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Nothing Is Hard

This entry is part 21 of 26 in the series Timeboxing Trilogy

There is no too hard. There is only too big. 1

The reason you think it’s hard is because the pieces you’re trying to handle are too large.
It’s not hard. It’s not difficult. You’re just not using your knife on it.

The slices you’re trying to eat are too thick.
Assuming you’re even slicing at all, that is.

There are no hard problems, just poorly sliced ones.
There are no hard problems, just oversized slices.

You think too big. You make it hard. You need smaller slices. You don’t necessarily need to change the problem or the question (although that might help from time to time), just cut the slices smaller. So small that you’re embarrassed. So small that you kinda hate yourself. So small that it’s almost self-condescension and you’re a baby and you suck at eating and so you need mommy to cut up your food for you.

And you do suck. At eating. But that doesn’t mean that you have to starve.
Think about it: the bigger an explosion you want to make, the smaller you need to think.

SRS didn’t change kanji, it just cut up kanji memorization into smaller pieces. And then fed those small pieces to you. Like a father to his child.

My bath-taking homeboy Archimedes wanted a massive lever to move the world with 2. But perhaps all we need is sharper knives, and a willingness to use them.

You thought supersizing it 3 was only bad for your waist. It turns out it’s just as bad — worse — for your soul. Well, for your mind and life and projects. If in doubt, get your knife out.

Vegan or straight 4, we would think it cruel, revolting and unwieldly to eat animals — well, mammals and birds, say — by just biting into them while they’re still alive. People simply don’t go around biting into poor little live cows and lambs and chickens, let alone attempt to swallow them whole. The idea is so abhorrent to us that the thought has never even crossed our minds. Animal foods are cut, flavored and even renamed to the point that they look and taste nothing like the original living creature. There is a lesson here for the attentive.

Why do you let your projects have bad, unsexy names that gross you out? 5 Why do you try to eat them alive with you and them kicking and screaming and blood and suffering for all involved? 6 Why don’t you cut them into appetizing slices?
Why do leave them so bland? Why don’t you flavor them — make them taste sweet and savory?

You make things taste good before you put them into your mouth. Perhaps your life 7 deserves the same courtesy. 8


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  1. I swear this didn’t sound like that when I originally wrote it 😛
  2. This is the sort of thing up with which you shall no longer put, yeah…I low; I low
  3. Yeah! Don’t supersize it: nanosize it. Picosize. Femtosize it…free sexist joke just waiting to happen here. Whatever the smallest, funniest-sounding SI prefix you know is, go with that 🙂 .
  4. You know you like it when I tease you 🙂 .
  5. I mean, can you imagine if “Operation Desert Storm” had been called “aah, fuggit, I have to go burn and maim civilians next Tuesday but I don’t really wanna; it’s probably gonna be really hot in the desert. Prolly get cancer from the shells I use to kill people with. F###############################################################################################. Why? I just wanna go home”.

    Better example: Operation Barbarossa: Coolest op name ever. Observe that it wasn’t called “Let’s go get our a$$es handed to us in Russia, just like Napoleon did, but worse”. Nor was it called “aaah, fuggit, I have this thing I gotta do next Wednesday or else I’ll be in trouble and I won’t get paid”. In food terms, it had a great name, which made people want to eat (=do) it; it made them want to get started. That it tasted awful, went down rather badly and was prolly a warcrime is not the issue here, in fact it just goes to show you the power of naming. The issue here is that it happened at all and it happened because it had such a great name.

    Listen to it: “Barbarossa”. It sounds like you’re gonna maybe run 20 miles, gingerly capture one very bad man, and then by dusk at the very latest, Marlene Dietrich will be giving you lapdances and feeding you Danish pastries while she reads you an unbowdlerized version of Hansel and Gretel in that thick German accent of hers.

    Another great example is “The Great Leap Forward” and how it specifically wasn’t called: “Operation Let’s Starve China Back Into the Stone Age While I Get Cool Posters Made of Me”.

  6. Like, what if sausages weren’t called “sausages” and instead we all just played back the dying (and, I’m told, eerily human-like) screams of a pig every time we wanted to talk about them?
  7. i.e. your time, your mind
  8. I’m paraphrasing Richard Bandler here, his wording was much punchier and went something like: “You don’t s### [defecate] into your food before eating it. Why s### [defecate] into your life before living it?”

  8 comments for “Nothing Is Hard

  1. Elijah
    January 16, 2013 at 00:21

    That’s what she said.

  2. January 16, 2013 at 11:25

    Cutting things into manageable chunks is really the essence of education. You take a concept, divide it into pieces, and rebuild it from the ground up.

    I think this makes a good case for avoiding “massiveness” when making SRS entries. For vocabulary-building, it’s good to slice as thin as possible, and make the shortest sentences.

  3. Oosaka Ayumu
    January 16, 2013 at 18:08

    khtz, you are so full of wisdom!

  4. January 16, 2013 at 19:19

    Off-topic, but could you recolor the Show Back button in Surusu? It’s white now like the background and very hard to see.

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