I love the idea of making the right thing easy, and the wrong thing hard. It’s simple, and at the same time has layers and layers of meanings.
I first heard a horse trainer use it, but since we are always training our human minds, it is a perfect idea for us too.
The obvious first step is to decide what is right and what is wrong.
I know some will argue that there are shades of right and wrong, but I don’t think so. I think the idea of right begins with the premise of understanding and kindness, and from that what is right and wrong falls into place.
So, let’s begin by making this idea practical in our own lives.
When I first heard the phrase, for weeks afterward I thought about it in reference to almost everything I did, or didn’t want to do.
It was as mundane as hiding the chocolate in the refrigerator behind multiple barriers so I couldn’t see it when I first opened the door. I put the carrots out front, making them the easy choice. Even when I remembered the chocolate, I had time to think about whether I really wanted it because it took time to find it.
I made the right thing for me, to eat carrots as a snack, easy.
Here’s another. I began to put my workout clothes out in the bathroom. That way they were the first thing I saw when I got up, and it was easier to put them on then go find other clothes. Once they were on, it was easier to go workout then it was not to go.
I could list many little things I changed to follow this idea. Obvious things, like moving the things I often use to where they are easy to use, and things I don’t often need moved to where it takes a bit more effort. It is surprising how often it was the other way around.
This also means getting rid of ideas and things that are neither right nor wrong, but simply not needed.
Bags of those kinds of things headed to the Salvation Army after a round of righting and wronging. Now it is easier to do and find the right thing than it was before.
On the big picture side, think about the way government and companies are often organized. They often make the wrong thing easy to do (de-regulate banks), and the right thing hard to do (feed the hungry). They have this idea backward.
If everyone came from understanding and kindness, wouldn’t we always be making the right thing easy, and the wrong thing hard?
As always though, it still comes back to each of us individually – especially to those who have the power to make changes that affect many – to learn how to make decisions based on right=easy, and wrong=hard.
All this made me think of another version of this idea.
What is easy for us to do, we often devalue because it is easy for us to do. When in truth, it is usually our gift, our talent, and therefore, what we “should” be doing.
On the flip side, we often work hard at learning something we really aren’t interested in, or don’t have a natural feel for, because we have been taught that anything worth having is worth working hard for.
This doesn’t mean that our gift doesn’t require work. Anyone dedicated to expressing their gift would agree with Thomas Edison, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”.
Here’s another place where making the right thing easy can be practically applied. Whatever your gift is, make it easy with the kind of tools and time you need. Spend your money and time where your gift lies. This is the right thing.
We are all training ourselves out of habits that don’t serve either others or ourselves.
If you are tired of doing the wrong thing in any aspect of life, make it harder to do. This is an easy concept to grasp. To make it easy, make it practical. What is the right thing, make it easy to do. What is the wrong thing, make it hard to do.
And let’s not waste time quibbling over what is right and wrong. That is a hard thing. We all know what is right and wrong in any situation. Let’s just do the right thing, and in the end, that is the easiest thing to do.