Don't Be Easy

I have to give a talk next week at Microsoft. I said, “I have to prepare it. But it will be easy”.

She made a joke, “Don’t be easy.”

But she’s right: If you are going to give of yourself, don’t be easy. Don’t make your words slutty.

Make it painful to get those words out. I have to dip the words in struggle. Make them marinate.

Sometimes we get into a routine. Things are easy. Life is easy.

When I sold my first company, life was a little too easy for me. The problem with easy is that you can spend “easy.” But when things are difficult, you have to earn back the life you spent.

I’m often afraid when things are good. What if things get bad? What if I go from good to bad? Again!

I wish I could not think about it. Not shake. Not say curses out loud when I don’t mean to. “Why did you just say that? What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know,” I lie. Maybe 200 times a year I have that conversation.

Graham Greene says that we live life fully until we are twenty years old. Then the rest of our lives we re-tell that story in one form or other.

We re-tell it in our stories, in our emotional wounds, in how we treat others, in how we live our lives.

But I don’t think it ends at 20. It keeps going. New wounds.

Life is good. Can I just relax? I think of the businesses I’ve started. Some (most) have failed. The friends I’ve made. Some (most) I no longer speak to.

The children I helped make. They are growing past me.

The businesses I have yet to start. I hope they do well, given what I now know. But we’ll see.

The books I have yet to write. I feel I need to improve. To get better. To keep exercising my creativity so I can say something new.

Relationships I have. They never seem easy. Tortured by my own insecurities mixed with everyone else’s. My own open wounds, bleeding into the open wounds of everyone else.

Don’t be easy. Don’t let it be easy or else it’s been said before.

I am telling myself that now. Ask something new every day and I will have the fuel to say something new.

But, for once, I wish things were easy. Maybe even relaxing. From experience, though, I know it’s good if I never get my wish.

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