March 03, 2006
The Harder Path

creative perspectivesI read this quoted on my colleague Chris’s weblog, and was struck by its simple insight.

This is from Paul Graham’s How to Make Wealth but I think it applies equally to creativity as to commerce.

If you have two choices, choose the harder. If you’re trying to decide whether to go out running or sit home and watch TV, go running. Probably the reason this trick works so well is that when you have two choices and one is harder, the only reason you’re even considering the other is laziness. You know in the back of your mind what’s the right thing to do, and this trick merely forces you to acknowledge it.

When you have a choice between two creative ideas or two ways to implement an idea, isn’t it more fulfilling to do the harder one? I get such a sense of accomplishment from hard work. But sometimes I forget that and this reminder is a good kick in the pants to go do the multi-page mapping project I’ve been putting off for weeks.

Posted by kuri at March 03, 2006 09:17 PM


Brilliant advice.

Posted by: Jenn on March 3, 2006 10:45 PM

Using a trick is easier than judging each case by its own merits. Take the harder route and don’t use this trick.

Posted by: LaurieM on March 4, 2006 06:32 AM

I am not convinced.. I work with somebody that insists on taking the harder route ALL THE TIME and cannot give me a good enough reason to why projects always slip past deadline for the sake of what I would say is simply eye-candy or a more complicated back end that makes no difference to the running of a site except that it is now 3 months late!!!

Posted by: T on March 6, 2006 02:37 PM

Laziness is the mother of invention. I think some of the best inventions have come because their inventors were tired of doing things the old way. “There’s got to be a better way to do this!”

Posted by: Jonathan and Sachiko on March 10, 2006 10:13 PM

Graham is my uptight nerd hero !

Posted by: Cavolonero on March 12, 2006 08:19 AM
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