Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

It’s Easier Said Than Done? Of Course It Is. Do It Anyway

Garage decor by Casey McCorison. (Only for his own garage!) Much easier said than done, but he did it and it looks great!

Not long ago, when I suggested to a complaining supervisor that he should tell an employee to stop behaving inappropriately and start doing the work he was assigned, the supervisor said, with a sigh,”I know. I know. But, that’s easier said than done.” 

A few days later, someone wrote to me about some dietary advice her doctor gave her–advice that could potentially save her from surgery and even save her life.  She said, “I know I should follow his advice, but it would require me to change a lot of my eating habits and that’s easier said than done.”

Last week I was talking to a friend about a challenging situation and what action I knew I needed to take. I said, echoing those “other people” who avoided the tough tasks: “I’ve told myself this a dozen times, so I know what to do. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than……” I stopped myself, appalled that I would fall back on the idea that if it isn’t easy I should be excused for not doing it!

The truth is that it’s always easier to talk than to do.  That’s why someone once commented, “When all is said and done, more is said than done.”

That’s also one reason the 1988 Nike campaign, “Just do it.” was named one of the last century’s TopTenTag-lines by Advertising Age. It acknowledges our human tendency to put off doing things that are difficult, uncomfortable, challenging or not as appealing as something less worthwhile. The people at Nike headquarters say they have heard from people all over the world thanking them for that motivating line, eight letters long.

What is it that you need to stop talking about and just do it? If you’re like most of us you probably have a list of things you know you need to do, want to do or intend to do, but haven’t done. Why don’t you do one of the things on that list right now or at least start it today? Whatever it is, it will undoubtedly be easier said than done because talk doesn’t take much effort. On the other hand, talk without action doesn’t result in much accomplishment.

Do you know something you need to do about work, a relationship, a habit, a task or a challenge, but it’s easier said than done?


August 28th, 2010 Posted by | Keeping On!, Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 4 comments

Some Days You Are The Bird And Some Days You Are The Moth

A Casey McCorison photograph: Costa Rica 2009
A Casey McCorison photograph: Costa Rica 2009

Have you ever been buzzing around at work, taking care of business (you thought), figuring things were going OK and that you were on track with your professional relationships, your career and your reputation, when—zap!–you were hit by criticism, an attack you never expected or a negative event of crisis proportions in your life or career?

Have you ever been responsible for giving an employee bad news about work, administering a disciplinary action or intervening about behavior or performance that must be corrected immediately?  Have you ever investigated something and realized the end result was going to be negative for an employee? Have you ever inadvertently or purposely snapped back at someone unexpectedly or used your influence or authority to thwart them in something they were trying to do that you didn’t like or didn’t think was right?

Many of us have experienced going to work and thinking things seemed fine–but by the end of the day everything had changed for the worse. It can be a frightening, upsetting and life shaking experience.  Sometimes, like the photo above, we are seen as the one who is responsible for the turn of events and sometimes we are the one who gets stopped in our tracks. Either way it can have a long-term negative effect on how we feel about ourselves, others and work.  

The situation may be so bad we can’t do anything but wait it out and hold on to the reality that something else will overshadow it eventually. However, we always can improve things to some degree if we focus on our work, our personal and professional missions and keeping lines of communication open. Never build a wall around yourself thinking that will keep the discomfort out–it only traps it inside.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) had some good advice about that. He was an Irish philosopher, statesman and political theorist who served in the House of Commons in Great Britain and contributed to many key political decisions.  He has been quoted and admired by both conservatives and liberals, but found himself alternately applauded and reviled during his lifetime. He said,

Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.             

That advice may seem excessively simplistic when you find yourself under attack, trying to recover from a painful experience or trying to get your team, section, department or office back on track. However, it is the one bit of advice that will ensure you move through the situation and come out of it stronger and better.

Work on–and do your best work. Work on–and support others who are behaving and performing effectively. Work on–and reach out to those who are going through the same thing.  Acknowledge your errors and apologize if it is appropriate; commit to improving your performance or behavior if that is needed; talk positively about the future. Work on with confidence the situation will pass and the good work you are doing will help it happen sooner.       

In the world of birds and moths many things are deadly and permanent. In your world and mine, surprises, changes, jolts and shocks may happen regularly. The negative results can be lessened if you don’t despair.  However, even if you do, keep your focus on how you want to be seen, what you want to achieve and what you can contribute.                        

July 31st, 2010 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 8 comments

Are You Waiting For All The Lights To Turn Green?

Samuel Johnson, the venerable philosopher and Dictionary compiler of the 1700s, said,

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”

A modern way to say that is,

“You’ll never get anywhere if you wait for all the lights to turn green at once.”

I was talking this week to someone who is anxious to make changes in several aspects of her life. She was telling me how frustrated she was over not being able to get going with her improvement plans. She had bought a goal-setting workbook but was waiting to start it when things were better. Unfortunately, getting things better was her goal!

I certainly could not criticize her, or even advise her very well, because I have the same tendency. If things are not just right, I tend to not get started. However, the longer I wait for things to be just right, the more there is to do to make them right!

Today, think of the stop lights in your life–the people, situations and things that frustrate you, depress you, or make you wish you could move forward and get to someplace else.  Or, the changes you want to make that require long-term action on your part. As my mother–and many other mothers–have advised about driving, “Sometimes it’s easier to make a bunch of right turns than one left turn across heavy traffic.” Just get going, in any way you can, and head toward your destination.

I know, I know, what you can do today is not enough to make things better. But maybe what you can do today is enough to keep it from getting worse. I also know that the little bit you can do today is not enough to get you where you want to go. But it will get you closer–and maybe that little bit will inspire you to go further tomorrow.

You will probably never find all the lights turning green at once. But if you keep moving, even in tiny increments, one day you will arrive where you want to be. Best wishes as you get moving and keep moving this week!

July 27th, 2008 Posted by | Food, Fitness, Fun, Life and Work | 5 comments