Making Things Difficult and Making Things Easy

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Life Strategies | No Comments

Some things work for me, and some things don’t, and I try to do the things that work. If I was going to try to tell you how I know one from the other, I probably couldn’t make a really solid generalization but I would end up telling a story, another true story, which may or may not end up as a book.

There are difficult ways and simple ways to approach most things in life, and in general, I go for the simple ways.

Elias Kulukundis reading Tolstoy

Elias Kulukundis reading Tolstoy

I failed Russian my second year at Harvard, (that was doing it the hard way). After I was out of Harvard, I took Russian at night in a course by Professor Alexander Lipson of M.I.T., and studying Russian Lipson’s way, I learned basic Russian in ten months (that was the easy way).

My Uncle Manuel told me, “Elias, the shipping business is an easy business.” If someone says something is easy, I always pay attention.  Either he knows nothing about it, which clearly was not the case with Uncle Manuel, or he knows a lot.  But if he says it’s easy, you know he’s not going to spend time making it seem very difficult to show how smart he is.

I can summarize some of my strategies in a few points.  Click on each one to explore it further or leave them all open and find out how all these are combined, see the whole picture.

Accommodation and compromise, at best resulting in partial victory

Living in the moment

To be happy you have to unlearn a lot of things

Leave empty space

Live with the anxiety of not knowing what it is you want

Follow your gut

Don’t criticize yourself. There’s no criticism like self-criticism, so don’t do it.