Old notes 9

September 20th, 2021

The Intro to an early draft of the AOV:




The ultimate goal in life is to achieve effortlessness—in work, and in play.

The concept central to this philosophy is to create conditions for things to happen naturally, of their own accord, rather than forcing them to happen.

My favorite story is one I heard as a child.

The sun and the wind were arguing who was stronger.

The wind said. “Look at that man down there. I will blow the shirt off his back with my mighty power.”

He huffed and puffed, but the man feeling the cold wind on his back only held the shirt closer to his body. The wind soon gave up.

The sun smiled and without a word, started to shine on the man. The man, feeling the heat on his back, soon took the shirt off his back without a struggle.

Persuasion rather than coercion.

Creating conditions rather than force.

Forcing is inefficient and clumsy.

It may work to a point, but it only produces minimal outcomes.

Because when you force, you create resistance. This resistance ends up being a drag on you and you’re less likely to get what you want.

But when you create good conditions, you’re letting nature do your work for you. Once you have the conditions in place, no additional effort is needed, nature will do the rest.

If you want a stream to flow faster, clear the obstructions in its path and it will flow freely downhill.

If you want to move faster, remove the obstructions in your body, and you’ll be able to move faster too.

That’s the basic philosophy of this book.

Create ideal conditions in your body, and let your innate virtuosity do the rest.

The principles contained in this book are universal principles.

Whether it’s the martial arts, playing guitar, or sports, we’re working with the same basic equipment—the human body—working under the same physical constraints in our environment, and towards the same goals of achieving speed, power, and precision.

In other words, these principles hold the keys to everything we do.

They’re not the most exciting things to work on, but they’re critical to creating the conditions for our natural virtuosity to emerge and thrive effortlessly.


– October 27, 2009

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