If I’m honest, I’m not sure if things ever get easier.
Let’s take my business, for example.
I don’t think entrepreneurship is any easier now than it was two years ago. I still make a ton of lefts when hindsight reveals I probably should have veered right instead. There is still so much room for me to gain and apply new insights and master the ones I’ve already discovered. Opportunities to sink into a pit of vicious comparison, unhealthy consumption or imposter-syndrome-fueled perfectionism still lurk ‘round every corner.
Things definitely haven’t gotten easier for me.
Another example: My parents.
I don’t think parenting two children is easier for them even though my sister and I are in our thirties now. She lives twenty minutes away from the house we grew up in with her husband and two kids. Then there’s yours truly: a gay black man with a larger-than-life personality who decided to move 1500 miles away to do whatever it is I’m doing here. (Truth be told: Most of the time, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing in New York City.)
Things definitely haven’t gotten easier for mom and dad.
What I think happens is we get better though.
Decisions that used to take me weeks to make aren’t any easier because now they take just a few minutes.
I’m just better at making decisions.
Seeing their baby boy disappointed because a deal fell through isn’t easier for the parentals, but they’ve gotten better at delivering those pep talks that encourage me to get back on the wagon. (Ironic: I don’t think I’ve been in — or on? — a wagon, but whatever.)
They’re just better at giving pep talks.
What if instead of using easiness as the measuring stick, we relied on betterness as our standard? (Damn right, I just made that word up. It’s my blog, I can do what I want.)
You can’t control if the work you do or life you live ever gets easier. But you can control the quality, impact and meaning of your work and life through a commitment to being one notch better than you were in the previous moment.
A commitment to betterness, if you will.