Life is full of choices.
Some are easy, some are hard. We often avoid the hard ones.
Because they’re uncomfortable. They make us feel vulnerable and exposed.
But here’s the thing: the best stuff in life usually comes from doing the tough things.
This article isn’t about taking shortcuts; it’s about tackling life’s challenges head-on. Because when we do, we find out what we’re really made of.
So let’s dive in and explore 10 hard things that are definitely worth the effort.
1) Pursuing your passion
Pursuing passion is essential for living a fulfilling life; a life with meaning and joy.
But it often comes at a price: skepticism from others, internal doubt, and the anxiety of the unknown. No wonder it can be so hard to pursue, right?
The world might label your ambitions as impractical fantasies. Ignore the naysayers.
You’re not here to live someone else’s life.
But it’s also important to remember that pursuing your passion isn’t merely about defying societal norms.
It’s about creating a life that aligns with your essence.
It might sound extreme to say this, but when you lie on your deathbed, you won’t reminisce about the comfort of your safety zone.
You’ll cherish the moments you spent doing what you loved.
2) Being honest, even when it hurts
Being truthful is much more than just not lying – it’s a commitment to authenticity.
Sure, it’s easier to nod and agree, to keep the peace.
But that’s a short-term fix.
Over time, the weight of the lies accumulates. It affects your integrity and erodes trust with others.
The real beauty of honesty, though, lies in vulnerability.
When you’re genuine, even when it’s uncomfortable, you not only liberate yourself but also invite others to be authentic.
It’s a cycle that enriches everyone involved, creating deeper connections and more meaningful interactions.
I’ve been doing this within my family – they’re notorious for not saying what they really feel, and sweeping issues under the rug.
Since I started being honest, I’ve noticed others following my lead.
3) Saying “no”
Saying “no” feels like rejection. No wonder it’s so hard to do.
It creates friction and discomfort. After all, we’re social creatures. We want to be liked and appreciated.
But here’s the thing: saying yes when you mean no is a betrayal of yourself. Avoid it too much and you’ll find it depletes:
- Financial resources
Yet the power of saying “no” goes beyond self-preservation.
It’s about establishing your values and making them known.
When you say “no” effectively, you teach people how to treat you. You lay down the law of your personal boundaries, and that’s a law worth enforcing.
4) Letting go of toxic relationships
Leaving is hard. It comes with guilt, emotional turbulence, and sometimes loneliness.
Even when you know a relationship is toxic, it’s easy to linger. There’s comfort in the known, even when the known is harmful.
Trust me, I know. I’ve left a number of relationships and friendships in my life. Even certain family members.
But the upside is liberation.
Imagine your life devoid of the constant drama, negativity, and emotional drain that toxic relationships bring.
Put simply, you can’t put a price tag on emotional freedom.
Cutting the cord creates room for healthier relationships—ones that nourish your soul and contribute to your growth.
5) Embracing failure
Let’s be honest, failure stings. It’s a blow to the ego, a crack in the armor of your self-esteem.
Society often magnifies this sting, treating failure as a stigma, something to be ashamed of.
However, this mindset is the real failure. Changing your perspective on failure is transformative.
When I started embracing failure, I learned:
- How to be more resilient
- How to learn from my mistakes and do better
- How to accept feedback and constructive criticism without becoming defensive or upset
And guess what?
When you master this, no challenge seems too big anymore. Because the fear of failure doesn’t hold you back.
6) Committing to continuous learning
Education doesn’t end with a degree. In fact, that’s just the beginning.
But let’s face it, learning is taxing.
It demands time, effort, and the willingness to acknowledge your limitations.
Yet the gains are immense.
Knowledge equips you with the tools to navigate life more effectively, and each new skill or insight you acquire is an investment in yourself.
Think about it this way:
You’re not just accumulating information; you’re expanding your worldview, enhancing your capabilities, and enriching your interactions with others and the world.
So while it might feel like a hard commitment to keep up with, it’s so worth it.
7) Taking care of your health
Working out is strenuous. Eating right requires discipline. Good sleep necessitates routine. Hard, hard, and even harder.
We often neglect these fundamentals, trading them for temporary pleasures like junk food, late-night binges, or Netflix marathons.
I know I’m guilty of this.
However, prioritizing health isn’t just about avoiding illness.
It’s about optimizing your life. A fit body and a balanced diet sharpen your mind, enrich your spirit, and elevate your mood.
Think of health as the foundation on which you build your life; the stronger it is, the more resilient and fulfilled you will be.
Not to mention, how much you’ll thank yourself in the future when you’re a spritely 70-year-old still able to keep up with the younger generations.
8) Saving and investing money
Managing finances is a juggle. Especially in today’s cost of living crisis.
Bills, desires, emergencies—the demands are endless.
Instant gratification often wins, derailing long-term financial goals. It’s easy to say, “I’ll start saving tomorrow,” only to find that tomorrow never comes.
But financial freedom doesn’t happen overnight.
And this is where it gets really hard.
It requires planning, sacrifices, and the discipline to stick to a budget.
The benefit is not just accruing wealth, but also securing your peace of mind.
You see when you’re financially stable, you have the liberty to make choices that align with your values, not just your needs.
9) Being kind in a cruel world
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” – Caroline Flack.
In a culture that often values self-interest and ruthlessness, kindness seems naïve, even weak.
Acts of generosity are met with suspicion or, worse, ridicule. This can discourage even the best of us.
But the transformative power of kindness is unparalleled.
It softens hearts, changes attitudes, and promotes trust.
The truth is, when you make the conscious decision to be kind, you aren’t just improving someone else’s day; you’re elevating your own life.
And don’t forget – kindness is contagious.
A few months ago, while waiting to order coffee, we noticed a woman stressed out because she couldn’t use her card to get on the metro.
My friend instantly went over and gave her the money she needed. The barrister saw the entire thing, and when our coffees were ready, he refused to accept payment. He said since we helped that woman, we deserved a free drink.
See how quickly a kind act can spread? It might be hard to make the first step in being kind and vulnerable, but if you want to see a better world, it’s worth doing.
10) Facing your fears
Fear keeps you in your comfort zone, restricts your growth, and stifles your potential.
The scary part is, it often disguises itself as rational caution, making you second-guess your desires and ambitions.
Conquering fear, however, is liberating.
It doesn’t mean the absence of fear but acting despite it. Courage is fear walking. When you face your fears head-on, you reclaim your life.
I touched upon this in point 5.
When you overcome your fears, you discover facets of yourself you never knew existed, capabilities you never thought you had, and joys you never thought possible.
Isn’t that worth all the hard work?