Some ideas on how to achieve virtuosity in life

September.18. 2015

Some people will define a virtuoso life in terms of material comforts, others in earning power, yet others in spiritual enlightenment.

For me, virtuosity in life is all about execution.

Because it doesn’t matter what station of life you attain, what level of enlightenment, if you can’t execute effortlessly, you’re struggling through life.

And struggling is no virtuoso living.

Execution here refers to how we perform specific tasks in life.

From such mundane daily tasks as doing the yard, to cooking dinner, to working in the workplace, how we approach these tasks will determine how effortless they become.

The key to effortless execution lies in two things.

First, reduce resistance.

Resistance is anything that can get in the way of your execution and prevent you from performing at an optimum.

Most resistance is caused by lack of technique.

When you lack technique, you have to compensate with brute force which will result in you having to expend greater effort, which will in turn sap your energy and waste time.

So to achieve virtuosity in life, acquire skills and technique.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Because it takes a great deal of time and effort to learn skills and technique. To get to that level of mastery, you’ll have to do it day and night, every chance you get.

And this is just to master one task.

What about all the other tasks which you have to master too?

Well, you don’t, instead you harness the energy of others to do the things that you can’t do yourself, such as doctors, plumbers, car mechanics, any kind of task that will come up in the course of living.

So an important caveat in effortless living is that you mustn’t be greedy.

You must choose one or two areas of expertise and leave other areas for others to master.

If you try to master everything, you will end up mastering nothing.

Resistance can also be caused by conflicts.

If you want to move effortlessly through life, you must minimize any potential conflicts that will stop you in your tracks or slow you down.

What kind of conflicts am I talking about?

Every kind. The kind that gets you fined for not paying your taxes, the kind that gets you arrested for breaking the law, the kind that gets the neighbor mad at you for letting your dog bark all night long.

If you have to deal with conflicts, you will have no time to devote to your task.

Second, reduce what you have to do.

Take out all unnecessary steps, simplify procedures, streamline your work, and if it makes no appreciable difference to the end results, maybe don’t even do it at all.

Early on in life, I discovered that there’s such a thing as real work and busy work.

And I quickly learned that if I want to do the real work well, I’ll have to cut down on the busy work.

Because the busy work will distract you from your real work and prevent you from doing it well.

So what’s real work and what’s busy work?

Real work is what gives you your desired results, busy work what makes you appear to be doing your job but makes no real contribution to your end results.

Obviously, you want to focus on the real work and cut down on the busy work.

To do this, be very clear in your mind what your task is.

Then focus all your energy toward that task.

Do whatever it takes to get your end results.

Even if it means breaking the rules or changing the process or challenging the status quo.

Rules and traditions have a way of constraining your creativity and making you waste valuable time on useless and obsolete procedures.

Rules do serve a purpose, that of providing structure for you but once that usefulness is gone, you are free to dispense with them.

Remember, there’re no rules in life, only what works.

Unfortunately depending on where you work and who you work for, many organizations these days are more about busy work than real work.

For example, as a teacher, you’re supposed to spend more time explaining to the bureaucrats how you’re doing your job than actually doing it.

It’s as if to be a good guitar player, all you need to do is explain to me your practice schedules and how they impact your playing than actually practicing, and you’d be a good player.

If only life were that simple.

But of course, here you have to tread carefully, keeping in mind the conflict avoidance principle.

If busy work is what they require, then busy work is what you need to give them, that is, if you want to keep your job.

Better to have a job and do it with mediocrity than to have no job at all.

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