Why “What If This Were Easy?” Is Such a Hard Question to Answer

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Jill Metcalfe

“What would this look like if it were easy?”

This “mind hack” is supposed to cut through the obstacles we put in the way of taking action on the things that matter. It’s a sequence of short words, strung together into a simple sentence. It pulls me in whenever I see it, and I see it quite often.

But I just don’t get it.

It’s such an appealing idea: what if all the hard things could become easier? Or even: what if all the hard things were actually easy all along?

I decided it was time to finally make sense of it.

I outlined my research process

  • Use the Twitter advanced search to compile a list of all the instances where this concept has been raised by me or the people I follow.
  • Gather my notes on this and related topics: overthinking, perfectionism, procrastination.
  • Pull up the replay of last week’s livestream with Paul Millerd and Khe Hy where I actually asked the question, again, and Khe answered. Take notes.
  • Analyse, distill and write my conclusions.

Or, I could just write down what was already in my head

Because THAT’s what it would look like if it were easy.

I kind of have to pause here to let my brain wrap itself around this concept, and I can’t quite manage it, yet.

What I’m starting to realise is that my brain automatically defaults to making things hard. But “hard” is not the word my brain uses. It prefers words like thorough, conscientious, intelligent, professional, thoughtful, competent and coherent.

But now I know there’s a cogwheel icon up in the corner of my screen that I never noticed before. My game may always boot up in Hard mode, but I’m allowed to switch it to Peaceful.

That’s what it would look like, if it were easy.

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