There are things that are hard, things that are easy, and things that are unpleasant.

This is similar to the differences between events that are difficulties, events that are confrontational, and events that are conflicts.

The things that are easy are the ones that don’t require a whole lot of hard work, that we enjoy, that make us feel good, and that make other people feel good. The things that are hard are the exact opposite: these are the things that require a lot of hard work, that we don’t enjoy, that don’t make us feel good, and that usually make other people feel “not good” as well.

The things that are unpleasant are things that might be difficult, but are often necessary to do, in order for another, easy thing, to happen. The things that are unpleasant generally involve difficulty, confrontation, and sometimes conflicts with other people. The things that are unpleasant are often unpredictable (you don’t know what the other person is going to do) and we often avoid the unpleasant things, in favor of doing the things that get us the dopamine hit.

The things that are unpleasant are often confused with things that are hard: Engaging with a new conflict engagement skill, applying new knowledge, and even establishing a healthy exercise routine may be unpleasant; but too often, we use the term “hard” to describe breaking a pattern that was pleasant for us in the past, but is untenable now in the face of current events.

The things that are unpleasant and the things that are hard, should be front-loaded in any situation, before focusing on the things that are easy, or else we run the risk of never doing those things at all.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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