The pivot principle

February.7. 2015

Most of the time, in wisdom journeys, you’re just wandering around, trying different options, different approaches, hoping to find the one that will bring you to your destination.

Sometimes you will get lucky and stumble onto the right path by instinct, or by accident.

Sometimes you will have someone else’s road map and know what to look out for and your journey is shortened considerably.

The problem, however, is that when you do find the ‘right’ option, how do you know it’s really the one?

It will look just like every other option. There will be nothing to indicate that this is it, this is the one that will lead you to where you want to go.

Well, there is something that will help give you a clue.

It’s what you might call the pivot principle.

The pivot principle is the one key element that will crystallize all the other elements. When you find this element, the others automatically fall into place.

You might call it the key to the kingdom.

Or the breakthrough principle.

Because it will literally unlock the door to the wisdom you’re searching for.

For instance, in guitar playing, once you find this key element, the other elements will become immediately obvious.

Let’s say you’re searching for your ideal hand position, that sweet spot where playing becomes effortless.

And you don’t know where to start—how should you play with the thumb, what angle do you hold your fingers, should you play from the left side or the right side or square against the strings?

All critical issues which have no answers.

That is until you find this key element.

And when you find it, everything else immediately falls into place.

You will know exactly what to do.

The reason is that nothing works in isolation, everything works together.

For instance, how you play with the thumb will impact your fingers, will impact the angle of your attack, will impact the direction of your strokes, which will in turn impact how you play with your thumb.

And there are no clear answers until you find that one principle that clarifies everything else.

The same principle applies in life.

Many times, you will struggle with a seemingly intractable problem until one day, almost miraculously, you stumble onto the one concept that will put everything else into focus.

And you know exactly what to do.

So most of the time, our search for wisdom is to find this one principle that unlocks all the others.

And the only way to find it is to keep searching.

To never give up.

And to understand that the journey can take years.

Sometimes I hear the word ‘frustrated’ in connection with a particular search.

‘Frustrated’ indicates that the person has certain expectations of finding what he’s looking for quickly and when he doesn’t find it, he gets ‘frustrated.’

Unfortunately, the search for wisdom does not follow any schedule, especially not one that you set. It will happen when it happens, and until it happens, you keep on searching.

This is the reason why wisdom is a rare commodity, because it takes so much time and effort.

But the payoff is immense.

Because when you find it, life (and whatever goal you’ve set for yourself) becomes effortless.

Next, the second thing you need to know on your wisdom journey.

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