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What If This Was Easy?

Discover Ideas That Improve Decisions

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The desire to achieve is the ultimate motivator.

There isn't much that consumes us more than chasing a goal. Success might reward, but satisfaction and happiness also live in the journey.

It is the doing we love. But we can also despise it too.

Success often comes down to two questions.

  1. What is the goal?
  2. How will you achieve it?

The first question is straightforward and simple. Ambition helps us explain where we want to be.

The second question is where most fail.


The question is too easy.

Tim Ferriss likes to ask one to make him think harder. “What would this look like if this was easy?”

Curiosity can—and should take you away from your usual efforts.

Working it out as you go only works when you're the first. Most of the time we are repeating what others have done but in our own unique way. Foolishly, we often ignore the base rate data of past endeavours.

Ignorance of the past tends to breed frustration.

James Clear let his curiosity find an easier way.

James studied best-selling books before writing Atomic Habits.  He reverse-engineered the top twenty sellers to reveal key insights. Titles sell books, so he looked at title length, title format, title word count and so on to find the right formula.*

With 1.1 million books sold in the last 12 months alone, his efforts to find an easier way appear successful. He answered the question Tim posed.

So, before you chase goals, ask: what would this look like if it was easy?

*Tim Ferriss interview with James Clear

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