Things are difficult until they are not

Rod Pickett
2 min readMay 1, 2022

Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Fortunately, we’re not all the same.

If everyone were like me, we would never have made it to the moon, we would never be able to remove a brain tumor, and we would never have another generation of humans.

The things I find difficult, or even impossible, are done well by other people.

Not only does this mean that the world is a much better place, but it also enhances my life.

I can hire others to do what I can’t do or prefer not to do.

Anytime I can trade money for time, it is good.

Time is a limited resource; money is not.

But there is an even better lesson here: what I find difficult and nearly impossible on the first attempt can eventually become doable and even easy with time and effort.

Things are difficult until they are not.

I can remember several examples of this from my childhood: learning to ride a bicycle, learning to read, learning to tie my shoes.

This has continued to be true as an adult.

For some time, I have been learning the Italian language. I have read books. I have listened to audio programs. I have lived with native speakers.

And while I still am not completely fluent, sometimes I just understand what people say with little effort, something that seemed impossible when I could only speak one-word sentences: “Bagno,” “Acqua,” and “Grazie.”

When you try something new that seems too hard, don’t give up.

If this new thing would be useful or enjoyable, you can learn to do it.

You might need a coach, a mentor, or a teacher, but you can do it.

If you can’t find or can’t afford someone to help you learn, you can use YouTube™ as a virtual coach.

Things that seem overwhelming become easier if you break them down into individual, manageable steps.

Don’t get discouraged if the progress is slow at first.

Seth Godin calls that The Dip: things get harder just before they start to produce exponential results.

No one is born a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist.

But with focused effort, you can accomplish pretty much whatever is important to you.

— Rod Pickett

Now available at Amazon: The Courageous Heart: Wisdom for Difficult Times in paperback and eBook.

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Rod Pickett

Rod Pickett is a writer, pastor, teacher, photographer, real estate broker, certified personal trainer, consultant, woodworker, and life-long learner.