How you ever noticed that – with a great deal things in life – the harder you try, the more difficult what you’re doing seems to become? As though you were trying to lift a weight, but for every extra ounce of energy you put into lifting it, the weight got an ounce heavier.
We could explore just which kink of human nature makes this phenomenon true, but for now let’s just assume I’m right, and it is, and look at what we can do with this information.
Try harder at everything?
The most common strategy, upon trying to do something and having it resist you, is to assume that what’s needed is that you try even harder. And to try as hard as you can on as many different things as you can – totally indiscriminately. Throw enough shit at the wall and some of it will stick, as the saying goes.
You see this kind of vague, macho, armchair guru stuff everywhere on the internet. “Try, try, and try again.” “If you’re not a success, it’s because you don’t want it enough.” “If you’re not going to give 110%, don’t even bother showing up.” Piss off.
The problem I have with this approach – besides finding even thinking about it stressful – is that if you treat everything you come across as worth giving your absolute best shot at, then you are not brave, ,strong or courageous, but stupid. Most things in life are not worth giving your absolute best to, and most things wouldn’t be moved no matter how hard you tried.
Not only will you exhaust yourself living this way, you won’t even get the results that might render the exhaustion somewhat worth it. You did a shitty at job at prioritising – by not prioritising – and then you probably did a shitty job at everything you tried your hand at.
So… don’t try hard?
The common conclusion you’ll come to as result of trying really hard on everything you come across, because you think it’s somehow weak not to, is that trying hard simply doesn’t work. And you’ll have the evidence to prove it. How can it work? After all, you tried really hard, and you got nowhere.
The problem, however, was not in your trying hard, but in your promiscuous selection process.
Concentrate your forces
To do truly extraordinary things – the grand audacious things you were born to do – your only option is to pursue them with the most aggressive energy you can muster. If it can be accomplished without your most aggressive energy, you’re not aiming high enough.
There is an object you want to move. To move it, you must try your absolute hardest. So do it. BUT… only that object. Forget about all the other objects. Forget everything else in the world. Focus everything you have on moving that one object.
When you limit the things you deem worthy of giving 100% to, you suddenly gain the potential to actually give 100%, and only then will you realise what you’ve been missing – either by trying hard at all kinds of things, or not trying hard on anything.
We have no idea what our limits are generally, because we never allow ourselves to get anywhere them. We live shallow, diffuse lives, focusing a little bit here and a little bit there. Concentrate your forces instead. You’ll seem like a superhero by contrast.