Why Do We Keep Logjamming Ourselves?

Andrew Taggart
3 min readMay 28, 2024

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There’s a really weird thing that I’m sure you’ve noticed in others, not the least because you’ve probably said it more than a few times yourself. I have.

It’s this: “Oh, I’d really love to do X, but it’s so difficult.”

I’d love to find a life companion, but it’s so difficult. I’d love to meditate first thing in the morning, but it’s so difficult. I’d love to exhibit my art, but it’s so difficult.

It’s challenging. It’s a problem. It’s tricky. It’s hard. I’ve just gotta figure it out. Sort it out. Push through.

You might be right about your assessment, but first let’s look more closely, shall we?

At this point, some might point to procrastination and then will go on to investigate theories that explain why people procrastinate. Others might turn to self-help books that promise to show you how to overcome these obstacles.

Reasonable enough both, but let’s look closer still before we follow those lines.

What if you really don’t love X? For years, you’ve been telling yourself that you love X or that you really want Y, but what if you really don’t? Perhaps what you’ve been telling yourself just isn’t true.

This may be a tough pill to swallow. Why?

Because, no doubt, you’ve for the longest time been committed to the identity that’s bound up with loving pickleball or AI or effective altruism or meditation or bitcoin. And — let’s go deeper — because really surrendering that identity may feel like something inside you is dying; may feel like the death of someone.

The curious thing, though, is that if you’re really willing to sacrifice this particular ego, then you’ll discover a taste of genuine freedom.

But to come to that discovery, you’ll first have to let go. To really let go. To prise your fingers off of it. To surrender to not knowing. And from the vantage point of the one who’s often said that he or she “loves X but it’s difficult,” that death may seem unbearable, that leap backward unfathomable.

It’s not. It’s really not.

In truth, it’s sweet. It’s an invitation to drop the unnecessary burden and to embrace genuine clarity.

Why genuine clarity? Because “on the other side” of that ego-constructed dilemma (“I love X, but it’s difficult”) is the actuality of love: “Oh, what I really love is now present in my experience, and, like any true Daoist, I don’t find myself resisting it at all. In fact, I very quietly go along with — flow with — the Way of things.”

Here, you haven’t “fished around for something new,” haven’t discovered “your purpose” or “your calling”; instead, you’ve dropped the confusion, the logjam, the ego-induced — and thus needless, entirely fictional — dilemma.

Honestly, it’s not as if “on the other side” everything is peachy keen. There are problems — but they’re met in stride and, as such, are hardly worth speaking of. In this sense, they feel less like obstacles and more like rocks you flow around. And the biggest thing is that “on the other side” there’s no refrain, no broken record, no wishes, no fantasies, and no excuses. It’s at once powerful, natural, and easy.

If you dare to ford this river, you’ll be met not with the abyss but with a big welcome. Trust me. No, trust yourself.

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