When I was growing up there were commercials on T.V. for the fast food restaurant Burger King. The theme in them was, “Have it your way, right away.” It was the Burger King’s attempt to woo away McDonald’s customers.
You see, back in the 1970’s, it was a hassle getting what you wanted the way you wanted it at McDonald’s. They were set up to produce the exact same item the exact same way. Asking for a burger without ketchup caused a bit of a hiccup in their process. The worst part was the look of displeasure on the face of the employee anytime somebody would deviate from the norm and order something that required a change.
Burger King’s strategy was brilliant. They would be happy to give you what you want, the way you want it and do it right now. Fexibility vs. rigidity. A smile vs. a frown. Right now vs. waiting. The perfect life.
And that brings us to the big lie… The perfect life, the easy life.
We as a society have been told we can have our lives “our way, right away” so many times and in so many different ways that we actually believe it to be true. On top of that is the implication that there is something wrong with me if my life isn’t moving along on some perfect trajectory, ahead of schedule and without any troubles.
Life is challenging. It can be a struggle. Sometimes a terrible struggle. The people who tell you and I that we can “have it all” and have it “right now” generally have something to sell us. And that is worth thinking about… later.
Often the solution being sold appears to be a shortcut. Many times it is a promised or implied accelerated outcome for whatever it is that ails us. Our weight, our looks, our finances, our relationships, our career… our lot in life.
Don’t get me wrong. There are legitimate short cuts. Like having a mentor to help guide a person. Following real wisdom is another.
Everybody has to make a living and we are all connected to the economy in different ways. Helping people solve their problems is a an honorable way to make a living. Feeding people an idea that isn’t good for them but is good for you is debatable.
The reality is that great accomplishments rarely come easily. The real road to success is generally filled with hard work and takes time to travel. That is the short cut.
Real success in a marriage doesn’t come easy. Getting through a health crisis or catastrophic injury doesn’t come easy. Getting an education is hard and takes time. Being healthy and taking care of ourselves takes time and effort. Creating long lasting relationships requires your active participation and even the best relationships involves ups and downs. But it is worth it.
Success resides on the other side of struggle. Or if you don’t want to use the word struggle you can simply say effort. Either way, getting through life is going to take work and most of our problems won’t be solved with some imaginary silver bullet.
Don’t be deceived by the promise of all your problems being fixed without hard work, without perseverance, without some sort of effort. Often it is though the struggle where you will find your strength. Be resolved to do what is necessary.
When you’ve exhausted everything else, all the shortcuts, you’ll be left with having to face your struggle and push forward doing the right thing. Why not start there?
What say you?