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November 28th, 2019



Any task or goal takes some amount of time to accomplish, and some sort of effort or pressure.  And these two variables toggle each other.


Apply more pressure to the task, and it’ll get done faster.  Apply less pressure and it’ll take longer.


The obvious ideal is to somehow maximize the pressure we have available so that we can get more done.  This is the logic behind the sort of person who is always busy. 


As they say, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. 


The logic holds.  The busy person is someone who is constantly applying a lot of pressure and effort and therefore things get done faster.


The implication of this thinking can lead to questions about how to maximize for energy.  How do I get more energy to do all that I have in mind.  And certainly there are oodles of things we can tinker with in order to unlock more energy for ourselves.  Whether it be exercise, sleep, nutrition or something else.  


Those variables look at the pressure of effort we might apply from a biological energy standpoint.  But these factors don’t give us any kind of direction about where we should then apply our effort, and this is where the most important factor regarding our pressure and effort comes into play.


We can ask: why do we actually do anything at all?


At the heart of anything we do is some kind of emotion that is pushing us to act in a certain way,


These emotions are categorized in all sorts of vague and hazy ways, whether it be drive, determination, ambition, and all like-manner of hollow noun that riddles the pages of magazines like Forbes.


Is there a better way to characterize the set of emotions that drive a person?  That allow that person do discover more energy, effort and pressure to apply to their task?


That question alone, hopefully provokes an emotion, whether you’re reading or listening to it.  There is a strange yawning curiosity that is now waiting for the answer.  As with any question.  Am I supposed to answer it?  Or is someone going to tell me the answer here?


The question itself opens up a cognitive space, like a low-pressure that draws you in.  The well formed question that remains unanswered spawns an entire platoon of subtle emotions that throw us forward - off balance – and into a situation that pressures us to come up with a solution.



Things like drive, ambition, and determination are better explored as the underlying question that is driving someone.  At base someone is wondering a form of: is this possible? Is my understanding wrong?  Naturally for any domain these questions become far more specific and nuanced, but in terms of sheer motivational power, the right question trumps all other mechanisms for generating the energy to apply pressure to a task.



How much pressure is inevitably correlated to the question a person asks themselves.  If we want to save time by finding a larger wealth of motivation and energy, it’s worth it to slow down, and ponder if there is a deeper, more pressing question that we can ask, one that reframes the entire situation in tenser terms – creating a framework of emotion that is more efficient, and therefore faster.


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