How do we “just know” when even our labels are confusing?

Posted on by wordqueens

While ironing my pink non-iron shirt, Silly Me presumed that “non-iron” meant it would be easy, convenient and non-wrinkled.  Automatically.  I began thinking of how perfectly our friend, Rebecca Metz, named her company:  Modern Inconveniences.  Rebecca is genius at helping to best use the very tools that are meant to make one’s technology life easier in a way that may not be automatically “just known”.  Is what is supposed to be easy and convenient, really what is promised, or do I/we just make that up?  Do we really “just know” things because we, well…”just know”?  My shirt should have read its own tag.

WQ Cindy here with a situation of “just knowing” that used to get me crazy.  Years ago when my kids and their friends would play Nintendo’s Mario for hours, I recognized their addictions and thought it might be fun to see what the interest was about – from a player’s (vs. observer’s) perspective.  I was pathetic.  I could kill off Mario, with his 3 allotted lifetimes, within 15 seconds.  Yes, that is 15 seconds total…not 15 seconds for each lifetime.  The kids would explain that I would have to make Mario “jump up” at certain points as he bopped along to the obnoxious repetitive music (which I still can recall, even though the boys are out of college now) in order get more coins.

During my attempts at keeping Mario alive, I would get directions screamed to me to make Mario hop up to bump his head, which would turn, magically become coins.  Coins were good.  Mushroom-looking things were not.  I could never keep poor Mario alive to even approach a tube to climb into to get to another level like my young teachers easily could.  I would ask, “How do you know that Mario has to do make coins by bumping his head, know that he needs to enter a pipe, etc.?“ and the ongoing response was, “You just know!”  I really despised that I didn’t “just know” and didn’t want to invest the time and energy to overcome my level of ignorance.   That pretty much ended my video gaming experience which I’m guessing eventually crippled me for setting up the backroom of a site, which is also deemed to be mysteriously “easy” for any newbie to understand.  There weren’t even tags like on my shirt for me to misinterpret!

As days and months fly by, we are courted with an onslaught of newer, better, faster, user-friendly ways to simplify our lives, find us additional minutes or hours, save dollars, accomplish more.  Yes, my pink shirt doesn’t take as long to iron as 100% cotton or linen might, yet it the promise of non-iron on the collar was false, if I wanted it wrinkle-free.

The same concept applies for our skill sets.  We can lessen the time taken on something once we perfect it, yet sometimes the upside of learning the skill – even if we are good at cooking, painting, gardening, speaking, writing, art, music, carpentry, building websites, driving, entertaining – takes time and attention to perfect our genius.  Some of us “just know” what to do, while some of us will never improve much because we really don’t care to put in the time/effort into a project, cause or relationship that neither interests us nor seems too difficult.

When you run into your challenges (also disguised as non-interesting or seemingly insurmountable), do you simply give up, like I did with attempting to keep Mario alive for at least 30 seconds?  In contrast, would you call in an expert to do for you what is as natural as breathing for them and save yourself time, money, headaches?  Or would you simply iron the pink shirt because that’s what makes you happy to wear that day?

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