Friday, June 01, 2007

Lifehack - Nothing is Easy

"I'm annoyed!" I announced to nobody in particular.

I pushed the desk away from me and rolled back into the middle of the cubicle.

"What by?" Dean asked, turning away from his machine.
I thought for a bit.

"Well... I'm annoyed that things don't just come into existence because I think of them."

"Uh -right... You're actually annoyed by that?"

And you know, I was. I mean, I still am.

In software development, solving conceptual problems isn't always easy, (or even possible) but it is usually rewarding. Unfortunately, just solving the problem isn't enough. Once all the hard thinking is done, you then have to sit there, and wiggle your fingers in a very exact and particular sequence, until your design is completely implemented. Then remove all the mistypes and little deviances from your perfect unimplementable design.Then re-test it, over and over. And that's the thing that's annoying.

And the more I think about it, the more this little truism seems to apply to everything in the world. Knowing what you have to do is all fine and dandy. It's the doing of it that's annoying.

For example, I know I have to get up and go into the office tomorrow. I won't want to. I will want to lay in bed, and listen to the Typewriter Bird outside the window. I know I should eat less, and excercise more. I know that watching CSI:Miami is a complete waste of time. I know that. Doesn't all that knowing count for something?

Bah. Being smart enough to know what I need to do should be enough!

But, one thing I do know with my thinking brain is that reality doesn't work like that. That nothing comes as easily as thinking.

And so, lately, I've resolved to pursue reality with a little more vigor than I previously have. To work harder at materializing these clever thoughts into actions and artifacts.

And central to this, is the mantra that 'Nothing is Easy." Essentially, I've just assumed, slightly pessimistically, that everything I need to do will take more attention and concerted effort than my default appraisal might expect.

And so far, it's been a remarkably liberating thing. I find that at the end of the day, I've done much more, simply as a consequence of expecting to do much more.

Today, for every action you conciously pursue, from preparing breakfast to all your daily work tasks, remember that it will take MORE than you think.

That nothing is easy.


  1. You sound like Malcolm Fraser. This could be the start of an excellent philosophical discussion.

    I think the thinking part is the easiest part and the most fun part.
    Now I am not working I can spend lots of time doing my favorite thing - DAYDREAMING and I won't get in trouble for it like I did at school and at work. Funny thing is, lots of my daydreams DO come true - eventually. But the doing part comes a lot easier when you are not under pressure to do it by SOMEBODY ELSE.

  2. "I'm annoyed that things don't just come into existence because I think of them."

    Short: the tension between "is" and "ought" exists only in the mind, because it's not "out there" at all ... nothing teleological happening.

    Or how about this: you're one step away from a profound insight into the nature of humans as fallible and finite. I won't give it away on yuh. *snort*

    Or this one: Heidegger's "essay on technology" explores precisely that stuff. But he disagrees with you. Because you didn't speak precisely you didn't really say anything. What you actually meant / implied was "Frustrated that they don't come into being in the moment simply by the act of me thinking of them". Because, as argues Heidegger ("techne", doncha know) us thinking of them is precisely the only prime cause of our innovation ... is where techne comes in: real-izing what we thought of, making manifest what had been only potential.

    So yaa ... you thinking of it isn't sufficient, but it sure as shit is necessary!

    BTW: if you and I ever talk about my design (I'm not kidding about stealth mode ... hey, you know anybody in the defense / intelligence analysis game? I got a widget they'd like.) it'll be after you groked the extraordinary significance of, say, paper-clip ... or zipper.
    Or ToC ... dead obvious, after the fact, like "index" or footnotes ... but ToC, like those other two, didn't just come to be under some toad-stool ... all 3 are artifacts i.e. products of invention ergo. somebody thought of it then made it so. And it hadn't been so before. At all. Ever. Pret'near god-like, doncha think?