Whether it be studying for an exam, working for that promotion, playing your favorite sport, fixing up the messed up car, or decluttering our homes, everyday, we do things. Some people accomplish them better than others, some don’t. This is not necessarily because some people are just born better, or are more talented, but because there are right ways and wrong ways of doing things, and among the right ways, there is a best way – and some people are able to approximate that best way better than others.
In Physics, we might be familiar with the formula Work = Force multiplied by Distance multiplied by the cosine of the angle between the direction of the force exerted and the required direction.
The angle theta is the deviation from the best way of doing a certain task. The smaller the deviation from the “best” way, the smaller the angle. When the angle is 0, cos 0 = 1, and the Force multiplied by distance is at it’s “purest” so to speak. When the angle is 90 degrees, cos 90 = 0, and no matter how much force one exerts, that number is multiplied by zero, hence the work is zero. If the angle exceeds 90, the cosine of that is negative..
In real life, we can think of F as the best effort we can put into trying to accomplish a task, so for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume that our F will be the same. The factor here that sets apart good from great will be how smart one exerts the effort – how one approaches a task such that none of the effort put in is wasted.
Hence, our goal here would be to get as close as possible to the ideal: the best method for doing a certain task, then focusing the best effort we can in that direction so that we attain maximum capacity. Of course there are different methods for different tasks, and that’s the fun part – we get to explore…