Cat-With-Rubiks-CubeWhat is difficult?

Everyone has their own answer to this question, but for many people, the list might include:

  • speaking in public
  • writing a book
  • learning a language
  • running a marathon

One thing that people who have accomplished something difficult will say is “it’s not that hard.” Don’t listen to these people. It is that hard, and they’re doing you a disservice by saying that it’s not.

When people say something isn’t difficult, what they usually mean is that once you’re working on doing something, it becomes the difficult thing you are doing rather than a difficult something that you’re thinking about doing. When you’re writing a book, it’s a completely different kind of difficult from contemplating writing a book.

For some, making this transition from thinking to doing is difficult. Others have no problem at all with starting things. But, once you do start, you’re faced with a new problem: how to actually do the thing you’ve started.

How to do difficult things

With anything that’s difficult, the two keys to success are:

  1. patience
  2. the will to give it the attention it requires

Whether you’re baking a pie, learning an instrument, or getting in shape, both components are required. Rushing won’t result in success. Alternatively, all the patience in the world won’t make something happen if there’s not sufficient action.

It’s a simple thing to say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but having the patience and will to actually walk 2 million steps is something else.

Having a strong enough desire to learn or accomplish something difficult can’t be taught. If you have it, you have it. The burning question that may be on your mind now is: “how do I learn to be patient?”

For that, you’ll have to wait for next week’s newsletter.

Doing Difficult Things
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