— Life —

Love Doesn’t Always Equal Easy

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I’m fed up. I’m tired of people telling me they hate their lives and their careers and they, “Can’t be bothered to make an effort anymore.” I’ve been hearing this a lot lately, and it’s not just the younger generation who seem to believe that once they figure out what they really want to do with their lives – or discover a career they really love – everything will be effortless! There will be no slog! They’ll never work another day in their life!

It’s a story we’re all being fed these days, over and over again: Create a life you love and everything will be easy.

I believe we should all aim to be good custodians of our lives.

It’s our responsibility to create lives we love, and yes, that usually means doing work we love, too.

Love, however, doesn’t always equal easy. Anyone who’s ever been in a long-term relationship knows this. I adore my husband. He’s my best friend – the person I most enjoy spending time with in this world – but people are often shocked when I tell them we’ve had counselling. People believe when you’re in love, like we are, there shouldn’t be any difficult patches.

Believing that love of any kind automatically equals ease is creating a lot of unhappiness. It’s my experience that doing what you love can still be challenging, and inspiration is a fickle friend. Even when you love what you do, it can still be hard to motivate yourself to actually do it.

Working through the hard parts takes determination and a willingness to keep showing up, but it’s what it takes to succeed in the end. Good looks, skill and talent mean nothing if you can’t apply yourself to the task at hand. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting you remain in a career that makes you utterly miserable. But even if you find something you truly love doing, there will be days when you don’t feel like giving it your all.

What if you make an effort, even when you don’t really feel like it? You might be surprised to discover you’ll move from “Can’t be bothered,” to “Can do,” and end up where you wanted to be all along.


  • 1010 Park Place May 30, 2016 at 10:07 am

    On a recent trip, I spent extended time with a Millennial. I swear you wrote this post for her. Sure, she had a bad, even traumatic experience with her last job, but she’s been hiding out at home, waiting for who knows what to magically drop into her lap. I decided not to refer her to what could have been a job, because she’s missing a basic component that it takes to get through life: Grit… the ability to keep on going. xoxo, B

    • Esther Zimmer June 1, 2016 at 6:32 am

      It’s such a shame too, Brenda. I see so many people with such amazing talent and potential (and not just Millennials) who are wasting their lives because things turned out to be harder than they expected. I kind of feel that if the story around doing what you love was more honest, people would understand that the hard work is to be expected, and then it wouldn’t feel so hard! Besides, the challenges should keep us interested and growing, not giving up! Essie xxxx

  • Jen Lawrence May 31, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Such a great post. I think the whole ‘follow your passion’ movement has gone a bit overboard. Even if you are following your passion, there are days where it is just a hard slog. (Become a writer, they said. It will be fun, they said…) I think grit is the most important component of success. It carries you to the finish line. xo

    • Esther Zimmer June 1, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Thank so much, Jen! Yes, I couldn’t agree more with you more on that. I really do believe there needs to be more honesty about the fact that even doing what you love requires persistence and grit, because it’s making people soft and then disappointed when the slog appears and they weren’t expecting it!

    • 1010 Park Place June 4, 2016 at 8:40 am

      It’s all about grit, isn’t it Jen? I sometimes think it’s the building blocks of life. xox, B

  • Susan Tolles June 2, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Such great insight, Esther! I am a life purpose coach for women, and help them create those lives you wrote about. However, we always talk about how to navigate those bumps in the road that will inevitably come. Life is NOT a piece of cake! But knowing your purpose and allowing yourself to be your authentic self makes it oh so much more fun, plus it gives you the added motivation to keep going when you want to quit.

    • 1010 Park Place June 4, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Susan, I’m amazed how many women still don’t live with their authentic voice. What ah-ha moment do they need to have before they can do that, or is that something you can teach them? Brenda

  • Janne Hogan Aubrey June 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Thank you for encouraging a shift in our focus. Life challenges assure our growth and create success. And keeps things interesting!

  • Mamavalveeta03 June 5, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    My husband and I have been through 34 years of marriage, which means we’ve gone through our share of ups and downs…and counseling, too. Luckily, we don’t keep a tally of wrongs, and even though we were “kids” when we married, we made a commitment to be together, work things through, and never resort to divorce. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s totally been worth it…our three wonderful daughters, my husband performing weddings, baptisms, and yes, funerals. We plan on continuing this trip through life, with all of its curves!

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