The Law of Negative Effort

Relax. Stop Trying so hard.


Tony C. Franklin

6/10/20241 min read

The Law of Reversed Effort

"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone." Alan Watts

Have you ever had someone tell you to relax and stop trying so hard? This is the Law of Reversed Effort.

Working harder, thinking harder, and planning better is not always the best answer. Sometimes we need to relax and turn on the autopilot. We have all watched an athletic event and marveled at a player having an almost-perfect game. Every pitch was in the box, every pass was perfect, every run was a large gain, and every shot was a basket. It looked like they were so focused, they could do no wrong.

That's true because they were well-trained. The key for athletes is to quiet the mind and follow the muscle memory they have built. Focus on the target, and let the training and the subconscious mind control the body. Once they start thinking, they start making corrections and mistakes.

Do you have a large project ahead? Take a deep breath, relax, and get in the zone. Make it look effortless.

Have a great week,