How hard is it to crawl ? To glide or fly (controllably) ? To sing (well) ? To balance on a tightrope ? To throw a ball (accurately) ? To sense a gradient ? To coordinate motion of large numbers of organisms ? All these seemingly mundane tasks focus on how an organism performs tasks that link the brain, body and environment. I will tell you about our attempts to understand some of the puzzles that these questions raise and try to highlight the role of the body and the environment in simplifying what the brain might have to do, while suggesting how convergent strategies might arise as solutions to similar problems.