The Hard Way

I have always been a fan of the more difficult path for all my vocational activities. I’m not sure I can explain this, but I prefer it. I’d pick shovel over a backhoe, command line over GUI and lifting over pushing. I would much rather do something hard and then fail then do something simple and succeed. Additionally I would much rather work hard and then finally succeed rather than know that something is inherently simple while I flop miserably at it.

There is no expression for the feelings that well up in you when you cannot master something that its instructions state as, ‘so simple a child could do it’. For may of us these are the most feared words in the English language. Now you've been setup so that if you do fail you're more stupid than a piece of wrapping paper. This is never as obvious as when playing a console type video game. The feeling that children everywhere are bored to death with the lack of complexity and you can’t make your brightly colored cartoon slave follow any of the instructions you give it.

I am a computer gamer with many years of experience. I’m a tower of dexterity armed with a mouse and keyboard, but put a console game pad with twelve buttons and mini joystick in my hand and I look like drooling ape at the zoo. I feel like an absolute imbecile where it comes to the ‘simple’ games. My character is running around in circles while seven year-olds snicker in the background.

“Do what I want you to, you stupid little plumber! I said ‘wall jump’ not ‘back flip!’”

This is why I would rather try something that is accepted as difficult. That way when I do ‘get it’, it’s not viewed as me finally achieving a mediocre standard, but rather succeeding at something truly impressive. Who wants to pour time and effort into something that average people are doing all day long without even trying? Not me. Additionally if someone says “I don't think you can do it that way.” I’m all over it.

Mostly I fail. I fall flat on my face, in the dirt with embarrassment coated thickly on my clothes. This is a place I've been many times. That’s fine with me; it just means I’m going to keep trying till I get it. Along the way if I get frustrated, unhappy or mean, just know, it’s perfectly normal and I’m still having fun. Underneath the mask of a lunatic foaming at the mouth, is a happy kid with a new bike.

I like to fail before success. It just feels better. There is some feeling of severe gratification to know that you overcame the odds, naysayers, or some defiant inanimate object. As a rule I always have to have some technical difficulty before pleasure begins. Whether it’s just computers misbehaving, tools malfunctioning, or some other part of life is interfering. This makes enjoyment so much more enjoyable. It feels good to know you earned it.

People are constantly pointing out to me an easier way to do things. I generally just furrow my brow and give them the “Why would I want to do that?” look. They then walk away confused and I go back to whatever absurd endeavor I’m engaged in. It not that I don’t agree their way is easier, but understand, beneath all the grunting and groaning, I’m really having a blast and in the end I'd much rather do it, the hard way.


Jason said...

That is the largest potatoe I have ever seen in my life.

kludge said...


HA! You should had seen him dig this up!

Ando said...

Hey Kludge, there's no way you could come to my house every night this week and move the rest of my dirt. You just can't do it. Its impossible for you. Absolutely impossible for you to move the rest of the dirt off my mountain and to the pile, even if you spent every night this week doing it. Can't be done.

kludge said...


I agree, it can't be done.

Need some more help? Honestly, I would be happy to lend a hand.