Why are simple things sometimes so hard to do?
When we look at how others behave, and the troubles they get into, it is sometimes easy to say – why do you do struggle to do that? It’s so simple to do it another way.
From the outside we can look at a problem and see the simple solution, and tend to wonder why they, too, don’t see it.
But when we are on the inside of a situation, it is often not that we can’t see the “simple” solution, but that we are unable to take that solution, because it seems so hard to do.
This is often a central paradox in our lives. Whilst there may seem to be a simple next step to take, we seem to want to make it complicated, because that simple answer is too hard.
We see this in addiction and “bad habits” – the simple answer is to stop whatever destructive habit it is – but that simple answer is not easy.
But even those of us who have avoided addictive behaviors have the same issue.
We may have high blood pressure, and know that a simple solution would be to eat less salt – and yet we find that everything tastes too bland, and so we keep going back to salting our foods. Or we may find we are lacking in sleep, and the simple answer would be to go to bed an hour earlier. But somehow, we seem to be still up watching TV until late, and then wake the next morning still tired.
Why do we find simple things not to be easy?
The fact is that at times, the simple answer is also the most direct one. And being direct can hurt.
When I go direct to the real issue that is worrying me – the simple solution – I have to acknowledge the truth about myself and the real problem. I have to face up to myself and my see me as I really am.
I may be overweight, and rather than the simple solution of just eating less, I hire a personal trainer and follow a fad diet. But I do that because the simple solution – to eat less – would bring out my underlying issues – why do I eat too much? what feeling am I hiding by doing that?
The Simple answer is not always the easy one; often it is the one that causes us more pain.
But going through the pain of a simple solution can be an important part of our journey through life.