Accountability: Choosing Hard Over Easy

Yes, that’s me in the photo above on the right. It was 1976 and … I did not win that match. 👎🏻

As a guest on the “Good Sports Parenting” podcast with host and author David Levin (Raise Your Inner Game), I admitted I wasn’t much of a wrestler, and there was a reason for it.

As the son of Cornell’s wrestling coach, Jimmy Miller, I was immersed in a grappling culture from birth, yet as a competitor, I was an infrequent victor.

I told David, “The truth is, Dave, I didn’t like jogging for conditioning or lifting weights to build strength. I also didn’t want to leave the family farm to attend summer wrestling camps. And that whole losing weight thing was really painful!”

The bottom line was this: I didn’t want to do the work. As a teen athlete in the 1970s, I didn’t choose hard. I chose easy and paid for it, at least in the Miller world of wrestling. Meaning, on the mat, I lost more matches than I won.

Easy vs. Hard Is a Choice

Pondering the type of person who chooses hard, what comes to mind? Disciplined? Motivated? Intense? Goal-oriented? High-energy? Accountable? All of these adjectives work, but, bottomline, I must decide to decide that “hard” is the path for me. Because, every day, it’s awfully easy to choose “easy.”

Let’s consider 13 choices one can make:

 In Everyday Life

So how do we make this practical? As we work and live with other people, as we strive for personal growth and seek success, let’s use The Question Behind the Question—the QBQ—to help us. Why? Because this easy vs. hard thing is all about personal accountability which is the QBQ. Just think how valuable it is to ask QBQs (tutorial here) like these:

“What can I do right now that challenges me?”

“How can I experience discomfort today?”

“What action can I engage in to stretch myself?”

“How can I identify and tackle a task I’ve been putting off?”

“What can I do to feel some emotional pain?”

Yes, pain. The famous “path of least resistance” is all about the avoidance of pain. Emotional and physical pain. Of course, this is natural, human, something we all do. However, for me to become a better me today than I was yesterday, I absolutely must choose the hard over the easy. And that can be painful.

Yet, so gratifying—on the wrestling mat or in life! 😉

What “hard” action will you take today? Comment below!


Links to the Raise Your Inner Game “Good Sports Parenting” podcast:

Audio only

YouTube video

The book Raise Your Inner Game


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