Doing Hard Things

Your only best bet to getting what you want from life

I wrote an article once. The central idea of the article was that “you won’t get what you want or what you are after because you aren’t going to do the work it requires to get it.”

That’s still very much valid.

Don’t say this or that is what you can do or can’t do until you’ve actually done it and gave it your best while doing.

If there’s a thing that almost all people run away from because it’s hard, then you will put yourself in a place of great advantage if you run towards such.

The reverse is also true, the more people run towards a thing, the lesser the value you will derive from joining the bandwagon. Or you may have to do the extraordinary to make any difference.

God played the fat tail risk hedge you should as well. He did when He was distributing talents to his workers. About the guy He gave just one talent, He had estimated that if the guy could use it well, it might return 10x or more. And of course, since he didn’t use it well, God reallocated His capital.

You should also play that game. Take a skill that is hard to grasp and it might be what will give you the 10x return. If you fail to grasp it, what you learnt while doing something hard will never go to waste. And if you are able to learn, 10x return may await you. You are ready better of doing something hard than doing the easy things.

What a lot of you don’t understand is that doing seemingly hard things have rewards that are asymmetric. That is, little effort can bring you rewards beyond measure.

That’s counter-intuitive in a way. Very few people in the world are doing the hard things, so society attaches more value to your little effort than you may even attach yourself.

On the contrary, doing the easy things doesn’t confer much value, and it doesn’t matter how much time you spent to do the easy thing. It’s not just so valuable to the society because they can get 100 other people who can do same.

To get more value from easy things, you will have to do it in an uncommon way, but that too is already entering the realm of hard things (hard things can also easy done in an extraordinary way). Those who seek ease aren’t that much on the side of favor with the society.

Another thing that adds value to both hard and easy things is “skin in the game”

I’ve been there is much more valuable than I read about “there.”

I’ve done it is also more important than I’ve seen someone done it.

Another concept of value I stumbled on is what Andrew Chen called “having a thing”

Having a thing confers more value perception than not having a thing.

Having a thing is about having something you are building, accompanied by proper documentation.

We all seek financial independence and that doesn’t come without a certain level of money. However, money is only a representation of value and except you offer value to the society, you are far from financial independence.

Ask yourself, what value can I add to this so and so individual or company if I met them or work for them.

If you have nothing that can come out of you (independent of a body-coporate) that another person is wiling to pay for, you have work to do.

From where this started, I will say again, you won’t get all you want because you won’t do all that’s required to get it. And more often than not, it usually requires doing hard things.

Here are 3 things I learnt from in the past week:

  • The act of looking at something changes it – an effect that holds true for people, animals, even atoms. Here’s how the observer effect distorts our world and how we can get a more accurate picture. – The Observer Effect: Seeing Is Changing

  • On Game Theory – What makes it possible for cooperation to emerge is the knowledge between the players that they may meet again. They are not playing a single game, but an integrated one. This means that the choices today not only determine the outcome of this move but can influence the later choices of the players. – Tit for Tat and The Evolution of Cooperation