8 ways you may well be making life harder than it needs to be

8 ways you may well be making life harder than it needs to be

We all want happiness. Or some version of it.

Success, happiness, health, wellbeing … however we define it, we’d all like to live a good life.

But what if we’re getting in the way of our own happiness? What if we’re making life harder than it need be…

via the Ladders by Melissa Chu

Do you crave the challenge?

When you see a problem waiting to be solved, you can feel your energy levels rise. Blood surges through your veins. Your mouth salivates. Like a hound tugging at a leash, you want nothing more than to lunge forward and tackle the issue into the ground.

Except the problem isn’t so easy to solve. After awhile, it stops being fun and starts turning into work. You wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.

Sometimes, we don’t want to find the easy answer to a problem. We want to toil and struggle to feel like we’ve earned something. Otherwise, we don’t treasure the result.

While this helps us push through difficulties, the problem arises when you use this attitude towards everything. Some challenges are not worth the effort. Others can be achieved more quickly.

Life doesn’t always have to be an uphill struggle. Sometimes there really is a better, easier approach. Here are eight ways you’re making life harder than it has to be:

1. Not aligning your goals with your strengths

If you put your mind to it, can you do anything you want? The answer is a tentative “yes”. But the real question is: How good do you want to be?

Some individuals are more predisposed towards certain sports, such as running, because they have the right genetics and physical composition. While practice matters, it only carries you to an extent. A person with the right attributes will make faster progress than a person without the required attributes, given the same amount of practice.

This concept of natural affinity goes beyond athletics. For example, a study showed that some people are genetically geared towards self-employment and entrepreneurship, while others prefer working in a company. Adopted children are more likely to work in similar professions as their biological parents, rather than their adoptive parents.

When different people make similar observations about your character and qualities, listen closely. You’ll hear certain tendencies come up. These will provide you with the direction towards finding your strengths.

2. Living under the assumption you’ll be a lucky outlier

It’s normal for people to have fantastical, unlikely dreams at an early age. But as time carries on, these aspirations give way to the realities of life and a sense of what’s within grasp (and what’s not).

Still, we can remain incredibly optimistic, no matter our age. Like in the Gold Rush, we hear about a shiny new opportunity and believe it’s finally our chance to strike it big. Even if the majority return empty-handed, we focus on the success stories and think we’ll end up like the lucky few.Never miss an article!Follow Ladders on Flipboard

YouTubers are a prime example. You hear about the people who earn millions by making fun videos that entertain their subscribers. You notice videos that generate hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of views. But did you know that 96.5 percent of aspiring YouTubers earn below the U.S. poverty line?

When we perform below expectations, we assume it’s due to a lack of effort. We struggle harder, thinking we’ll succeed harder. But as Nassim Nicholas Taleb says in Fooled by Randomness: “Mild success can be explainable by skills and labor. Wild success is attributable to variance.” In other words, lack of wild success is very often a lack of luck.

While you can aspire towards the impossible dreams, don’t forget to have reachable dreams too. It’s where your hard work and talent are more likely to yield results.

3. Mistaking hard work for productivity

We view busyness as a good thing. It’s commonly believed that time spent on a task has a linear relationship with output. When someone’s burning the midnight oil, we assume they’re getting a lot done.

But the question is, does more time spent on something lead to better results?

Once, I was working on a group project where we spent hours deliberating back and forth on a simple issue. Even though it wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things, this one problem consumed most of the meeting. Sometimes you just need to pick something and move on.

Whenever you work on a task, ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this?” Being clear on your objective helps you see the overall picture and work towards that. Otherwise, you end up nitpicking over details that don’t matter…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE