It pays to have a good reason to do the hard thing.

Something that matters to you. Something really important, worth devoting some time and energy to. Worth facing uncertainty & discomfort.

When you get confronted by fear, uncertainty, discomfort … you’ll want to turn away, to run. It’ll feel justified, and then you might make yourself feel bad about it.

Instead, if you have a deeper reason, you can stay in the discomfort and not need to run.

Some examples from my life:

  • When I ran a marathon, it was to inspire my kids and others, and to prove to myself I could do it.
  • When I quit smoking, it was to help my wife & kids not smoke.
  • When I write, it’s to help as many people as I can.
  • When I meditate, I do it for all beings.

As you can see, it helps to have a bigger reason than your own self-concern. That’s because self-concern isn’t a strong reason — your discomfort will make you want to do the easy thing, if your self-concern is the main motivation.

Go for a walk, and think about why you’re doing this. It’s worth the hour. Then write it out, and have it front and center. Remind yourself of it often.