We Make Everything Harder

By Leo Babauta

It sometimes amazes me how we make everything harder for ourselves than it needs to be – myself included.

That’s not a bad thing – it’s simply human. Harder is not worse. We learn from harder. So there’s a beauty and a sense to it.

That said, once we see how much harder we make things, we have an opportunity to … not make it harder. Simplify. Do things with more ease.

Before we get into how to do that, let’s look at how we make things harder.

How We Make Things Harder for Ourselves

We add a lot of extra thinking and stress. We add a bunch of extra steps. We put things off for a long time, so that it becomes so much more stressful. We worry about things we can’t control, or can’t know about (like what other people think of us).

These are all protective mechanisms – we’re trying to keep ourselves safe. But in most cases, it’s not needed.

Let’s look at some examples of how we typically make things harder for ourselves:

You can see that for each of these examples, I’ve shared a way that it could be simple and easeful. But we layer complexity, worrying, overwhelm, distraction, avoidance, stress, overthinking, overpreparing, anticipating.

What would it be like to just do things as simply as possible?

How to Do Things With Greater Ease

Some good questions to ask when you’re doing anything are:

1. How am I making this harder?

2. How could I do it as simply and easefully as possible?

3. How would I do this if I trusted myself?

So for example:

What if you brought a sense of play, ease, adventure, curiosity, joy, love to everything you did?

This is a lifelong practice, but it’s so beautiful. I wish you simplicity and ease.