In a culture that’s constantly telling us to “seize the day,” “discover your passion,” and “do what you love,” it’s good to remind ourselves that doing the right thing is rarely doing the easy thing.

Yes, we should do work that fulfills and excites us, but along that road there are plenty of jobs, tasks, and projects that bore us to death. We love our clients, but over the years we’ve encountered a few I’d like to strangle. Even with friends and family – the people we love the most – we occasionally want to slap them upside the head.

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t pursue passion projects, and do our best to be fulfilled in everything we do, but we’re deluding ourselves if we think everything in our career and personal lives should be sweetness and light.

That’s why I’m not a fan of self-help books. In most cases, once you’ve read the title, you’ve read the whole book, because the answers to life are much harder than a simple cliche or motivational message.

So remember that fact when you encounter the bumps. Marriages hit rough spots, careers stall, and our lofty goals can get lost in the day to day struggle to keep our head above water.

But it’s the pursuit that’s most important. Keeping our eyes on the prize, and as they say, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

Because believe me, the worst will happen.

But that’s not the end of the story.


Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at

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