Tim Ferriss recently gave a great lecture on his philosophy behind learning and mastery, as he is coming up with his new book – The 4 hour ethos. He asks us to deconstruct, simplify, select and ultimately not be afraid of walking the lonely path for he says, in closing his speech – “perfection comes not when there is nothing more to add but when there is nothing more to take away.
Of course, there is a whole lot of tricks and methods he espouses which people involved in the behavioural sciences domain will be familiar with. Cultivating negative accountability to make sure you follow through on your emails is one of the primary ways to stick, sustain and achieve your goals. In such s method, you give away something to an organisation you dislike or you force yourself to do a task you hate. The idea is that if you hate doing the dishes or giving away a hundred bucks for free to someone, then you will try to avoid that scenario happening as best as you can. Meanwhile, you are working on your goal and you have to finish certain milestones. If you do not, you’ll have to engage in the pre planned behaviour that you’ve decided to undertake in the event of failure to meet your milestones. This method may work really well for individuals who are motivated by incentives, by rewards and punishments and by the external world of things and objects. If your motivation and momentum comes from a place deep inside, then this attitude of negative accountability may not be the best idea for you.
The title of this post is momentum. The kind of things that both Tim and I are talking about are all leading up towards building momentum. This is why he also says that when you engage in a new habit such as diet, exercise or cooking, you ought to do it consecutively for 5 sessions without paying too much attention to the details and to technique. 5 sessions will give enough brain wiring to then follow through with the activity and build on your previous success through better technique and higher mastery. The great idea here is to embed momentum in your life. The momentum will carry you through much like a great rolling river down the slope of a hill will carry with it any deposits and solid particles it finds in its path the equilibrium. Remember that Momentum is the means and equilibrium is the goal.
Build momentum. Momentum is a way of thinking, a way of doing and an energy that is part of the universe itself. All you have to do is to simply let the energy flow through you when it wants to and cleverly direct it to your intended ends. Don of try to conjure up this energy all by yourself and force it through. That is the way of effort and struggle and is not what we are after. The way of the Tao is effortless because there is a deep feeling of being carried by the energy of the universe.
And when you hit that groove, you are unstoppable.