Hard Things are Easy, Easy Things are Hard

Where would you rather your challenges lie? Impossible people? Or impossible tasks? For me, the choice is easy.

Ship with the Norwegian Flag looking at distant mountains

It's an indisutable fact of life that some things are really hard. It's not easy to go to the North Pole. Or to attempt to climb Mount Everest.

If you make a serious attempt, you are part of a small group of people. You can look ahead, to your left, and right, and see people likely to become your friends, because they trod the same narrow path.

Those who form friendships are able to get rescued if they begin to slip.  The others die, slowly drifting off to sleep in the cold.

On the other hand, if you do something common, the path is very well defined. You never need to worry about uncertainty. There's a ten-step process to becoming a rideshare driver, or an abundance of videos on how to compete with the thousands of people on upwork.

Everywhere in Japan
It's easy to get lost in the city.

The road is wide. People crush you from both sides. And although the path is easy, getting crushed is easier.

Competition sources

Truth be told, life is hard no matter what you do. But you do have the power to pick which parts are hard, and which are easy.

Interpersonal competition

Some of the pettiest people I've come across are doing banal jobs, jockeying for status and power against each other. And if everything is extremely easy in your environment, it's fairly natural for primates like ourselves to channel extra energy into interpersonal conflict.

I'm not saying that every easy job is meaningless, or full of petty people. Some of the best people I know are/were baristas. Merely that it seems there's a tendency for people in jobs that are below their capability to become bored, and to channel their energy into other, sometimes negative actions.

A monkey gives a huge smile for a portrait at the Ol Pajeta Conservancy in Kenya.
Someone took his banana. 

In a world where success is grabbing the next banana, someone will inevitably try to take your banana, once banana scarcity becomes an issue.

Interpersonal competition can bring out the best in us. But often, it brings out the worst aspects of humankind. Tribalism can become ugly quickly, factions rise and fall, and people can be merciless, unfair, and cheat.

Environmental Competition

On the other hand, environmental competition has more of a tendency to bring out the best in humanity.

When tackling extremely harsh challenges, there is no room for screwups. There is no room for rivalries that distract from survival. There is only room for cooperation. It's sink or swim. And when everyone is on a single raft, it does not pay to punch holes in the wood.

I'm a solo traveller & photographer If you appreciate my work and my color you can follow me on Instagram @Daniele71043, Thank you!
No room here for screwups.

Why Hard Things Are Easy

Hard things are easy. Not because the problems themselves become easier - they become exponentially harder as you move beyond the realm of common solutions and knowledge.

What I mean is that you can pick where you want your difficulties to lie. Every map has a zone that is labelled "here be dragons" - or it's a shitty map.

Would you rather have your challenges lie in relationships, bureaucratic bullshit, and power struggles? Or would you rather be challenged by exponentially harder tasks?

That's your call. But for me, I'd 100x rather have a hard problem, and solid people around me, than a well-charted, easy path.

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