[link] If something seems unusually hard for you, see if you’re missing a minor insight

Link post

Related to: procedural knowledge gaps, trivial inconveniences, errors vs. bugs.

Summary of the linked post: the world is full of all kinds of minor insights about how to do something (either easily or at all): how to open stitched bags, how to mop floors, how to use search engines, the right way to look at a ball in order to catch it, what it means to ‘ping’ somebody, how the skill of playing sudoku shares useful elements with other things like proving math theorems, how to pass as ‘normal’, etc.

For anything that seems unusually hard for you, there’s a chance that there’s some simple insight that you happen to be missing that would make it easier. You could put a lot of effort into trying to laboriously level up the skill, or you could see if you could acquire that insight by relatively little work.

I particularly like the post for having an extended list of examples of the thing, hopefully making it easier to notice potential applications of this principle when they come up in your own life. (The example that came to my own mind was finding it unexpectedly aversive to vacuum in my current home, when it had felt fine in the previous one, and then only eventually realizing that my former housemate’s vacuum cleaner that I’d been using in my previous home was much more pleasant to use than my own.)