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in: A Man's Life, Sunday Firesides

July 27, 2019

Sunday Firesides: There Is No Other Way

One of the keys of maturing into wisdom is realizing that the laws which govern personal development are just as immutable and invariable as the laws that govern the universe. They can no more be circumvented than can the force of gravity.

Even when we cognitively understand this, viscerally, subconsciously, we don’t believe it. Surely, we think, if I’m clever enough, if I adjust the variables enough, I can find a way around.

We feel there must be a way to make good money, without working hard; to lose weight, without cutting calories; to drink caffeine throughout the day, and still get a good night’s sleep; to get ripped, without lifting heavy weights.

The deeply-set assumption that there is a better, easier way to get at life’s most desirable things has launched a thousand get-___-quick schemes: sleep tech, supplements, multi-level marketing, the diet industrial complex, etc., etc. Even if you think you’re immune to such obviously scammy ploys, the unrecognized desire for a shortcut will lead you to abandon difficult pursuits, and fruitlessly search for alternative possibilities, more often than you realize.

In a world of so much progress, it’s simply hard to accept that the rules which have governed human health and happiness since time immemorial are just as irrevocable as ever. If we can order food at the touch of a button, how can it be that we haven’t figured out how to overeat it without consequence?

Certainly, we have learned a few ways into things that can make them a little easier or more effective, and there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of them.

But the most helpful “hack” of all, is to simply settle this fact in your mind: there is no other way. You can’t go around; you can’t go under. You must go through.