Archives for posts with tag: Easy

“That was easy. Like taking candy from a baby.”

It’s an interesting simile, obviously originating in the US, since in European English we would say ‘sweets’.

It’s interesting when you think about how it originated. ‘Like stealing or taking candy from a baby’. A really easy thing to do for sure, but who would do that? Who is so weak that they feel they can take something from someone over whom they have such an overpowering advantage? And why take what is not rightfully ours?

We need a new simile to describe something really easy, something that requires the minimum of effort. How about:

  • Getting burnt in the sun
  • Opening a letter
  • Smiling
  • Paying someone a compliment
  • Scoring in an open goal from a metre out

OK, so they’re not world-class, but they all convey the positive, rather than the negative.

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The trouble with people making something look easy is that we all think we can do it, so we give it a try and either get an appreciation that’s it not easy at all and try to get better at it, or get depressed that we’ll never get that good and give up.

When you see great sport, or you hear a great song, or watch any kind of great performance, business or pleasure, what you don’t see is the 10,000+ hours of practice that culminated in making something look easy, effortless even. It is the thousands of hours that enables an expert to control time, in the sense that they seem to create more time for themselves or else can execute flawless timing.

We all operate our work, art or sport at certain levels, and when we see someone performing what we do at a level or levels above us, it’s not just that they make the level they’re at look easy. Even though they’re doing the same thing as us – playing the same sport, singing the same song, performing the same job – they’re actually doing something different. That’s when you say, or hear someone say something like ‘now that’s proper tennis/entertainment/marketing’ (delete as applicable).

There are two ways to fix this. One way is to practice more, and keep practising, to get better. The other is to avoid being compared with them.