A few months ago, one of my best friends flew out from Tennessee to go on a deer hunt with me. Getting to spend time in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle of cell phones, email, and everyday life was refreshing. Jerry’s company was, as always a pleasure—he is grounded and principled, a good father and husband and, not incidentally, successful in his business.
Jerry and I have similar roles within our respective companies, so we often talk over the challenges we face at work. At the time of that hunting trip, my challenges seemed particularly knotty. We discussed the situation and my options for a few hours, and it became clear to me that I had a choice. I could go for a short-term solution that didn’t have much promise long-term, or I could take a longer, more difficult path, one that would undoubtedly trigger some uncomfortable complications, but would ultimately resolve the problem very well down the road.
In the moment of decision, Jerry looked me right in the eye and said, “short term hard – long term easy.” And I knew what choice I was going to make.
Since that moment in the mountains in Idaho, I’ve found this same principle playing out in all aspects of my life. At work, at home, in my spirituality, and even my personal fitness routines. For example, I love to run races. A big part of success in running is eating a healthy diet. I’ve never had a problem with the physical training—getting up early to run is an enjoyable routine. However, you put me in front of a large pizza and a two-liter bottle of Coca Cola, and all sense of reasoning and logic fly out the window. Remembering “short term hard – long term easy” keeps me from blowing my training when faced with the best butter dipping sauce in the world.
The hunt ended successfully. I introduced Jerry to adventures of hunting in the rugged mountains of the west, and he gave me some words I will live by every day. I’m thankful for good friends and associates who are willing to share their life lessons and wisdom with me.
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