Words Matter


words matterWords matter, but you can change them.

Have you heard of the 75Hard Challenge? It’s fascinating when you dig deeper into what it actually is, but it can be a little intimidating on the surface.

I’ve seen this challenge posted and shared for years. And I’ve resisted. I’m just now realizing why.

I don’t like the word hard. Not because I don’t do hard things or I’m opposed to hard work, but I don’t think the hard is what should be glorified, and I don’t think the hard is where the magic comes from.

If I were to rename this challenge, I’d call it 75 Intentional (in case anyone was wondering). Because the thing I actually love most about this challenge is that there are guidelines but not necessarily step-by-step instructions. Which works well for me since I don’t like being told what to do.

I love the flexibility and empowerment to accomplish each item in a way that speaks to you and works for you. But it also means that no one is saying, “at 10 a.m. do this, at 1 p.m. do this…” You have to be intentional and deliberate in your day.

Hard, for the sake of being hard, feels unnecessary to me. It feels like a false badge of honor built on shame and one-upping. Hard for the sake of the glory that comes from the struggle feels like it misses the point. I call it martyrdom or manufactured drama.

When we assume that “hard = meaningful,” we miss so much!

My two workouts a day with 75 Hard will not be “hard” necessarily, but they’ll be very intentional and very meaningful and definitely challenging. Some of the things I’m best at in life, my zone of genius, are scary, exciting, fulfilling, and require me to be vulnerable, but they’re not necessarily the hardest things for me. They’re more innate and intuitive. Imagine if I had just brushed those things aside, assuming that they must not be that important if I didn’t have to work really, really hard to get them.

What if we stopped assuming that because something is hard, it’s automatically more valuable? What if we stopped believing that if our struggle is harder than someone else’s, we’re better, more deserving, more determined? Don’t back down from a challenge, but don’t make things harder than they need to be. There’s fun and accomplishment to be had, WITHOUT punishment.

What if we started believing that things increase in value from being impactful or meaningful to us and started using words that speak to us?

The whole idea of 75Hard changed for me when I changed the words and how I thought about them. Which begs the question of what other things are we mislabeling? What other things are we turned off by because the words bring up negative connotations or associations that we’re dismissive of? 

Words matter. Words are powerful. And also, we can change what we say and how we say it to be reflective of who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish. 

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Lauren Schwarzfeld was born and raised in Yorktown, and aside from college in Boston and a few months living in New York City, she has spent her entire life in Westchester. She has lived in Mt Kisco with her husband Karl since 2006, where they have three kids, Mia (2008), Jacob (2009), Abigail (2012), and two dogs, Edna (a four-year-old beagle) and Felix (a one-year-old pitbull-lab mix). Lauren is a writer, coach, and leader in community engagement. She helps women rediscover their strengths, passion, and confidence to reclaim their spot in their life and step outside the box of perceived expectations. Her goal is for women to create a future that is authentically and unapologetically their own. As the Chief Operating Officer at (914) Cares, a local non-profit, she combines her business background with a passion for volunteer work and desire to care for the community around her. Connect with Lauren on Facebook or through her website!