The best things in life are difficult

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How impressive would a 6 foot redwood tree be to a tourist in Sequoia National Park?

How marvelous would the skeleton of a chicken harvested last week be to an archaeologist?

How safe would you feel under the protection of someone who got a black belt in 3 months by mail order?

In the modern age, we lose sight of the fact that not everything in life is supposed to be bite-sized, convenient, easy, cheap, and immediate.

Giant sequoias live for thousands of years, assuming they survive things like drought and fire. Fossils take millions of years to form. Black belts can take as long as a decade to achieve, and in some dojo only 1 out of a thousand students will ever get one.

The best things in life can be difficult. You could even make the argument that the best things in life are supposed to be difficult by definition.

Here’s a recent example from the holiday weekend. I baked two sets of cookies. One was from a box kit, the hilariously named “Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Kit”.


It was easy, just add water, wait a minute or two, roll out the dough, and start cranking out the cookies. Bake ’em, decorate ’em, and enjoy.

Everything went well except the last part, because the product tasted like cardboard.


The second set of cookies was made from a dough that took half a day to make. It started with only raw ingredients, which required mixing, kneading, and sitting for several hours. The dough was a lot more tricky to work with, but the end result tasted like terrific, real cookies.


There was significantly more effort involved. It was significantly more difficult than “just add water”. But the end result was incomparably better.

As you approach business, marketing, or just life in general, don’t turn away from a difficult path just because it’s difficult. Question whether it’s difficult for a good reason, and if the reason is legitimate, consider taking the harder path!

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2 responses to “The best things in life are difficult”

  1. Are we to understand that the ugly sweater cookies tasted like ugly sweaters? 😉

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