Warning: Difficult Does Not Mean Impossible

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difficult does not mean impossibleHere’s a conversation I had with a student the other day…

Me: Why did you stop?

Student: Because this is hard.

Me: That’s a good thing isn’t it?

Student: Why?

Me: Because you’re just about ready to make a major breakthrough!

Student: But, it’s difficult!

Me: Difficult does not mean impossible.

When the Going Gets Tough, What Do You Do?

When things get hard, the easiest thing to do is give up.  I think the real problem is that many people don’t know what it’s like to be challenged.

When they do face a challenge, it’s just easier to think that difficult also means impossible.  It’s like an automatic “out.”  You don’t have to rise to the occasion because it’s an impossible task for anyone.  Or is it?

“Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla.  You don’t quit when you’re tired – you quit when the gorilla is tired.” – Robert Strauss

The next thing you know, a friend is able to work through that same problem just fine.  They don’t seem to be having any trouble.

Doesn’t that just make you mad?  There has to be an explanation for it.

Oh wait, I know.  They are just a little smarter than me.  Yeah, that HAS to be it.  Hmm….

Could it be that maybe they have learned how to work in the sweet spot?

Working in the Sweet Spot

Working just beyond the edge of your ability is a magical place where you learn best and become the most productive.  The only way you can arrive at this place is to struggle a little and be willing to get uncomfortable.

This means that what you are working on is most likely difficult, but it’s not impossible.  As long as you keep striving, the task can be accomplished.

Yep, you’re going to feel tired and frustrated.  However, you’ll also be on high alert catching all of your mistakes.  Another good thing is that you will remain completely engaged in what you’re doing.  In other words, focused.

When you reach this destination, you are in the sweet spot…the best place to be.

In the Zone

When you do finally get into the zone, you will notice how you accomplish much more in a short amount of time.  The amazing quick results will give you motivation to keep striving in your sweet spot every time.

So, how do I get there?

How to Find Your Sweet Spot

1) Decide where the boundary is for your current ability.

2) Now, aim just a little beyond that.

Congratulations!  You’ve found your sweet spot!

Struggling Too Much?

Of course, it’s important to remember that something too far out of reach is never a good idea unless you break it down into small steps.  Even so, I don’t recommend diving into the deep end unless you really enjoy a lot of pain and grief.

Pretty soon your patience will run out and you may give up altogether.  When this happens, you’re right back where you started confirming the lie even deeper in your mind that “difficult must mean impossible.”

You can make your life a whole lot simpler by tackling even the most complicated task one small piece at a time.

So, tell me.  What are you struggling with?

photo credit: morberg via photopin cc

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