Law of inverse effort: do you know what it is?

On many occasions, the harder we try to achieve something, the further we are from achieving it. Sometimes taking a step back, or doing nothing, can be the solution to achieving a goal. It is what the writer and intellectual Aldous Huxley called the Law of Inverse Effort.

Law of inverse effort

An example of the law of inverse effort

On certain occasions, stopping to look back can give a broader vision of what we are doing wrong and making us fail. On numerous occasions, we have witnessed in films the representation of antagonistic characters diving into quicksand.

The paradox is that when trying to free itself through frenetic movements, its sinking accelerates. On the contrary, the effective strategy in this amalgamation of sand and water lies in maintaining serenity and refraining from any action. By relaxing, it is possible to adjust the body so that, by remaining still, it is possible to float to the surface and avoid the trap.

Although it is just an example, in everyday life it also happens in other ways. Like when we can’t fall asleep, the more we try, the more awake we are. On the other hand, if we relax and do not think about it, with a blank mind, sleep comes without us realizing it.

Apply the law of least effort at the right moment

Although it may seem like a contradiction, the more effort we put into something, the less we achieve it. However, the law of least effort does not mean that we do nothing or that our attitude must be passive for something to happen. Nor go to the extreme of resignation.

According to Huxley himself, “expertise and results are only achieved by those who have learned the art of doing and not doing.” In a 1955 lecture, the writer mentioned that it is necessary to combine relaxation with activity. However, it is necessary to identify the moment in which we have to apply this law in order to move forward and stay stuck along the way.

When we are willing to achieve a goal, and we are moving in that direction, but we are not moving forward, we must apply this law. If we don’t, we can fall into a vicious cycle of efforts that will end in frustration and resignation. This generates more and more stress as the goal is increasingly farther away.

Applying the law of inverse effort does not imply being apathetic, mediocre or passive. It is simply stopping to reflect, analyze the circumstances and approach the task to be carried out from another point of view. Likewise, reduce the pressure we put on ourselves, stop and take action again, focusing on things from another perspective.

Apply the least effort to achieve more

It’s like the quicksand example above. Or when falling into the water in the middle of the sea. The more effort we put into staying afloat, the deeper we sink. But if we fill our lungs with air and relax, we float effortlessly.

Click to rate this entry!
(Votes: 0 Average: 0)

Leave a Comment