Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Imagining lots of tedious steps? Or one fun step?

2009-09-12

If we hate doing something, we think of it as hard. We picture it having many annoying steps.

If we love doing something, it seems simple. We think of it as one fun step.

If you ask someone who hates running how to do it, they’ll say, “Ugh… First you put on running clothes. Then you have to stretch. Then you put on your shoes. Then you go outside. Then you get all sweaty. Then you have to cool down. Then you have to shower. Then you have to change. Who has the time?”

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

Once you realize this difference, it’s helpful to notice how you think of a project.

Even if you say you want to do something, if you catch yourself thinking of it in many tedious steps, maybe you don’t really want to do it. Why would you? It sounds awful.

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 honestly, “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 picturing?