This leads us to another question: Are the best things in life easy or difficult? I'm not talking about family vs. money, or "the best things in life are free", rather I'm talking about the amount of work needed to achieve something. Growing up, we've always been told to set our goals, work for them, persevere, and ultimately reach our success. People will tell children (once they're old enough) that life's not fair, that things only get more difficult from here, that "you might get away with that now, but later, it'll be tougher" in hopes of bracing them for the difficult, painful, horrible future that awaits them. And yes, in everyone's life, there are hiccups, setbacks, bad days, and tragedies...but are these the norm, and how much is avoidable?
While grit and determination are valuable skills, there is wisdom in knowing what to do and what to avoid. It can be argued that actually the best things in life come easily. For example, in the game Jenga, pulling a stuck block isn't likely to help the game along. You'll acquire the block if you use enough force, but at the cost of knocking down the entire structure. In many ways, life is like that as well. There are some tasks which require time and effort and commitment, but they're still "easy". There's other tasks that are dead ends from the beginning, that never seem to work, that just won't fit, and eventually it's time to walk away. I've seen this on many student papers as they attempt to make a thesis work which really doesn't have anything to stand on. I remember doing math in high school and when the problem got so bizarre, I usually figured I was doing something wrong and started over.
As a teacher, this is one thing I struggle with constantly with students. They'll present an idea for a project which immediately seems like a bad idea to me. I'll usually offer my advice but rarely will I give an outright "no" because I'm curious to see how they'll make it work. Then, days later, the project is due and it turns out the final product didn't work very well. Should I have stopped them sooner, or was it good to let them try and "fail"? Should they get a lower grade because their idea didn't work, or should they get points for trying? It's a tricky thing in English.
So the next time you're working on a project, or trying to forumulate a master plan to get what you want, or continually end up frustrated because your goal isn't working...ask yourself "is this simply challenging, or am I pulling at the wrong block?" You'll find out the answer eventually, but it's better to do it yourself rather than here someone else yell "Timber!"