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Easy is Not the Goal

March 23, 2021

One of the privileges of working at ADDO is serving exceptional companies I admire and respect.

One of these companies is Chick-fil-A. We have the great opportunity to work with them in a variety of ways, and since we do so much business together, we collaborate on a “Chick-fil-A Immersion Day” at least once each year. The first goal of this day is to understand their business better, so we can serve them most effectively. The second is to more specifically understand their brand strategy and approach to hospitality, so we can represent them well externally in schools and communities where we facilitate programs that showcase their name. And the final goal is to just get better by learning from some of the best and brightest in the business. 

One of our speakers this year was a local Chick-fil-A franchise owner named Chris Darley. He spent time talking about the nature of effective goal-setting and started by displaying these four words:

He asked our team: “When you have an option in life, do you want something to be simple or complicated?” We all responded, “Simple!” And he affirmed our answer. Then he asked, “Do you want it to be easy or hard?” We similarly responded, “Easy!” But this time, Chris shook his head.

No, we shouldn’t pursue things because they are easy.

Chris then asked a few of us to share some things in our lives that are most meaningful to us. The answers ranged, but included things like graduating from school, raising our children, achieving a major goal, and our relationship with a spouse. Then he asked us to think about if those meaningful things were easy or hard.

I think you know our answer.  

His point was this: most of the things worth pursuing in life are hard—things like raising children, getting in shape physically, developing daily disciplines, excelling in your job, cultivating a healthy marriage, and growing in your faith. None of these things are easy, but they make life rich and meaningful.

This requires us to reframe our thinking. While we should work ruthlessly to make our lives less complicated, we shouldn’t keep trying to make everything easy.

In our work, we can simplify by creating solutions for customers that boost their experience or by building systems for employees that increase their productivity.

In our parenting, we can simplify by trying to work on developing one good habit at a time with our toddlers or by simplifying the schedule with busy teenagers.

In our faith, we can simplify by focusing on reading one book of the Bible together. 

Simple is good. 

But it’s time to be honest, with ourselves and with those we lead, that the things worth pursuing in life are often going to be hard. 

So, keep simplifying where you can. And let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work doing things that really matter.


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