“I Never Said it Would Be Easy. I Only Said it Would Be Worth It.”

Via on Apr 14, 2013

I’ve seen the above attributed to everyone from Mae West to Jesus.

Wherever it came from, it’s a good reminder.

We have this idea sometimes that what we want is for everything to be easy. We want smooth sailing and everything falling into place. Sometimes it does. Sometimes we are rewarded with serendipity and synchronicity and it feels amazing.

But more often, the falling into place is preceded by something we shy away from: Hard work.

The myth is that things being easy is what make us happy. Sometimes (most times) the things that are the most rewarding are the things that require the most of us. In the midst of it, it can be painful. We’ll want to give up—at least once. Sometimes once a day. I look at those stories of people who wrote their first book and it was an overnight best seller. We latch on to stories like that or singers being discovered while singing karaoke, 50 year marriages preceded by love at first sight in high school.

The reality is that for most of us, there is a gap between where we are and where we hope our dreams will take us. This isn’t pessimism. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a reminder that the climb isn’t something to be feared; it’s what makes us who we are.

A good friend reminded me the other day as I was complaining about how hard everything felt:


Some days the climb is hard, and we just want everything to be cupcakes and unicorns. We get tired of it. We want to wish on stars and have all of our heart’s desires magically appear.

The truth is—easy doesn’t make us happy.

I read an article from Harvard Business Review by Rosabeth Moss Kanter the other day that captured this perfectly. I was immediately intrigued by the title: The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems. And here I thought I was of a small, masochistic clan that was bent on doing things the hard way, time after time! It’s true though. Kanter gives examples across many disciplines of people who chose goals that cost them, that required everything. Over and over she demonstrated that which many of us already know to be true:

“People can be inspired to meet stretch goals and tackle impossible challenges if they care about the outcome.”

We don’t mind that the climb is difficult, because we know what comes of it. We know that the top will be worth it. We know that the strength that we gain along the way is part of our success.

For those of us who are driven, who have a dream, who take steps every day towards what we want, the view from the top is what makes us keep working.

What drives us to create, to build buildings, to write books, to love recklessly, to turn over tables and change our lives isn’t money. It isn’t even fame or prestige.

We are driven by an inner sense of purpose:

We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams. Most days it won’t be easy. Keep climbing; it will be worth it.


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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. She doesn't know how to behave with all the apples and ibexes. She doesn't suffer from her eight million freckles, she loves them! Like a rolling stone, Kate gathers no moss. Kate loves kale, being barefoot, Dr. Seuss, singing too loudly, gallivanting, palindromes, blackberries and has far too many books for her own good. When she's not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, running in the woods, playing with her kids, devouring a book, planting dandelions, changing the world and doing her dishes. Kate does not play the accordion. She is a massage therapist, writer and a compassionate friend to all. This year Kate aspires to finally give up on learning to knit and will instead spend that time putting a little bit more of her heart on the page. Connect with Kate on Facebook and Twitter


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10 Responses to ““I Never Said it Would Be Easy. I Only Said it Would Be Worth It.””

  1. Carolyn Riker says:

    Thanks Kate. Good, practical and honest. I'll keep climbing because I know there are real people on this path too. Plus it really is worth it. :-)

  2. Chris Lemig says:

    Thank you Kate. As step on the road of promoting my first book, this really resonates with me. Keep inspiring!

  3. SaraCrolick says:

    on point (as always). thank you, kate.

  4. Karen says:

    Agreed – the good things in life take work! This is a wonderful reminder :)

  5. Julia says:

    I totally agree, nothing in this world is achieved without effort and often some level of suffering. Concentrate on the process as well as on the target.

  6. saltydogyoga says:

    Thank you so much for writing this… I needed it today :) Will most definitely pass it on to my students!

    Amanda Heironimus
    Studio Director
    Salty Dog Yoga & SUrf

  7. This is absolutely perfect! Thanks much! I, as well, will be passing this along to my peeps. xoxo

  8. Chris PM says:

    So true! Need to pass this one along for sure.

  9. Willow says:

    Passed this along to my 16 year old…such wise words need to be shared to inspire our youth. Wish I heard such wisdom at her age, but then again, maybe I did…and it took me till 41 to listen…lol!

  10. Julie says:

    It's not so much wishing it would be easier… I fear I will struggle and not make it to the top.

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