In response to A Hypothesis of Relative Assurance and Chained Wins, Ben Nesvig wrote in with his experience:
"100% agree. I only recently came to this conclusion while analyzing big things I've accomplished in the past and the process.
In high school, my American History teacher said he'd bump anyone up a full letter grade if they could memorize Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream Speech." In his 9 years of teaching, only one student had successfully memorized and recited it to him. The speech, when giving by Martin Luther King Jr, runs about 16 minutes.
I saw this as an opportunity to move from a B to an A. The only reason I thought I could do it is because someone else had. It wasn't a rational decision, as I wasn't a great student then.
After several weeks of staying up late and speaking the text out loud hundreds of times, the last week of the semester came. I pulled the teacher aside while the class was reading and rattled off the speech for 9 minutes straight, word for word. I memorized the whole damn thing word for word.
How was this possible?
I had a very specific goal in mind. I think it's infinitely easier to do harder things if you have a very specific idea of the end result you want. Easier to accomplish the very specific difficult thing than the moderately easy vague thing.
Of course the problem with most people is they have no idea what they want.
Those last three lines are particularly insightful: "I think it's infinitely easier to do harder things if you have a very specific idea of the end result you want. Easier to accomplish the very specific difficult thing than the moderately easy vague thing... Of course the problem with most people is they have no idea what they want."
Thanks Ben, for the insight.
I often find that when I break down a vague problem into a few very specific starting tasks, things get rolling way, way faster.
I wonder what it takes for someone to know what they want specifically. It took me an experience full of this immense need for redemption. The specific end point of that redemption is very specific and therefore fed the fuel.
So many people are lost in their lives, so what will it take to make them find their specific meaning quicker?