We’ve all been there. You start doing something new, maybe playing an instrument or painting. Whatever it is, you have those moments of frustration when things just aren’t clicking. Its hard and you’re getting discouraged. Maybe you say screw it. Maybe you think about giving up. The learning process can suck and anyone who has ever tried something new knows it.
Why is it so hard though? Why can’t you just pick up that guitar and play your favorite song? Wouldn’t that be cool? Why can’t things just be easy for you? Why does learning how to do something worthwhile have to be so difficult? Well, that would be nice, but we all know reality doesn’t play out like that. Learning to play the guitar is hard because the guitar is new to you and you don’t know anything about it except that it makes cool noises and gets all the girls, right? Well that’s just it, isn’t it? Its hard because its new and you don’t know anything about it.
Well, maybe you do know a few things about it and I should be giving you more credit. Maybe you know that there is a musical scale and that there are notes on this scale. Okay, that’s something, but what if I asked you to play each note and then asked you to play individual notes? Things just got hard again. Why? Because all that you KNOW is that the notes exist, you don’t know their individual sounds or their order on the musical scale, but if you did know it the musical scale and its note by heart then it would be easy to do what I asked, wouldn’t it?
Hard is based in knowledge. Was guitar hard to play for Jimi Hendrix? NO! Why? Because he knew everything about the guitar! He knew the guitar better than the back of his hand and because he did, he was able to let his creative genius flow and he created incredible music.
However, if you asked him to write an essay on the works of Shakespeare, then he’d probably find it hard to do because he doesn’t know literature like he knows music. If you asked him to learn how to play another instrument, then it probably wouldn’t be as hard as other things because his knowledge of music is already so vast that it would be easy to learn a new instrument. He has a foundation of knowledge to build on.
What’s hard is disciplining yourself to take the time and put in the effort to learn and then to put knowledge into practice, which leads to even deeper learning, and even then, learning to be disciplined is hard at first when you don’t have an understanding of what being disciplined really means, and much less have you ever put being disciplined into action.
Imagine the hours of practice it took for someone who you admire, whether that’s an athlete, musician, or business person, to be experts at what they do and then imagine how much they must know about their areas of expertise and you’ll start to imagine why its easy for them. They are experts because of their knowledge and experience, not because what they do comes easy to them. Ease is a product of expertise.
Yeah I know, if you had that much time and experience and practice you’d be just as good, right? Well then, why don’t you put in the time to practice? Why don’t you take the time to learn so you can operate with ease just like them? Because its hard, right? Well then, maybe you just don’t know how to learn or you don’t know how to be disciplined.
I’m in school right now and its not easy to say the least, but now I look back at what I learned at the beginning of the year and I think about how easy that material is, but when it was new to me, it was hard because I didn’t understand it. Now, when I’m learning about a new subject and I start to think its hard and I begin to feel stressed, I remind myself that its hard right now because I don’t know it, but that if I put in the time to practice and repeatedly go over the material, that soon enough I’ll get it and once I do it won’t be hard anymore; it’ll be easy.
Thinking that way and reminding myself that its only hard because I don’t know it yet has been incredibly beneficial to my learning process. I’ve found that by thinking something is easy, but I just don’t know it well enough yet has torn down mental learning barriers. When you think that something is hard, you’re already kind of defeated. It sounds cliché to say, but that’s because there’s truth to those words. Thinking something is hard makes you want to give less of an effort because you already think the odds are against you, so its easier to just to declare that a thing is hard and to accept defeat, not because you didn’t know it well enough, but because that thing is just intrinsically hard, right? Its not your fault. Is not that you’re lacking in some area. No, its just easier to say it was too hard.
I have a friend in school who reminded me of the Hard is Unknown concept. She is really good at math. Like really good. She knew exactly what was going on and she made really good grades. Math wasn’t hard to her. She knew her math and she didn’t doubt her knowledge. Math was just math to her. It wasn’t this intimidating or unfathomable thing.
Your understanding of math is what makes it easy or hard. Remember learning math as a kid? That shit was rough. But now being grownup, we can look back at what we learned then and be like, that’s easy. Whatever you think is hard now is just what you’re not willing to develop yourself to understand. Educate to Elevate. Raise your vibration by increasing your knowledge and rise above the frequency of difficulty.
This idea sounds like common sense and that’s because it is. I’ve found myself starting to actually understand some of the simple things I’d just take for granted. Its ideas like this one that I just needed to be repeated for me a couple times until I stopped just acknowledging the truth in the cliché and I actually started to understand and apply its importance.
If you want something to be easy for you, then you have to educate yourself about it. That means reading about it, watching videos, practicing and experiencing. If you know that is true, then do it and don’t wonder why something is hard for you to do or why you’re not good at that something. Its hard because you don’t know enough. So go educate yourself.
I found this great video on the Joe Rogan Experience about how Hard is Unknown with Hotep Jesus. What he had to say was really powerful. Check it out.