Recently, I've heard the phrase, "It isn't rocket science" several times. It has always occurred when someone was talking about a topic that didn't seem difficult. Yet, in spite of the apparent simplicity of the topic, not that many people truly excelled. Football coaching is one recent example. Administrating a small volunteer organization was another. Effectively communicating and parenting were thrown in as well.
None of the topics seemed terribly difficult. The basics of football are the same whether you are coaching grade school kids, or leading a team to the Super Bowl. Football is football. You can fill in the blank, but most tasks are really the same; every one has access to the same basic pool of information. Somehow, though, certain people excel, and others either get by, or crash and burn in failure.
So, what is the key? Honestly, I don't know. The conclusion I've drawn, however, is that rocket science (or brain surgery), are pretty straight forward. They may be complicated and difficult, but certain aspects can actually be easy. The anatomy and physiology of the brain are a constant, making it easy to know what or what not to do (like what you don't want to cut). Though I don't know for sure, I'm guessing that certain aspects of rocket science also contain constants. It is, after all, a science. If you mix the wrong compounds, the rocket won't get into space, but pieces of you might. And, if you don't have the math right(which is very exact), you will definitely be very sorry.
Parenting, on the other hand, or coaching (or leading in any situation, really), is much more of an art than a science. There are some basic truths, but how to apply them can be a huge mystery. So, the next time you think, "Well, how hard can this be? It isn't rocket science!" remember that while rocket science is difficult, it is a science. Life is not. It is much more difficult!