Why Successful People Have Lazy Problems

It’s easy for brilliant minds and innovators to get stuck on the same problems.

  • I don’t have enough bandwidth.
  • My teams won’t implement my ideas.
  • I can’t get my colleagues to move faster.
  • Things are good, so why would I change anything?

As soon as we settle into these struggles, we go to sleep. We accept the simplicity of our challenges as semi-permanent. We dream about things being different but we decide that we’ll have to accept this for now. And because of this, very often we miss the real struggle, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can overcome problems that seem impossible if you learn to practice like a Korean Monk.

A Single Question

In Korea, Zen monks have a single koan or awakening question they work with their whole lives. Because this question doesn’t change, they must change around it. They must learn to step into their struggle with greater clarity day after day.

And it’s this kind of practice that can provides us with the greatest chance to live a life of wonder especially around the places that feel most stuck.

The more successful you get, the more depth you need to bring to your challenges. Otherwise you’ll just become lazy in your struggle. You decide you this is something you simply must accept and your creativity stops there, perfectly justified by your brilliant story.

But even the thing you feel the most stuck on can be the thing that invites you to dream. If you move beyond “I know my struggle well enough.”

This is the path of mastery—not just of your work, but of the depth of life itself. This is how you can move beyond simply accepting the struggle we have in the background noise of now. And instead learn to step into your life as a question that invites wonder and creates possibility at every turn.