Why everyone would do it if it was easy

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Kevin Mangelschots

If it was easy, everyone would do it is a common quote that most of us have heard somewhere before.

But today, we’ll be dissecting the meaning behind this sentence. And why having to work hard for things in life can actually be a blessing in disguise.

What does, “if it was easy, everyone would do it” mean?

The meaning of the quote, “if it were easy, everyone would do it” is that if something wasn’t hard and challenging, then everyone would do it. As people often like and prefer doing the easy things rather than the harder things in life.

Thus, it means that there’s a reason why not many people are or have attempted to attain that very thing that’s hard to accomplish.

People in our modern society are accustomed to getting things done easy, quickly, and getting that instant gratification instead of delaying it for a larger reward in the future.

If something is an inconvenience to us, it is unlikely that we’ll do it. And if there’s an easier way available to us, it’s highly likely that we take that easier path without hesitation.

Why do people rather take the easy way over the hard way?

Illustration of two road signs reading, “hard work”, and “easy street”.

  • People like taking the easy road

    The main reason why people prefer taking the easy road is because it is, well, easier! This also means that we expend less energy that we could use somewhere else!

    We even prefer taking the easier way so much, that most of us take it every day over the more challenging way.

    However, the harder path might even be a blessing in disguise. Since if it’s easy, everyone would do it. And then, the hard things would start to lose its value.

  • People often like what is known to them, people dislike unfamiliarity and the unknown

     

    The quote, “get comfortable being uncomfortable” written in black letters on a gray background.

    People often like what is known and visible to them. We don’t like the unknown. That’s why we prefer doing the things we’ve been practicing for ages. Because it feels familiar to us, and we like to feel like we can control the present and the future. That’s why that familiarity brings us comfort and confidence.

    Hard things frequently involve the unknown. This means that we will have to learn new skills and develop brand-new abilities that we didn’t have or have to use before in order to succeed. That’s why most people don’t like doing new, challenging things.

  • People don’t like the struggle

    People don’t like conflict. And new, hard things regularly require conflict. It requires struggle within ourselves, sometimes with other people and with the new abilities we are trying to grasp and learn.

    But overly desiring harmony and group coherence isn’t always a good thing, either. It can mean that you miss out on important new experiences and, consequently, miss out on growing as a human being.

My take on if it was easy everyone would do it

The quote, “we don't grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges” written in white letters on a wooden background.

The harder solution can be, the better one

Sometimes, the more challenging solution is effectively the better one. Especially further down the future.

The harder fixes can cause longer lasting positive results. Of course, that’s not to say that all solutions need to be hard in order to be good and future-proof.

People have a hard time delaying gratification

People have a hard time delaying gratification these days, almost craving the rush that the instant gratification provides.

Think of uploading a new picture on social media, only to be rewarded with a rush of endorphins when the likes of friends, family, and even relative unknowns immediately start coming in. Or wanting to immediately reward ourselves when we followed our planned workout routine, for example.

People want results fast. They have a hard time being patient

Individuals in our modern society want shortcuts for everything. They want to get muscular fast, lose weight quickly, and get promoted instantly without putting in long, hard work. This is of course not how life works, and getting everything the easy way without having to work hard is not even desirable either.

Good things take time. And consistency is key if we desire to reach our goals and if we want them to be long-lasting.

People can be lazy

 

Person sitting in a bath with a book and a glass of alcohol.

We want a lot, but don’t always want to put in the required amount of work. Often times we are stuck waiting for better times to come.

But that’s not how it usually goes. Without putting in a large amount of hours, working hard, diligently and smart, we don’t typically attain our large inspirational goals.

The process matters more than the end result

The thing is that it’s not only the result that matters, but the road towards that result matters even more.

When we feel engaged in the world, and are pursuing and acting out meaningful work, that’s preferably a bit challenging, is when we feel most alive. This is where the most growth occurs to both our character and skills.

Easy things can be as valuable and important as harder things

 

That’s not to say that the easy things are not worth doing either, as they can provide equal value and meaning as well. I think that everything should be done in moderation.

As such, easy and the more challenging things in our lives should be balanced in order not to get overwhelmed. Make sure you try to enjoy and appreciate the easier things and moments in life.

If everyone did the challenging things, it would start losing its value

Remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it, which is not always an advantage for you either.

If everyone does the hard and challenging things, then its value would drop because the supply increases and the demand remains the same.

A large part of the perceived value is that it is indeed hard, and that this challenge will deter a lot of people from attempting these hard things.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Where does the quote, “if it was easy, everyone would do it” originate from?

Illustration of green quotation marks on a light green background.

This particular quote was said by Tom Hanks, albeit in a slightly different wording.

“If it were easy, everybody would do it. Hard is what makes it great.” That’s the exact wording that he used.

He verbalized this citation in the American sports comedy-drama film directed in 1992 called “A League of Their Own.”

If it was easy, everyone would do it synonyms

If it was easy, everyone would do it has many synonyms such as:

  • If it’s easy, everyone would do it
  • If it is easy, everyone would do it
  • If it was easy, everyone would be doing it
  • It was easy, everyone would do it
  • If it was easy, then everyone would do it
  • If life was easy, everyone would be doing it
  • If it would be easy, everyone would do it

While the wording is slightly different, the meaning remains exactly the same. This means that all the synonyms can be used interchangeably.

Conclusion

Instead of loathing hard work, be grateful for it. Because if it’s easy, everyone would do it. And thus, these hard, challenging things would lose their value due to the higher amount of supply that people would be able to bring to the table.

That is why the challenging things in life can be a blessing in disguise for the hard workers. And exactly why we should learn to embrace the pain in life. It’s up to each one of us to work harder, put in more hours, and work smarter than those around us.

Take advantage of their inability, or most likely, unwillingness to undertake challenging goals. Their mindset of, “it’s just a game” and consequently not taking things seriously will be your greatest asset.