Right amount of effort | Law of Least Effort

Ross

Tribal Elder
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If you haven't read the article on the Law of Least Effort, I first advise you to look here and take a read before responding to this post.

I have been testing out the limits of the law of least effort, as I believe it is a very powerful tool all-around for social situations. I have always detested looking try-hard in any meaning of the word, and I often try and hide my efforts to do things from other people. Right now I am trying to make it less so that I am avoiding that people see my efforts, and more of a genuine thing occurs where I exert less effort and get my way with things.

Is it better or worse to exert more effort, or to not care about getting your way in order to not expend more effort? There are often times when I simply don't care about an outcome, and I'll just naturally expend less effort to achieve that outcome. Sometimes I regret this, and it makes me think that there is definitely a floor when it comes to expending less effort. So I reworked it in my mind that expending less effort is only valuable when I don't exactly care about the outcome, and expending a lot when I do care about the outcome.

Quickly realizing that it wouldn't work, I have now settled on the fact, that with expending effort, I need to expend just the right balance. But what exactly is that balance, and how would this correspond with the law of least effort, where the least amount is supposed to be used? The law seems to be simply a face-value law. Look at the sexy guy dressed to kill; he's obviously trying hard, why else would he be wearing nice clothes? Or have that sexy haircut? The soccer player who has been training for years and years makes scoring a simply chip shot extremely easy, but it took him forever to cultivate that ability. This makes me think that the law of least effort isn't entirely dependent upon expending the least effort; more effort is obviously needed to gain the ability to use less. Therefore, the law of least effort simply lies in the present, and in appearances; as Chase states in the article.

But, as I love to dive in deep to concept, why does this law of least effort only seem to apply to appearances, and not everything? This law is a lot deeper than simple effort. I believe now that it's nearly impossible to go through a period of success without expending a lot of effort, at least at first. Sure, I could hide all my efforts, and try to appear effortless, but I believe that it is hindering my progress. I'd rather rapidly pursue my goals for all to see than cover them up and use excuses in an effort to show less effort. I suppose I may have taken this law too seriously. I hated showing other people I had effort towards things before reading about it, but I took it to a new level without much thought.

Any comments or questions would be appreciated. If this post seems extremely scatterbrained, its because that's the way I am; my mind goes off in all sorts of crazy directions during typing, and I could sit here and type for hours and constantly argue with myself if I didn't decide to end the post.
 

Chase

Chieftan
Staff member
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Oct 9, 2012
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RTB,

Good questions here, really diving into some of the substance of effort.

RTB said:
Is it better or worse to exert more effort, or to not care about getting your way in order to not expend more effort? There are often times when I simply don't care about an outcome, and I'll just naturally expend less effort to achieve that outcome. Sometimes I regret this, and it makes me think that there is definitely a floor when it comes to expending less effort. So I reworked it in my mind that expending less effort is only valuable when I don't exactly care about the outcome, and expending a lot when I do care about the outcome.

You'll find that depending on what you're doing, you can't always apply the Law, especially if you're working on something that's new to you.

For instance, the Hard Push. You decide you're going to push hard to get some girl to come home with you... but you want it to look effortless. Well, the only way you're going to learn it is by trying to do it, probably trying to hard, and sounding a little silly at first and making mistakes. It certainly won't look smooth or effortless. If you NEED to look effortless, you'll opt not to do this at ALL when you aren't pro at it yet then... but if you NEVER do it, so that you never break the appearance of effortlessness, you also never LEARN it.

Essentially then, an appearance of effortlessness is something to strive for as you perfect any particular thing, but it's something you typically will have to go without when you're just figuring it out.

RTB said:
Quickly realizing that it wouldn't work, I have now settled on the fact, that with expending effort, I need to expend just the right balance. But what exactly is that balance, and how would this correspond with the law of least effort, where the least amount is supposed to be used? The law seems to be simply a face-value law. Look at the sexy guy dressed to kill; he's obviously trying hard, why else would he be wearing nice clothes? Or have that sexy haircut? The soccer player who has been training for years and years makes scoring a simply chip shot extremely easy, but it took him forever to cultivate that ability. This makes me think that the law of least effort isn't entirely dependent upon expending the least effort; more effort is obviously needed to gain the ability to use less. Therefore, the law of least effort simply lies in the present, and in appearances; as Chase states in the article.

Effort is irrevocably tied to power, and the assumption is that if you can do effortlessly what I can only do with great effort, you can also do much MORE than I can, should you so choose to put the effort in. Ergo, you are more power than I am.

The other side to it is mastery of a craft; a man who can dance a dance beautifully and gracefully will make women swoon, while a man who trips around the dance floor on his own two feet only serves to make women laugh. Women admire men who have mastered their craft; it shows dedication, resolve, accomplishment, and, ultimately, superior genes (a woman would much rather have children able to master crafts and court high caliber mates than the alternative).

People only assess based on the present; in a purely honest world, this would be a flawed approach, but when you remember that people can easily lie about their past, or lie about what they hope to achieve in the future, the present - what you see with your own eyes - is really the most reliable indicator you have of who someone is.

If you meet a girl who used to be thin and beautiful 2 years ago, but now she's overweight and unkempt, you won't be attracted to her, even if she shows you a picture of how she used to look. If she goes and loses weight and gets a makeover and approaches you again in another 2 years, you may well decide to date her (or sleep with her, in any event). You'd have had the same offspring had you reproduced with her when she was 20 and thin and beautiful, or 22 and fat and ugly, or 24 when she was thin and beautiful again, but your brain doesn't trust the past and doesn't know the future, so you can only run off of what you see right now.

RTB said:
But, as I love to dive in deep to concept, why does this law of least effort only seem to apply to appearances, and not everything? This law is a lot deeper than simple effort. I believe now that it's nearly impossible to go through a period of success without expending a lot of effort, at least at first. Sure, I could hide all my efforts, and try to appear effortless, but I believe that it is hindering my progress. I'd rather rapidly pursue my goals for all to see than cover them up and use excuses in an effort to show less effort. I suppose I may have taken this law too seriously. I hated showing other people I had effort towards things before reading about it, but I took it to a new level without much thought.

Right. You need to expend effort to learn new things and push your abilities to new peaks, and while you're doing that it's very difficult to preserve the appearance of effortlessness. Instead, use effortlessness as a tool - work hard when you're learning things (how to play a sport, how to do a certain thing with girls, how to do exceptional at work, etc.), and be effortless when you're using what you've worked for to get things (your friends' respect, new women, a new job, etc.).

RTB said:
Any comments or questions would be appreciated. If this post seems extremely scatterbrained, its because that's the way I am; my mind goes off in all sorts of crazy directions during typing, and I could sit here and type for hours and constantly argue with myself if I didn't decide to end the post.

Nope, not too scatterbrained at all, RTB. Hope the thoughts helped; I realize effort is a somewhat ephemeral topic to think on... lots of different avenues you can go down with it.

Cheers,
Chase
 

Ross

Tribal Elder
Tribal Elder
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
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Location
United States
Effort is irrevocably tied to power, and the assumption is that if you can do effortlessly what I can only do with great effort, you can also do much MORE than I can, should you so choose to put the effort in. Ergo, you are more power than I am.

This quote is such an intriguing and truthful insight. I stumbled upon the thought of why my progress in areas of my life seemed to be lacking, and I found that I was letting this whole "showing no effort" fiasco interrupt a lot of my goals. I would go to the gym at non-peak hours to avoid seeing anyone I knew, for fear that they would see me expending effort towards making myself better. Now, after thinking for myself and listening to your thoughts I have realized that using little effort is more of a situations tool than a lifestyle. To be applied in situations where needed, as more of a tool to enhance the appearance of things. With those things that one is already great at, they operate at a lower capacity than their max, and appear effortless. The illusion of effortlessness can be assessed in situations where you aren't seeking to increase your power. Which seems to only apply to the sphere of anything that isn't a command or trying to will your way into something. Hopefully these deep questions of mine will make sense to me one day..
 

Eric

Cro-Magnon Man
Cro-Magnon Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
136
I've noticed that the more I worked my fundamentals the more the minimum required effort flew down. There are some girls that will let me tell them what to do by eyesight alone (I look at her hand and she brings it up to my face), or prove themselves / do lots of favors for me.

It might be better to focus on that and have the effort go down naturally as a result. I spend a lot of conversations not talking anymore now, but not because I'm trying not to per se... but because I literally cannot get a word in. It feels like when I speak they are at the edge of their chair waiting for their turn and then they go back to telling stories and social status climbing.

*shrugs*
 
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