Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Imagining lots of tedious steps? Or one fun step?

If we hate doing something, we imagine it as hard. We think of it as broken into many pain-in-the-ass steps.

If we love something, it seems easy. We imagine it as one fun step.

If you ask someone who hates running how to do it, they'll say, “Ugh... First you have to stretch. Then you put on running clothes. Then you get the right shoes. Then you have to tie your laces. Then you have to go outside. Then you get all sweaty. Then you have to cool down. Then you have to shower. Then you have to change. Then... I don't know, but it's a huge ordeal! Who has the time?”

If you ask someone who loves running how to do it, they'll say, “It's easy! You just put on your shoes and go!”

Once you realize this difference, it's funny to hear how people describe things.

Even if someone says they want to do something, if you hear them describing it in many tedious steps, they don't really want to do it. (Why would you? It sounds awful. You'll find reasons not to.)

People often ask me about starting my company.  “It must have been so difficult! That's a huge undertaking! How did you manage all of that?”

But I just answer sincerely, “There was really nothing to it. I just made this little website, and people liked it. That's it.”

I barely even remember the details.

In my head it was just one fun step.

Now I have to pay attention to that, with each new project I start: How many steps am I imagining?

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