Illuminated Chronicles: Stop Asking For Easy

In the oval office Obama has a plaque thing that says: “Hard Things Are Hard.” Hashtag No Guff.

This motivational video is powerful…not because of what Kash Shaikh is saying…his authentic message rings true (and if common sense actually lived up to its name this would be common sense). Rather it’s powerful because it invokes images from The Shawshank Redemption.

The Shawshank Redemption is an allegory: you can stay in prison (even though you are innocent!) and become institutionalized or…you can walk out of there a free man but…you can’t just walk out the front door…you hafta “crawl to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to. Five hundred yards… that’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.”

So…what are you gonna choose?

I grew up reading Choose Your Own Adventure…those books made sense to me…even if I perished by being impaled on stalagmites on Page 78…I wanted to choose my own adventure. And if that was my fate so be it. I stood by my choices.

All these years later I’m still choosing my own adventures…and still (thankfully occasionally) getting impaled on stalagmites. Adventures, business…the things I want to achieve; the things I have achieved…are not easy. And that realization prompts an odd gratitude.


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Also published on Medium.

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