May 29

“You may then, boldly declare the highest good is singleness of mind: for where agreement and unity are, there must be virtues: it is the vices that are at war with one another.” – Seneca

A problem or task so consuming that while we are working at it the rest of the world fades from view. Those moments in life where we look up from what we have been doing and realize that a hours have passed without our realizing it.

Modern day philosophers, sociologists, and self help types call this feeling “flow” and it’s a good term for it. That rapt attentive feeling that pulls us in and holds us on task longer than any other task would be able to.

Not all tasks that lead to “flow” are productive but they do all share similar traits. The most important one seems to be immediate feedback about progress. This is likely why very difficult and slowly achieved goals are so rarely actually achieved.

We can hack this system by changing the feedback. Instead of focusing only on the long term goal, we can break the task down into smaller bite sized achievements. First we have to determine what the long term task is and that is fits with our goal of becoming better people. Then we find the smallest way possible to measure that we are making progress or sticking with that path.

If we do this, at the end of everyday we can look back and see how far we have come. Everyday. This will keep our minds focused on the goal.

virtus fortis vocat

 

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