I am coming to the conclusion that almost everything is incredibly more difficult than we believe it to be. I am starting to see it from two sides at once: from the perspective of someone who has succeeded at something difficult, and also from the perspective of someone totally "lost at sea" and unable to achieve something I did not expect to be so hard.
I know with a pretty high degree of accuracy what it takes to get the human body in a certain kind of muscular shape, at a certain relatively low body fat level. And I see all kinds of clueless people in the gym, nominally with these same body transformation goals in mind, but unaware that they are completely doomed by their misguided efforts and lack of intensity. Year after year, they work out in the same way, at the same very low intensity level. If they are expecting to grow, they are disappointed, because year after year they look a little softer and a little smaller.
Sometimes I just want to shake them and tell them: That's not going to work! You're doing it wrong! What do you expect to achieve with that miserable effort?
I watched an old episode of Hoarders last night on Netflix, with my daughter. I like the show, because I am basically one of them. I am not as bad off as most of the people on the show (or am I?). But I have definitely been lying to myself about the level of dedication and effort it is going to take for me to shake myself loose of all the junk I've accumulated over the years. My new efforts at cleaning the basement, for instance, come in fits and starts. I will have zeal about it for a day or two, and then apathy takes over. I somehow think that my tiny, miserable, sacrifice-limiting efforts will result in the removal of my basement clutter. But in truth, I am making neglible progress. At this rate, the basement and garage will not be clean ever in my life, not even if I live to be 100.
Any normal person would look at my basement, and shake his head in exactly the way I shake my head at clueless gym members. Right now, I don't have any answers to this, just the single observation that everything is way harder than we had anticipated.