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The Hard Way is the Easy Way | Scott H Young

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2020/05/11/hard-is-easy/

scotthyoung.com

The Hard Way is the Easy Way | Scott H Young
The hardest things become the easiest once we've fully committed to them. Easy substitutes backfire when they fail to get you where you need to go.

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Doing the real, useful thing

Much of success boils down to doing the real thing and not an imitation of the real thing. 

For example, if you want to learn a language: Start with full immersion. Speak from day one only in the language, except for work, friends, and family. The alternative is to download an app, listen to a podcast, and maybe you'll converse on occasion but may never communicate in the language at all.

To start, ask yourself how you would do this if doing it well was all that mattered.

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Lacking the time

Doing things well may seem daunting. You may feel that you don't have enough time.

But the point is not to deny your obstacles - it's to start with the best plan and make changes as needed, rather than simply starting with something that feels easy enough.

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The Paradox of Difficulty

The Paradox of Difficulty

The hardest things end up becoming the easiest, once you've fully committed to a pursuit.

When you've chosen to commit, make it a priority. Put it first in your calendar. Expect frustration and obstacles. You will get stronger.

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Committing to the hard way

Begin with what would work best. Hold the "but what about" for later.

Focus on what you have to do, not how much. "How much" will come later as the intensity can be scaled, but the real thing doesn't have substitutes.

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Make the hard possible

Starting with what would work, you now ask how you could make it possible.

Maybe you want to learn a language, but the real thing is out of reach because you're stuck at home. You want to work in a real firm, but they won't hire you.

Now is the time for substitutions. You can't travel, but you aim for immersion at home. You can't work in the real office, but you train on the tools they have.

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Make the hard way easy

Now is the time to make your efforts easier.

If you initially started with easy, you'll be tempted to do something convenient instead of something that works. However, once you know what needs to be done, make it easier to execute. Use systems and routines. Use every tactic to make it less difficult.

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Willing to put the effort in

The hard way forces you to ask if you are willing to put in the effort to do it.

Sometimes the answer is no. The cost is too high, or other obligations take priority. No is a valid answer. Better to say no now, and not let it eat away at your resolve. But if your answer is yes, you know how to do it.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Taking action = eventual success

Taking action = eventual success

Inaction is the biggest cause of our failures and our miseries. If we could consistently do the things we know we should do, we would be more successful, and our lives would be better. Yet w...

Explaining inaction

Some possible but weak reasons why action is hard:

  • Talent. But the world is full of brilliant stars that flame out and mediocre minds that build empires.
  • Preferences can explain our failure to try, but don't explain our inner struggles with inaction.
  • Capacity for effort. If your capacity for doing things is lower, it does not explain chronic bursts of activity with inevitable crashes in your goals and projects.
  • Motivation. Some people with the most reason have the hardest time taking action. 

Confidence

Motivation and expectation of success create a feedback loop:
  • Your motivation to complete a task depends on the value of the reward and your expectation of success. 
  • Your expectation of success depends on your motivation.

If your projects tend to fail, your expectations are low, and motivation fades. If your projects tend to succeed, your expectations go up, and motivation stays strong.

5 more ideas

The 2 ways you can approach your habits: Progressive and Consistent

  • Progressive. You start off easy, make it a little bit harder each time, until you eventually do very difficult things, with a lot less effort.
  • Consistent. Do the same...

Progressive habits are about managing growth, while consistent habits  are  are about managing decline. Progressive habits are less st...
Progressive habits are about managing growth, while consistent habits  are  are about managing decline. Progressive habits are less stable, but offer higher growth. Consistent habits offer lower growth, but are more stable.

When you set up a progressive habit, you’re on a path to improvement

Small, incremental adjustments in difficulty are almost certain to push your level up. The downside with progressive habits is that they are harder to sustain.

Doing The Real Work

Doing The Real Work

Success mostly boils down to this: Do the real thing. Stop doing fake alternatives.

If you are a student, instead of creating multicolored folders for your class, sit d...

Why the Real Thing Matters

The truth is that we often think we are practicing one thing, but later find that we are not really accomplishing our goal.

Several studies show that students are not able to perform on tasks that their classes should have prepared them for. For example, studying economics, but then not able to do better on questions of economic reasoning. Physics students that fail to solve a problem that differs slightly from those taught in class.

Choosing The Obvious Way

When you examine case studies of people with major accomplishments, you might expect some involved technique they used that others were not smart enough to notice. But often, they only did the real thing.

Polyglots are able to speak a language because they spend a lot of time speaking it. Playing on apps alone doesn't count.