Greater effort doesn’t mean faster (or better) results.
Higher-order refinement aka mastery, in any field, has more to do with what you don’t do than what you do.
Take martial arts for example. At the highest, most esoteric levels, ability comes through stripping away all effort, thereby allowing a soft, gentle…yes…childlike…approach.
In those rarefied skill levels, a perfectly placed step, outstretched hand or flexed knee are more devastating than a full-out punch or kick.
Such devastation isn’t possible unless you are trained not to resist the natural order of things. That training never involves hard work. It always involves play.
Devastating ability is not a product of what the budoka is doing, it is a product of what she is not doing (thinking, trying to make something happen, resisting, anticipating). For in the absence of all that doing she is present to higher-order intelligence, that which has already decided the battle and orchestrates events, including her moves, toward that end.
The same is the case with all things. Life is recursive. Meaning: in every instance, large or small, you will find the same life lessons repeated over and over.
You don’t need a 15th degree black belt to develop then apply this mastery in your life. What you do need is a willingness to go against the grain of “common” wisdom.
You can lead a sheep to wisdom, but you can’t make it think
You’ve likely heard all this before. In the same way you have heard how to get fit, succeed in life, break a habit or form a new one.
We all have knowledge.
But a lot of us are still overweight, still struggling to find success (however you define that), chewing our nails, addicted to masturbation or porn or both, or wanting to go to bed every night before 11 p.m. but still ending up awake at 1 a.m.
Knowledge is useless unless it is applied in a framework capable of producing mastery. Being caught up in the way everyone else is doing it rarely leads to mastery or success. Instead, you end up with the rest of the sheep.
Both followed their inspiration, not what everyone else was doing. Both got extraordinary results.
Both stories tell of events no one could orchestrate – seemingly random (it’s not random) single events, dovetailing with others leading to the outcome both desired.
You’re no different. What you want is already yours. What’s holding back the having of it?
Perhaps it’s the stories you’re telling yourself – more in your actions than in your words – which perpetuate the same results everyone else is getting.
Follow your internal guidance and the world becomes your oyster.
But first, you gotta figure out how to hear. Hint: It starts with play.