The key to effortlessness

May 6th, 2012

There’re two ways to achieve effortlessness in life.

The first is to do only the bare essentials, to get rid of all unnecessary stuff.

Less steps, less components means less effort.

The second is to get someone or something else to do it for you.

When I suggested this second option in one of the earlier incarnations of the AOV, (I think I said something like, “Do not do for yourself what others can do for you.”), my friend who was proofreading it was aghast. He left a few exclamation marks by way of comment.

But no, that’s not what I meant.

I didn’t mean to imply that the way to effortlessness is to exploit others.

What I meant is to harness the energy of others to do your work for you, in symbiotic ways, in mutually beneficial relationships.

A classic example of this kind of relationships is the honey bee. Flowers need honey bees to pollinate for them, and honey bees need flowers to give them honey. Win-win all around.

If you’re a guitar teacher, you don’t need to advertise yourself.

Let your students do it for you.

Teach them well, and their good playing will speak and advertise for you. Another win-win relationship.

In the martial arts, utilizing your opponent’s strength to defeat themselves is a common strategy. Why waste your energy when you can redirect your opponent’s energy back to him?

In the AOV, enlisting the energy of other elements is a crucial part of the strategy.

Don’t depend on the fingers to pluck the string for you.

Harness the power of momentum to generate effortless speed. Or tap into the energy in the strings to produce effortless power.

And of course, don’t forget the first option – make your movements super economical so you don’t have to do so much work.

4 Responses to “The key to effortlessness”

  1. Sam Says:

    Nice post- this is an important lesson and I think one thing that gets in the way a lot of times is the feeling that ‘I’m moving so I must be getting something done!’ But that’s just running on the treadmill! Great work, as always!

  2. Philip Hii Says:

    Thanks Sam.

  3. kevin walton-guitarist Says:

    Thank you Philip. I have noticed your skill and teaching for years. It was an honor to see you near front row perform several works including Tocatta & Fugue in D minor. I really enjoy seeing and hearing you play that piece and to know a little about the great contribution you make in this world. I am very grateful to have discovered this work you provide here. Humbly and I pray- Gracefully with Regards, Kevin.

  4. Philip Hii Says:

    Thank you Kevin. All the best to you too and keep on playing!

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