Whitespace E: The Perception of Difficulty
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- Whitespace E -

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- The Perception of Difficulty -

by Lincoln Sayger

370 wds.
First published on Mar 4, 2016

This article was produced through the support of my Patreon patrons.


As we go through life, we see many obstacles and challenges. Some are difficult, and some are trivial. Some seem easy, while others seem very hard. One thing can be found in every challenge: A variance between the actual difficulty and the difficulty we perceive.

We must not assume that something easy for us is easy for everyone. To do so risks hurting those who don't share our abilities.

We must not assume that something difficult for us has to be as hard as it is. To do so risks overlooking something we are doing that makes our task harder, or something we could be doing differently that would make the task easier.

We must not assume that something that looks hopeless is as bad as it seems. To do so risks failing to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it appears, or the action we could take that could be magnified by the actions of others. The situation could be possible to solve by getting enough people to push in the right spot or make the proper decisions for where to place their resources.

As we approach each corner in life, whether we're starting a new job, struggling with our feelings, trying to decide how to vote, figuring out a budget, or building a habit of healthy eating or exercise, we need to be mindful of the possibility that our perception of what we face doesn't match the reality of the situation. As we watch others struggle with things we think are easy, we need to be mindful of the possibility that, for them, it isn't as easy as it is for us. And as we watch systemic movements continue in ruts worn deep through years of repetition, we need to be mindful of the fact that systems have changed in the past and can change again, if we are creative and diligent in putting forth the effort needed to push the wheels out of their track.

When we are mindful of these things, we can improve how we react to situations in our lives and bring our perceptions closer to reality. And maybe, just maybe, we can make things easier, or better, all around.



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