Apply the least amount of pressure possible

Growing up in the dance world, I spent a lot of time learning how to spin on one leg (aka: pirourette) properly.

Getting a clean double can be difficult initially, and going beyond that into triples and upwards is what sets apart the intermediates from the pros.

It requires a great deal of balance and control to execute multiple pirouettes reliably enough to choreograph them into a routine, and so you need to be sure that whatever turns you choreograph are able to perform proficiently.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever learned about turning, was the idea that very little force was needed to pirouette 2-3 times, and that our tendency was to apply too much force going into the spin, which caused us to turn too fast and loose control.

It was a counter-intuitive idea: apply less energy, and it will become easier.

Once I tried this, I was amazed at how much easier the entire endeavor became. I was suddenly able to pirouette​ beautifully and with ease, and amazingly, I was using about a quarter of the effort I had been using previously.

It’s an interesting lesson: There’s a minimal amount of force to execute a particular action. Any force amount beyond that is excessive and wasteful to your energy.

Likewise, when I started rock-climbing, I was always gripping the wall too hard, like a frightened cat, putting too much strain on my arms and consequentially making the task of scaling the wall much more difficult. Once I got better, I learned how little strength it actually required to support my body, and that by simply relaxing my arms, I made it much more probable that I would make it to the top of the route without tiring along the way.

This, I think, is one of those concepts that can be lifted and applied to almost any area in life. How can we accomplish tasks with the least amount of strain possible? Strain, of course, can also mean mental strain.

How much of the anguish you are experiencing is actually necessary? Is there a way you can execute the same actions with a minimal amount of stress?

Is it possible that you are applying too much force to something that could otherwise be easy?


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