Easy isn’t what it used to be.
Easy used to mean you would leave school and find a job you’d be in for maybe the rest of your working life. Society both led, fed, and reinforced this. You fitted in and it took care of you. No need to fret or push it. Easy.
There were always those who did a more than this, who engaged in a set of disciplines and toiling towards realising their dreams, but the opportunities were fewer: astronauts, adventurers, artists of all kinds. It was never easy for these.
Easy now means what you do can be outsourced to another part of the world where they do easier cheaper: who wants to win the race to the bottom?* The world is changing so quickly, what I’ve written may be out of date by this time next week. Easy is no longer a solid or sound choice. Unfortunately, psychologist Daniel Kahneman has noticed how people go shallow rather than deep, substituting difficult questions for easier ones, willing to believe What You See Is All There Is.**
The alternative – the possibilities for people to pursue and realise their dreams – isn’t the new easy: it’s still about disciplined hard slog, but there’s more of it, asking us to change the way we usually assess or reflect on our lives, and train them.
Now there are fewer jobs for life but many more possibilities for people to explore and realise their dreams.
Many would like change to be easy, reality is, change is hard work – but worth it.
(*As Seth Godin names it.)
(**Kahneman writes, ‘We can infer from the speed with which people respond to questions about their life, and from the effects of current mood on their responses, that they do not engage in a careful examination when they evaluate their life. They must be using heuristics, which are examples of both
substitution and WYSIATI.’