25 Hard Things That Make Life Better

Do what others are unwilling to.

Woman going on a difficult hike Joshua Resnick | Canva

I always say that to gain an unfair advantage in life, you need to be willing to do what few others want to do. If you can identify those things and find a way to get excited about doing those things, it’s like unlocking a door to a secret room. Many years of experimentation have shown me that doing hard things is the quickest way to realize your confidence and self-growth in all aspects.

Here are 25 hard things that make life better:

1. Write a short book 

2. Unplug completely for a week

This is hard for workaholics but will give you needed rest and time to recalibrate. You’ll return twice as energized.


3. Go on a road trip by yourself

4. Record a video

I do these several times a week and have published over 350 YouTube videos. I don’t edit most of them, rarely feel like doing them, and usually have nothing prepared. This has benefitted my impromptu speaking skills and confidence like little else. Even if you don't upload them or share them with anyone else, it's good public speaking practice. 

woman recording a video Art_Photo / Shutterstock


5. Lift weights and harden your physique

RELATED: 3 Things People Who Love & Accept Their Bodies Know About Fitness (That The Rest Of Us Don't)

6. Give a live talk

7. Go on a podcast or interview someone

8. Do something you fear

Identify that thing you know you need to do. You know what it is. Go there.

9. Write an article that makes you nervous

Purposefully choose stuff you would typically avoid sharing. Be willing to be upfront, vulnerable, and honest. 

10. Write a short fiction story and share it online

Next, do this daily for a year.

11. Join a class, tour, or group you usually would not

12. Learn a language

Even if it’s 10 minutes per day. Even if you never use it in conversations, this activity will build your confidence, and it’s great for the mind and staving off dementia.


RELATED: The App That Will Have You Speaking A New Language In 3 Weeks

13. Aim for mastery

Take whatever you’re doing up a level by changing your perception around why you’re doing it. Are you just doing it ‘because?’ Or are you doing it to become a master? The latter is far more energizing and will lead to far better results.

14. Become a group mentor

Guide a group or cohort for a few weeks as a coach on a chosen topic that would help them. Start for free, then charge.


15. Quit TV and social media for a week

Who said social media was a drug? Well, you’ll know it's true when you try to quit.

16. Quit high dopamine junk

This includes porn, caffeine, and sugar for stretches as a form of reset or for good. Give your dopamine receptors a rest, and you’ll be amazed at how much added resilience, energy, and motivation you will bounce back with.

17. Go on a long hike 

18. Make a hobby out of networking

Approaching people you don’t know to get to know them isn’t easy for most people. What if you did it so much, in-person and online, that it became second nature? What would that do for your life?

19. Write daily

No one is immune from writing as a worthwhile activity. I don’t care if you’re an extrovert or ‘suck’ at writing. Writing is a powerful layer addition to anyone’s life. We live in the self-branding age, and writing is still one of the best ways to transmit your story and build your audience.


RELATED: Why You Should Keep A Daily Journal

20. Travel to a foreign country by yourself

21. Take up wall or rock climbing

22. Go to the movies or a restaurant alone

If you can do this, you’ll realize how much more freedom you have no longer being dependent on others to access and enjoy certain places.

23. Talk to a stranger 

24. Start a side hobby

25. Add 5% to your daily work output

Always ask: how can I add 5% more output to what I’m doing? This isn’t about ‘busy’ work. This is about doing more with the things that matter. Inevitably, this will require replacing a time-waster with something that aligns with your purpose.


Do more hard things. Be astounded at how your life changes. Now you won’t want to stop doing the hard stuff. Onward to greatness.

RELATED: 9 Little Tricks To Create An Insanely Unfair Advantage In Your Life

Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.