This is a lesson from the course “Hack Time: Achieve 10x More Through Godlike Efficiency and Speed“ (see below for a 20% discount code for the entire course).
The “Golden Rule ” of flow is a concept that you should lean just slightly beyond the edge of your limitations. Whether it’s physical or mental, you want to take small steps outside of your current limits or your current comfort zone.
Let’s imagine that you are at the gym and your maximum bench press is 185 pounds. If you were to suddenly try and bench press 250 pounds, you could seriously injure yourself.
If you wanted to grow to the point where you could bench press 250, you would make gradual growth and progress to hit a smaller goal each week. You may increase your overall bench press by 5% week by week and enjoy the compounding returns.
And this is exactly the same system to approach long-term personal and professional growth.
In the book, “The Way of the Superior Man” by David Dieda, there is a chapter titled, “Lean Just Beyond Your Edge.”
In it, Dieda teaches us that we should aim for small progress outside of our comfort zones — about 10-15%. Not too little and not too much. If we go too overboard, it’s like taking on way more weight than we can handle. It’s being reckless and can often end very badly for us. But if we make no effort to lean beyond our edge, we just end up living in a safe bubble and never progress at all.
Aristotle, the tutor of Alexander the Great, also alluded to something similar: he teaches that a soldier needs to be brave, but not too brave. If he is too brave, he will charge ahead of his army and get killed. But if he has no bravery at all, then he is just a coward.
In the book, “The Rise of Superman” by Steven Kotler, he introduces us to what’s called the “challenge to skill” ratio.
Kotler is an author who specializes in the science of “flow,” a state in which we are completely absorbed and consumed in the task at hand, that it becomes almost effortless. We perform at our highest potential. It’s like the state akin to Michael Phelps when he is performing in the Olympics, or Usain Bolt when he is shattering world sprinting records on the track.
Kotler says that the optimal balance of challenge to skill to trigger flow is 104%. In other words, a task should be 4% more difficult than your maximum capacity, in order for the task to bring you into a flow state. It’s exactly like the process that weightlifters use at the gym when they are working to increase their maximum.
Growth and flow essentially run as parallels. If something is too easy, apathy and boredom kick in. If something is too extreme and difficult, we run into failure, frustration and anxiety. All of are counterproductive when it comes to getting things done.
The solution, of course, is to find the “golden mean” between the two extremes. We must try and find the sweet spot in the middle, working our way up in a sustained manner, making 4 – 5% growth a habit that we continue to compound over time.
Osho says that “life begins where fear ends.” And the key to harnessing flow and personal growth is to lean just beyond that edge, and soon our true edge will continue to expand, and we will look back and be amazed at the long-term results.
This lesson is from the course “Hack Time: Achieve 10x More Through Godlike Efficiency and Speed“
Use the code “timehack#2023” for a 20% off at checkout.