#050—Doing hard things makes life easier
Doing easy things makes life hard. Doing hard things makes life easy. This especially applies to how we approach our relationships with our family members. When you allow yourself to be reactionary to things that happen, you create a harder situation for yourself in the future. Listen to this episode to find out how you are doing the easy things that are making your relationships harder.
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You’re listening to Parenting Through the Detour episode 50. “Doing hard things makes life easier.”
Howard W Hunter said, “Your detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow way back to
him.” Well, how are your detours going? Does it feel like everything has gone wrong and you don’t
know what to do now? I’m Tina Gosney, a life and relationship coach, were LDS parents with adult
children. And I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I’m going to help you
find your footing again through those detours and disappointments. And when you find your strength,
and your courage to navigate your own detours, you’re going to begin helping your family through
theirs as well.
Welcome to this special 50th episode of the podcast. I am really excited to bring you
this episode. I think it’s a really great one. And I’ve been saving it for the 50th episode. And I want to
thank all of you who have been sharing this podcast with the people that you know. And like friends
and family, whoever you know, has needed this podcast. Thank you so much for sharing it.
In fact, I have a special treat for you guys, for this 50th episode. Because we need to let more people find this podcast, I hear a lot of feedback about how much you guys are loving it. And the download numbers
have been steadily increasing over this last year. We need to get this podcast out to more people.
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being able to get this podcast out to more people who are struggling and need help. So help me out
with that. Now, before I became a life coach, I spent a lot of years as a teacher. In fact, I taught music
and I taught music classes to small groups of children, they would come to my home. These were
really young children. They usually started my three year program at age four or five. And they would
stay with me for three years.
It was a quite a commitment for a four or five year old, don’t you think?
But it was a music class that I still believe in. It’s still absolutely love. And I met so many amazing
families and children through teaching that class. There was one class particularly that happened
many years ago. All, most of my students I met before the very first day of class. Some of them I
didn’t. But most of them I did. This particular student that I’m going to talk about today, I had not met
Him until the very first day of class.
And this class that I taught, sometimes parents would come to class with the child. So this boy’s name, I’m gonna call him, Ethan. But he came to class that first day.
And I was amazed. I thought, This is not a four year old. This is like a seven year old. He was the
biggest four year old I had ever seen. And he wasn’t just a big kid, he was like pure muscle. He was
just, he looks like he should be out on the football field. And I figured out why later after I met his
father, because his father, dad used to play football. They just were a big family. And so he was a
pretty big four year old, just solidly built.
And I watched his he interacted with his mother through this
class, and I saw how he didn’t want to be there. He was giving her a hard time. And, and just the way
that she was struggling with him during class, our very last activity of this 45 minute class, which we
had done, oh, probably 10 different activities in 45 minutes. But the very last activity was standing in
a circle holding hands singing a song while we played a game. And keep in mind, this was parents
and small children holding hands together wasn’t just small children. And so about halfway through
this activity, this boy decided that he was done, Ethan just decided that he was done and he did a
dead drop to the ground.
And when he did that, he did it with such force, that he took down half the
circle with him. And that included parents parents got taken down. Because we were all holding
hands, they got taken down with Ethan and his mom, and the rest of the parents in the circle. So I
remember looking at him that day and thinking, Okay, I’m gonna have this boy in my class for three
years. I can’t have this for three years. I can’t have this happening. I need to make sure that this
dynamic right here that I’ve seen today, doesn’t happen.
So what can I do? And this is what I did.
Every single week when he came to class, I got right down on his level. And I said, Ethan, I am so glad
you’re here. Tell me about what you did this week. And I would listen to him as he talked to me. I
learned about his family. And I would ask him about things that his family did. And about his little
brother, and about his sister. And I would comment on what he was wearing him like that is the
coolest dinosaur t shirt I have ever seen.
Do you like dinosaurs, and I learned about him. I learned
about what he was doing in his life. And I told him that I loved him. And when he would start acting up
in my class, I would go and sit right next to him, I put my arm around him. And when he was causing
a problem with another student, I had him come and be my helper, I would find a way for him to be
successful in class, no matter what was happening. And then I did this, this was in September when I
started this when the class started.
And then by the time we got to February, we’re singing a
Valentine song. And in this song, I was singing it to the kids, it was the first time they’d ever heard it.
And so I was singing it to the kids. And in the song you saying I love you. And I would point to one of
the kids. And on this particular time I was singing it. I pointed right at Ethan. And I said I love you. And
when I did that, his whole demeanor dropped and I saw him melt. And he looked into my eyes. And he
said, I love you miss Tina. And I knew right then and there that I had gotten through to him that I was
then going to be able to have a classroom with him that would be functional for everybody. And I did
love him and I knew that he loved me.
Now, we fast forward to just last month I went to a Life Coach
School mastermind where there was 1500 life coaches all in one big giant room in Texas. And we
were listening to master coaches on the stage. Give 30 minute presentation One of the coaches said,
when you do easy things, life gets hard. But when you do hard things, life gets easy. And I’ve been
thinking about this ever since then. And I’ve been coaching my clients on this. And I’m talking to them
about what does easy look like that makes your life harder in the long run, and what does hard look
like? That makes your life easier in the long run.
And just look back at this story I told you about
Ethan. So the easy things that I could have done with him all those years ago, is frown at him speak
in a harsh tone, show him that I didn’t like the way that he was acting, talk to his mother so that she
could have gotten him to behave, I could have punished him, I could have put him into timeout, I
could have ignored him, I could have complained to all the other people that he was in my class, and I
just didn’t want him there. All these things would have been so much easier to do than what I did. And
none of them would have had the same outcome as I got.
In fact, if I had done those things, my time
with Ethan would have been even harder. Because I would have been dreading his class and him
attending, I would have held on to thoughts like oh, he makes everything so hard, I don’t like teaching
him, I would have held on to things like that. In fact, there are times when the easy thing seems like
the natural thing to do. In fact, it’s so natural, that’s what we usually end up doing. One thing that I
like to say is that the natural parent is an enemy to the child, the things that we naturally want to do.
These things do not produce a child who feels loved, or helps that child to become an adult who has a
healthy view of himself, and others.
In fact, if I had done any of those easy things with Ethan, I would
have been labeling, at least in at least in my mind, I would have been labeling him as a problem. And
when kids get labeled as a problem in one place, they tend to get labeled a problem everywhere they
go. Because how you do one thing is usually how you do everything. I refuse to label him as a
problem, I didn’t see him as a problem. I saw him as a kid who needed to know that he was loved and
accepted, just as he was. And by doing that, he became easier in my classroom, I didn’t have to do
hard things like punish him, I could just look at him and ask him to behave differently. And he would
do it for me because he knew that no matter what he did, I was still going to love Him. And when we
take the easy route, in our relationships, and in our lives, we are actually living into a lower version of
When we do what comes natural, we are living into the natural man, The natural man is
what we’re trying to grow out of. We’re trying to leave that natural man behind and become a new
person. Another way I think of the natural man is just the the easy brain. It’s the primitive brain, The
natural man does not live in the higher brain. The higher brain, also known as our prefrontal cortex, is
where our best self lives. The self that loves others that wants the best for them and for ourselves.
And planning and doing hard things comes from the higher brain. being reactionary, and taking the
easy road comes from our lower brain.
The primitive brain wants to make everything easy. It urges
you over and over and over to do things that are easy. It automates many things in your life that you
do over and over again, it automates them. So you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to do
you don’t have to put a lot of effort into things that you do repeatedly, the habits that you have, like
driving, doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, like when’s the last time you thought it consciously
about okay, I need to put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, and then I need to put it in my mouth.
And then I need to move it back and forth.
And I need to make sure that I get every tooth. Like you
don’t think about those things. You learned how to do that so long ago that your brain has automated
it. Also, maybe things like typing on a keyboard playing an instrument. When’s the last time that you
drove somewhere and you don’t even remember driving there? You didn’t do that when you were just
learning how to drive. I promise you that you were thinking about a lot of different things when you
were trying to learn how to drive a car. But how often do you do it now? that you just end up
somewhere. don’t even remember how you got there. It’s happened to all of us. And it happens to
places that we go quite often, it’s not going to happen to you when you’re trying to find somewhere
But it happens to you. When you’re going somewhere that you’ve been a lot. Your brain
automates things in your life. It just makes everything easy. It’s just relegated to the lower brain so
that we don’t have to put a lot of energy into thinking about things. But the higher brain, the
prefrontal cortex, takes a lot of calories takes a lot of energy, your body, your brain does not like to
use that part of your brain.
Because it’s not conserving energy. It takes effort. If you ever notice when
you’re thinking really hard on something, you become exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to think
about things to do hard things. Now, I taught music for years, I taught music for 30 years. Music is like
learning a different language. There are so many people that get really excited kids that you’re really
excited adults that get really excited about learning an instrument about learning music, and when
the hard sets in, because it is hard. That’s when their brain starts telling them things like this was a
We should not have done this, we just need to stop. It’s not working. We’re not
improving, your brain is going to tell you so many things that will get you to quit. Because that’s what
our brains do. It tries to get us to not do hard things.
Now let’s talk about what hard versus easy looks
Hard is seeing your unmarried 18 year old daughter get pregnant and wrapping her up in your
arms to let her know that she is loved. And you hold no judgment of her.
Easy is wanting to hide yourself. Hide her shun her boyfriend. Ask yourself what everyone is going to think of you.
Hard is opening yourself up to people who are different than you. People that are LGBTQ and their families, listening to their stories without judgment. Seeking to understand before you seek to be understood,
Easy is to share posts about LGBTQ people that are othering and judgmental. Letting them and their
families know that you don’t approve. And in order for you to show them love. They need to fit into a
box that you are prescribing for them.
Hard not judging the person in your Ward, who lashes out to you and anger and wants you to blame you for something or tells you how you have failed in your
Easy, becoming defensive, turning around and then attacking that person who’s attacking
you. Either directly to them or indirectly by telling everyone else in the ward with this person did.
Hard apologizing to your child, acknowledging that you’ve done things that hurt them.
Easy, justifying your actions, turning it around and telling them that if they had been different, you would have been
different, never acknowledging that you did anything wrong.
Hard, forgiving the person who isn’t kind to you and letting it go.
Easy, holding on to a grudge, refusing to forgive, letting the offense fester
inside of you.
Hard reaching out with love and friendship to a person who has decided to leave the
church and really listening to what they have to say without prejudgment without becoming
defensive, and without trying to convince them that they are wrong.
Easy writing them off as someone who is a tear and has been sifted using language that separates them from you and letting
them become the other hard allowing your adult children to make their own choices and not have
those choices reflect on you. Your success or failure as a parent.
Easy blaming yourself for your children’s actions and making that mean that you have failed in your most important job on the earth.
Hard getting up each day and facing the hard emotions that you know will come especially when it
feels like everything is falling apart.
Easy, avoiding those emotions by staying in bed numbing with
food or Netflix or shopping or porn, or keeping yourself so busy, that you don’t even have time to
think about it. And pretending that things are just fine.
Hard, showing up time after time after time as the best or improving version of yourself, showing love and kindness and concern, especially when
what that person is doing causes a lot of fear in you.
Easy, criticizing expressing displeasure or judgment of someone else’s actions or choices, putting yourself above them in the process.
Hard having true joy and happiness for a friend whose child is doing what you want your child to do.
Easy, feeling resentment and anger towards that friend and secretly wishing their child fails, falling into a
comparison mindset that neither of you will win and the relationship will lose.
Hard, not measuring yourself against the other people around you. Allowing your journey to be different than their journey and not comparing theirs to yours.
Easy. Looking around you comparing yourself putting yourself above or beneath others, having a one up or one down approach to relationships and life.
Hard allowing your adult child to make their own choices and find out who they are without you judging
them. Trusting that their experience on the earth is the one that they will need to learn the things
that they are here to learn.
Easy, pleading with them to change sending them spiritual books and
general conference talks, sending the Relief Society president over to talk to them. In other words,
trying to manipulate circumstances around them so that they will finally wake up and get back on the
Hard, loving without conditions, choosing love and kindness no matter what. Choosing the
person that you want to be a higher version of yourself, regardless of the circumstances.
Easy, conditional love because it’s all you’ve ever given and all you’ve ever received. And you don’t even
know what unconditional love looks like.
Hard changing in any form, our brains try to keep us from changing.
Easy, doing things the same way that you’ve always done them. Because change is hard.
Hard healing your relationship with yourself during the work with a coach or a therapist to find the
ways that you are treating yourself with unkindness, conditional love judgment and harsh thoughts
and words, and in the process of healing your relationships with others. And even knowing what I
mean when I say that.
Easy, staying wounded and not even recognizing that you’re wounded. Treating
yourself badly and letting that reflect in how you treat other people.
When I was teaching music lessons, I watched kids struggle so much through the hard
things through the hard point of learning through the hard like trying to make their fingers in their
mind and their eyes all work together. I watched them through that struggle. And I watched some
kids give up and quit. And I watched some parents tell their kids to give up and quit because they
were tired of the fight at home.
They said that wasn’t worth it. And but I also watched some kids that
kept pushing through the heart. And I would watch how one day if they kept pushing through the
heart and kept working at it and keep doing the things that I was telling them to do. One day, they
would come into their lesson and they were lighter. And they would come in and they would say,
Miss Tina, look what I can do! And they would sit down and they would play the song that they’d been
struggling for sometimes weeks or months to play. Now, did they all of a sudden just learn that? Did
they all of a sudden, just grow the end? No, the growth was taking place during the hard part. They
didn’t just grow and it became easy.
That was just showing them that was just the the effect of the
hard things that they had already done. That wasn’t where the growth happened, the growth
happened during the hard part. And then things would be a little easy for them for a while. And then it
would get hard again. And they would have to do the whole struggle all over again.
But every time they were spiraling up, and they were doing another set of hard to get to another easy. What I’ve listed here are just it’s just the tip of the iceberg of a few hard things that in the end, maybe a little bit down the road, maybe a long way down the road, your life will get easier. And why will doing these
things make your life easier. Because when you let go of things like judgment, conditional love being
reactionary, it’s going to help you let go of old damaging past earns in relationships and move into a
more authentic connection and unconditional love. And what I listed as easy will keep you in
judgment, keep you giving and receiving conditional love, keep you very reactionary, and perpetuate
unhealthy relationship patterns that hurt the people that you love. So wake up and notice what’s
Notice what you are creating in your own life by doing things that are easy instead of
hard. And don’t tell yourself, that’s hard as an excuse to take the easy way out. Because doing hard
things can feel very unnatural, like you’re doing the wrong thing. It’s supposed to feel that way.
Because the natural man is the one that likes to make things easy. And the natural man is an enemy
to God. And if we are to become like, God, our enemy is our natural man.
What if you thought about
your natural man, though not as an enemy, but as a part of you that just wants to take over and take
care of things? What if when you saw yourself wanting to take the easy road, you said something to
yourself like, oh, look, there’s my natural man, it’s all fine, just trying to tell me to take the easy route
trying to get me to be really reactionary. But I don’t have to do that. Because I know that’s going to
make things harder down the road.
What I’m talking about today can be summed up in one word, and
that is metanoia.
This is a Greek word that means leaving behind the small self. It means to turn away
from things that diminish you and turn towards things that expand and grow you. It was easier to stay
a small self, and to not turn. But if you do, you’ll be inviting and a lot of hard things into your life. It’s
harder to leave that small self behind to move into a newer version of yourself. But by doing it, you’ll
open yourself up to more love more connection and more joy in your life.
Also, did you notice that you
can’t avoid the hard he you either get to do it in the beginning, or you can receive it in the end. But
either way, there’s going to be a heart and you get to choose when you want the heart? Do you want
it now? Do you want to choose what that heart is?
Or do you want to be given it later? Your detours
and disappointments are urging you towards leaving behind that small self learning through things
that are hard. Those exact hard things are the reason that you’re here. And those exact detours and
disappointments have the ability to change you into a person who does hard things, so that life can
be easier down the road.
Because when you take the easy route, and you let your lower brain be in
charge, life is hard. And many, many people are stuck in that kind of hard. But when you do the hard
thing first, that’s when you start to see your life getting easier. It might not get easy right away. Most
of the time, it doesn’t get easier right away. But if you consistently show up doing hard things, you
will see the benefits and life will get easier.
Because relationships get easier. Do you know what the
number one indicator of overall life satisfaction is? Strong personal relationships. Have you noticed
that if you feel solid and strong in your closest relationships, then other things get easier. Other
problems are not as big financial problems don’t overtake you. They’re not as big health issues. Those
get easier if you have created relationships in your family that have a solid firm foundation to keep
you grounded. So what hard are you going to choose? You’re going to choose the one at the
Or you’re going to choose the one at the end. Now back to that story about Ethan. I didn’t
tell his mom right away what I had done. In fact, we went all the way through the first year. We went
halfway into the second year of this music program. And one day after class was over, his mother said
to me, you know, I don’t know why he likes coming here. I don’t understand it. He’s he really loves
football. He loves sports. And music is just kind of not his thing. But he loves coming here. And every
single day he asks if it’s time to go to music class.
And I told her that story. And as I told her the story
about what I had done the year before, her eyes filled up with tears. And she just said it makes so
much sense now and she said thank you for loving my son This is the impact that you could have on
your life and on someone else’s life when you do the hard thing first.
This is what I have for you today,
I want to remind you to go and leave me a five star review on Apple podcasts. The deadline is
June 7, midnight, Pacific Time, June 7, and then you must email me a copy of your review at Tina at
Tina gosney.com. Because if you don’t email me the review, you will not be entered in the drawing.
And the drawing takes place on June 8, and you can win $100 amazon gift card so make sure you get
on there right now while you’re thinking about it. And give me a five star review.
I want you to remember that your detours and disappointments do not define your family and they do not define you and I’ll see you next week.