So many things are easier now.

We barely even have to wash the dishes before putting them into a machine. Long gone are the days of scrubbing clothes on a washboard or plowing fields with naught but a horse's help. Technology has done much to streamline the basic chores and workflow of our lives.

Of course, that doesn't mean we haven't been given more work to do--just of a different nature. But, there are many advantages to living in a modern world.

I would argue though: We may have to be ever-vigilant lest we fall prey to relaxing in our lives to the point of neglect and apathy. Life, a life well-lived, takes effort.

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Some say being willing to put in the effort is the real secret to being happy. Trying our best at whatever we're doing, every day. It's been said that how you do anything is how you do everything. Lackluster and blah attitude about making dinner? Possibly a lackluster and blah attitude about other things, too. If we begin to feel like our lives are dull, we may want to reflect as to whether or not we ourselves are approaching them through our own dull lens.

Even the tiniest details can be an opportunity to do something well, really well. That leads to a sense of accomplishment. Which leads to confidence and happiness... and so on. There's something about going the extra step: when preparing a meal, in a relationship, getting ready in the morning--whatever. It can change your entire perspective.

Paradoxically, energy comes back to us more quickly when we expend it. And when that energy is spent on taking the effort to make a more beautiful life for you and your loved ones, well, all the better. Make memories worth remembering. Add a touch more effort. It becomes a habit. Using our energy and putting in the effort to improve things around us will, in turn, teach us to find pleasure in even the daily doings.

Give it a try this week--see if it doesn't make a difference. ;)