Have you ever noticed just how much a little thing can affect you? It has to be a very specific little thing, probably something no-one else would even notice. And yet, it gets to you. Gets deep inside you and starts gnawing away. And if you’re not careful, it can leave you feeling flat at best, or worse make you angry.
Language is very powerful as I explained in “The Mind Altering Power of a Word”. The right words can whip a crowd into a baying frenzy of excitement, make individuals achieve more than they ever thought possible, invigorate or they can chastise, belittle and demean perceived subordinates. And words can de-motivate.
I believe that most people say what comes into their heads at a moment’s notice without giving much or even ANY thought to what it is like on the receiving end. I often lock proverbial horns with my other half about a careless, even totally inaccurate word or phrase he’s used. He has never needed to learn the subtleties of language for his career in the City and is certainly no loss to the Diplomatic Corps.
Nontheless, I don’t think I would have been so badly affected had I not felt tired this morning.
The porridge packet simply said “Easy to Open Tab – Just Pull Here”. After I’d narrowly missed stabbing myself with scissors trying to lift the permanently glued tab, ripped a gaping hole in the side of the box and scattered handfuls of oats all over the counter top, I had to disagree somewhat with the manufacturer’s assessment of the box opening ease.
And this really is my point. Just because YOU find something easy, doesn’t mean it IS easy. It simply means YOU have the necessary skills to make you confident that you will be able to do that something easily. But we all have different skills. What I find easy, you may not. Turning cartwheels is easy for an acrobat. Speaking French is easy for a French National. Riding a bike is easy. LEARNING to ride a bike most definitely is not.
If you take the time to learn the necessary skill you will become more confident in more areas and over time, find more things easy. But don’t be fooled by thinking learning is ever easy. It isn’t.
For everyone online, the words “easy”, “simple” and “just” appear everywhere. These words CAN be very destructive to maintaining a positive mental attitude if you don’t happen to have the precise skills needed to make the task simple. Be aware that whatever is said, YOU may need to LEARN new skills to complete the “easy” task.
So bear that in mind next time you see “So simple to use – my eight year old was up and running in just 5 minutes”. Consider whether you actually have the same skills and today’s average eight year old before you take the plunge! Don’t get downhearted. Decide to keep your positive attitude. You will need it to get over the learning curve!