Browse for the latest episode of...

working women's wealth

blog image

201 Hard Choices, Easy Life. Easy Choices, Hard Life.

September 15, 202110 min read


Do you settle for OK rather than rock the boat and make the hard decisions that could change your life? An easier course of action may seem painless in the short term, but hard choices lead to an easy life, whilst easy choices on the other hand...

But what if you weren’t afraid? OR despite the fact that you were afraid, you knew that you could handle whatever came your way? 

Because you can.

Make the hard choices and turn OK into GREAT! Great health, great wealth, great happiness, and great work

Show notes:

  • [03.28] But then...

  • [05.21] Easy Choices

  • [08.27] Hard Choices


"The easiest choice most often is to do nothing." - Lisa Linfield

"Whatever it is that you are avoiding doing or deciding on, ask yourself 'What are the absolute worst consequences of making this decision'." - Lisa Linfield

"The reality is, all of us can handle what comes our way." - Lisa Linfield

"And remember that wrong is often not a bad thing – it often is where the growth lies." - Lisa Linfield

Related posts and episodes

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Spotify

Please do Subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes or Spotify and leave a review.  This helps the podcast to rank higher and therefore makes it more visible to others browsing podcasts in the hope they too may benefit from our content.

Get my book - Deep Grooves: Overcoming Patterns that Keep you Stuck

  • You can get the first two chapters of my book FREE here

  • If you want a paperback copy and you’re in South Africa, visit my site

    If you want a Kindle copy or a paperback anywhere in the world, visit Amazon


Let’s say it as it is – every one of us would LOVE an easy, stress free, fun life.  I mean, who wouldn’t right?

The problem is we want that easy, stress free fun life to come to us as a result of an easy, stress free fun journey.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in prime health and fitness by eating whatever they want without ever having to exercise?


Here’s the thing.  The heroes and their stories we love in life are always known to us backwards and in summary… usually after their death

·         Young idealist, trained lawyer, takes on an oppressive government – and looks like he will achieve change… only to be tried and sent to prison for 27 years, enduring the harshest of circumstances.  His strength and support grows, and he walks away peacefully, transforming from hated prisoner to beloved president, winning the country’s first free and fair election.

o   Mandela.

·         Idealistic inventor develops amazing computer, and builds a great company – only to be rejected by his company and thrown out.  Goes on to build other great companies, and eventually returns to the company he founded to lead them to unrivalled success, inventing some of the world’s most revolutionary products

o   Steve Jobs

·         Sixteen year old, sent to Auschwitz, enduring unimaginable experiences, gets freed, meets and marries a wealthy polish heir only to flee in the middle of the night leaving everything to start from scratch in abject poverty in America.  In her 40s she embarked on the journey to go to university and eventually get her PhD in psychology.  She helped many with PTSD, especially US veterans, and went on to write her first book, the amazing The Choice, at the age of 89.

o   Edith Eger.


In all of them, the ‘feel good’ factor we all get from these heroes tales comes from knowing the amazing lives they lived in the end.  The way they overcame their difficulties, and got the results we love… changing nations, successful businesses, and bringing joy to the world.


We want the results they have.  But we prefer the version where the struggles are summarised in a short sentence we can move through –

·         Went to prison for 27 years but then…

·         Was kicked out of the own company he founded but then…

·         Survived Auschwitz, coming to America and living in abject poverty but then…


We all want the second part of the sentence, the part that follows ‘but then’… without the first part.


When I built my course, Side Hustle, I was a year into my own Side Hustle, building Working Women’s Wealth and my teaching business.  As a person whose done many hard things in my life, particularly in business, I assumed that I would work hard and do well, and that Working Women’s Wealth would take off in the first three months.  And it didn’t.

Maybe because it didn’t, it made me very sensitive to the stories of people who had successful businesses. 

One thing was common in those I interviewed, those I researched, and those whose books I read – was that whilst often there was a trigger or inflection point when success rose quickly, they had often been hammering at it for a long while… usually 7-10 years.


Their story was the same…. Worked hard at my business, many times thinking I should give it up but kept at it for seven years but then…..


Jim Collins popularised the notion that “The enemy of great is not bad, the enemy is good”.  John D. Rockefeller said “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great”.


The problem is, it’s easier in the short term to go with an easier course of action.  Why fix something if it isn’t really broken.  It’s easier to stay fat and unfit sitting on the couch watching Netflix than it is to make the harder decision to switch off the TV, get some sleep and wake up earlier to go for a run.


The same thing goes for our health, our wealth, our happiness or relationships and our work.  Most of stay with what’s OK because we fear the decisions change needs to take us to great health, great wealth, great happiness, and great work.


Tim Ferris’s Ted 2017 Talk, has over 10 million views so far – and given his success, you would have thought that he would have spoken about goal setting and how to achieve them.


Instead, he chose to talk about fear setting not goal setting, speaking first of his very methodical preparation to commit suicide and his over 50 bouts of depression as he battles with bipolar disorder.


His story fits into the same formula.  Young man with bipolar disorder battles through 50 bouts of depression but then…. Goes on to found many successful businesses, books and becomes a global speaker and phenomenon.


He talks about how the hard choices – the ones we most fear doing, asking or saying, are often the exact ones we need to do.  But the reason we don’t do it is because, in our head, we are paralysed by the fear of what could go wrong.

He quotes Seneca, a Stoic Philosopher, as saying “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality”.

We suffer more often in imagination, than reality.

Meaning our fears, our what ifs, our scenarios, the conversations we have in our head with others result in more pain and suffering than reality ever will have on us.

Or, as I say it, the elephant in our head is a mouse on the table.


He finishes his TED talk with a quote from his friend, Jerzy Gregorek, a Polish Political Refugee in America who is a 4 time world weightlifting champion.  It is “Easy Choices, Hard Life.  Hard Choices, Easy Life.


The easiest choice most often is to do nothing.  To stay status quo, or to wait for someone else to make a choice – relieving you of the responsibility of making it, and enabling you to have someone to blame. 

The challenge is, the life you get to live is the life of going where the current takes you, and when that happens, you may end up no where near where you should be.


The hard thing in life is to make hard decisions.  Decisions based on your principles and values.  Decisions based on that still small voice that whispers, there’s got to be an easier way.  Decisions for a better future, that may mean that the present is made harder.  To move country for a better job.  To get divorced for a better life.  To take one day off a week so you can devote more time to your family and take a mental health break.  To downsize your house so that you can downsize your expenses and increase your savings.


Just this week I had a conversation with an elderly person who became my client 3 years ago.  Right now, at the age of 76, he still has part time work.  They live off R24k from their investments and need to drop it to R7k.  It’s time for his annual revision, and I told him that if he doesn’t drop it, he will run out of money in 6 years time.  After 2 weeks of thinking, he came back and told me it was impossible to cut their expenses.

In six years, he will have no money.  It will force him to cut expenses.

He made the easy choice to stay as is.

In six years, he will have nothing.  And then, he will have an exceptionally hard life.


When we hear of the extremes, its easy as bystanders to see the hard choice is the right choice.  But when its us needing to send our kids to a cheaper school, or downsize our house, or change our lifestyle, we can’t.  We postpone the hard choice in the hope that it will go away, or something out there will change. But it’s a lifetime of decisions like that caused my client to be in the position he is.  Because its harder to reign his wife in than it is to just go with the flow.


So for whatever it is that you are avoiding doing or deciding on, ask yourself “What are the absolute worst consequences of making this decision”.  And journal it in as much detail as you possibly can.  I talk about this process in detail in Chapter 11 of my book.


Once you write it down, then do at least 5 “And then what’s?” and work out the absolute worse case scenario.  Take that elephant in your head, and stare it down in your journal.


The example I give in my book is this….


What tends to happen is that in our head we only ever focus on the first And then what.  The fear, and our worst feared consequence.


What we don’t see is that in reality, there is nothing that truly is earth shattering that we can’t get through.


As Susan Jeffers says in her great titled book, “Feel the fear and do it anyway”, “If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you have to fear?”


The reality is, all of us can handle what comes our way.  The meme I read today said, “life’s tough honey, but so are you”.  We overestimate the long term impact of pain, and underestimate our ability to deal with it.


You cannot control the outcomes of your decisions.  How people can react.  What you can control is whether or not you face up to your fears and are brave enough to make a decision.  You will get it wrong – but if you’re acting in line with your values, you will more often than not get it right.  And remember that wrong is often not a bad thing – it often is where the growth lies.


If you want an easy life, make hard decisions.  If you want to make easy decisions, and go along with where everyone else takes you, you will end up with a hard life.

Lisa LinfieldChristian MoneyPodcastBusiness OwnerEntrepreneurTim FerrisHard choicesJerzy Gregorek
blog author image

Lisa Linfield

Lisa Linfield is on a God-given mission to free 1 million women from the weight and stress of money. She's a CFP, founder of a wealth management business, and podcast host of Working Women's Wealth

Back to Blog


On Social - All Rights Reserved - Terms & Conditions