Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Easy Button

Have you seen the commercial where they question why things have to be hard and then just push a button that says “easy” on it?  Wouldn’t it be nice if there really was an easy button for life’s challenges?  

I was recently walking my little dogs and noticed lots of the little poop bags linings the trail (not empty if you know what I mean).   I complained to myself about how it’s inconsiderate to not pick up after your dogs, especially in this particular park because it’s located right on the water shed.  As we walked it got me to thinking.  On other trails in different parks I never saw so many people not cleaning up after their pets and realized the difference is that on most of our urban trails we have frequent stops with disposable poop bags and trash bins.  It really makes it easy to do the right thing.  On this particular trail though it’s more remote and while there is one stop where poop bags are available, there are almost no trash receptacles at all.  

Now, we might be thinking – it doesn’t matter.  We should pick up after our pets regardless of whether it’s convenient or not.  I know…I used my least favorite word “should”.  I don’t like “should” because it usually goes with shame or regret and rarely leads to problem solving.  So….to make that point, yes, it would be nice if everyone picked up their dog poo convenient or not.  But, why not make it easy?   I’m almost certain if there were more trash bins then we wouldn’t have little bags of treasure lining the trail.

Isn’t this true in life in general?  We sometimes make things harder than they need to be.  Instead of looking for a solution or remedy, we get stuck in blame or regret.   Don’t like your relationship?  Do something to improve it.  Hate your job?  Start looking for a new one.  Kids driving you crazy?  Get a sitter for a night.   It's not about never doing something hard or difficult.  Sometimes choosing a difficult path is the right choice.  But it is about being aware of your choice and knowing when to push the easy button.  In fact, before every decision, ask yourself "is this going to make my life more difficult or easier?".  If the answer is more difficult, make sure it's worth it.  I think you'll be surprised how often we can push the easy button to create a more simple and relaxed life.