entrance and surrounding area that has cyclists whizzing by on one side, and screaming children on the other.

Don’t get me started on the seagulls.

The walk continues like this: moments of appreciation for the phenomenal expanse of sea, and grandeur of the Georgian buildings… to moments of despair and frustration at tourists, traffic and gulls.

It's stuff like this that makes it worth it

It’s stuff like this that makes it worth it

At some point on this particular walk, I asked myself:

Why am I making it so hard for myself?

Yes, yes, I was applying all my best ‘mindfulness’ efforts to keep myself from having a tantrum (a skill I didn’t have back when I was a London commuter…) but what if I could make it easier for myself?

Could I take a different route?

So, I started tweaking it. First I worked out the easiest crossing – further down the road and slightly off-piste, but very in favour of pedestrians.

Then I worked out that winding through the lanes was far more entertaining than walking across the pier – even if it did entail some pauses for window gawking.

Fudge…

Where was I?

Oh yeah. My final tweak was crossing back on to the main drag, before turning up a quiet, residential street that led me to my destination.

Now? I love the walk!

It’s a wee bit longer – 5 mins or so – but all the more enjoyable.

 


 

I’m not entirely sure why I had to share it with you – I guess I saw it as an analogy we can apply to a hell of a lot of things in life, that we’re making too hard for ourselves.

Is there anywhere you could be taking a different route?

* This post was first published on Cat Food is Good For You