The mind makes the easy seem difficult and the difficult seem impossible

When we have to do something, we often assess how easy or difficult it is. For example, if we are traveling, we use a weighing machine to weigh our bags and decide whether we need a trolley or a porter.

However, if our weighing machine is defective and it shows a one kg weight to be twenty-five kg, we will think, “This will be difficult to lift.” And if it showed twenty-five kg weight to be hundred kg, we will think, “This will be impossible to lift.”

Our mind is like a defective weighing machine. It makes small things, such as tidying our room, seem a big burden. And it makes some things that require persistent endeavor, such as preparing for a tough exam, seem impossibly difficult.

Additionally, our mind often escalates the apparent difficulty level especially for devotional activities such as studying the Bhagavad-gita. Why does the mind especially obstruct devotional activities? Because these activities purify it, thereby decreasing its capacity to delude and control us. And it doesn’t want to lose control.

If an unavoidable deadline compels us to do one of those things, we soon realize that it is not all that difficult – if we had started it earlier, we could have done it so much better. Unfortunately, our deceptive mind misdirects us yet again; instead of letting us analyze what made us procrastinate, it simply labels us as lazy and beats us up for our laziness.

Nonetheless, if we determinedly study the Gita, our intelligence becomes sharp – it alerts us whenever our mind starts acting as our enemy (06.05). Thereafter, when deciding whether to do something, we rely not on our mind, but on our scripturally-guided intelligence. And we do things based not on how difficult they seem, but on how important they are.


Think it over:

  1. How is the mind like a defective weighing machine?
  2. After making us procrastinate, how does the mind further deceive us?

How can we protect ourselves from being misled by the mind?

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1 Comment

  1. Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
    Excellent post. Thank you very much for explaining the deceptive nature of mind in a very simple way with practical examples. Great.

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