The hard way is the easy way
I’m always looking for ways to improve myself and the world. Easy ways. Today I realized what a mistake I’ve been making.
Easy ways don’t work.
Lifting weight the easy way
Suppose I wanted to lift 100 lbs. I could just bend down and lift it. That would work.
But that would be hard. Instead, I’ll look for an easy way.
In the old days, before the internet, I’d sit down and think and think and think about easier ways. I’d think instead of lifting. But now that I’ve got the internet I can do better.
Now I can search the web for ways to lift with less effort. Great! Here’s a guy who’s got a blog about lifting heavy things. I’ll read everything he’s written about that. And about everything else he’s ever written.
And here’s another one. And another.
Whoops! Time for bed. Well, I can look again tomorrow. I’m sure there’s an easier way to lift than “just pick it the fuck up.”
Good morning! Sure enough! Here are ten different ways. Now, which one should I choose?
I bet someone’s got a blog about choosing the best easy way to lift. Now I can research figuring out how to decide which way to lift is best.
Weeks later, I still haven’t lifted anything.
Meanwhile, I could have just fucking lifted it.
Avoiding what’s uncomfortable
But that would be uncomfortable. True, research takes time. And research might be hard for some people. But not for me. Research is easy, and it’s better than lifting a weight, or writing a blog post or just about any fucking thing.
I love doing research. So I’ll always do research, looking for a better way.
And best yet, while I’m doing the research, I can tell myself I’m making progress.
I am making progress, aren’t I?
Working out makes lifting easy
Here’s another way to make lifting 100 lbs easy: I could go to the gym and work out until I can lift 200 lbs. Getting to 200 lbs might be super-hard; it might take every bit of my strength. But once I can lift 200 lbs lifting 100 lbs would be easy.
Of course, I’m not going to do that, because going to the gym every day would be hard. And I’m going to look for an easy way. So I’ll do some research about finding an easy way to go to the gym.
It’s like I said in my post “Whatever it takes” it gives the illusion that I’m trying to get shit done when what I’m really trying to do is avoid discomfort.
I want to write, but it’s hard. I keep looking for “the easy way to write.” I’ll spend days researching so that I have lots to write about. I’ll spend hours writing early drafts, so it looks like I’m making progress.
But I’m not.
The hard part of writing anything is finishing.
Fine. Then I’ll look for the easy way to finish.
The easy way
No such thing.
If there’s an easy way to do any of this, it’s this: I have to do it the hard way over and over.
If I do it mindlessly, it may get easier as I build my skills.
If I do it mindfully, it will probably get easier because I’ll see the patterns to the way I work and I’ll see ways to make improvements.
If there is an easy way, the hard way is the way to get to the easy way. And in the meanwhile, I get shit done.
If there is no easy way, the hard way is the way to get shit done.
I’ve stumbled across this idea before: I’ll do whatever it takes to find an easier way. And I’ll do the hard stuff, and I realize that I need to get out of my comfort zone.
Now it’s clearer.
The hard way is the easy way.