Q. Please help me understand the difference between “simple” and “easy” as you use these terms in your seminars.

A. The task is a bit daunting, at best, since every human brain on this planet is as unique as the owner’s thumbprint. No two brains are ever identical in structure or function and each will perceive information against the backdrop of its own experience, ability, bias, education, and belief systems to name just a few. Nevertheless I’ll give it a shot.

In seminars I sometimes use the “simple” versus “easy” analogy when talking about breaking free of old behaviors. To my way of thinking, the goal of eating moderate amounts of nutritious food at regular intervals is a simple concept. Is it always “easy” for people to achieve when they are bombarded with multi-media presentations, societal pressure to eat, and memories of learned behaviors? No.

Similarly the goal of living life cigarette free is a relatively simple “yes or no” concept. Altering this type of behavior in the long term, however, is not necessarily easy and actually may be one of the most difficult behaviors to change.

And the goal of obtaining regular physical exercise is also a relatively simple concept. You do it or you don’t. But how many people obtain at least 30 minutes of balanced exercise on a daily basis?

These concepts are “simple,” and yet not necessarily “easy” to accomplish. They require vision, focus, commitment, choice, and discipline, along with setting and implementing appropriate personal boundaries, and so on. This can make them “difficult” to implement. In most cases, however, my experience has been that it’s worth the work.