How a stone in your shoe makes it easier to get ahead

My new running shoes have a quirk. Small bits of gravel keep getting lodged in the treads. These pebbles cause the infamous Princess and the Pea syndrome with the way they poke up into the padding and scrape along the sidewalk. Yesterday I had one that wouldn’t budge, no matter how hard or long (or at which angle) I dragged my foot on the cement. I tried prying it out with the corner of the next sidewalk square, and even with the edge of the curb.

Finally, after wasting a ton of energy, not to mention looking like a complete yabo, I lifted my foot so I could examine the situation. It took just one tiny, concentrated, flick with the tip of my index finger to dislodge the stone. 

Most automobile engines operate with an efficiency somewhere between 25% and 30% (with up to 75% of the gas wasted!). In previous centuries, piston driven steam engines were only able to convert an average of 8% of their power into kinetic energy. These appalling stats show our historical inefficiency in maximizing energy conversions. Which is to say, we humans do a bang up job at plowing through our resources in whatever way gets us across the street (or eating the chicken) with the least concentrated effort on our part – aka we are addicted to the path of least resistance.

What am I trying to say? There is only one way to get ahead: concentrated effort.

Break out of the “path of least resistance” for a moment and take an new look at your situation. Your percieved parameters are 99% sourced from a brain looking for pattern and security. Just imagine what you could accomplish if stopped dragging your feet on the sidewalk and really took a good look what’s stuck (and why). Just imagine. I know I’m trying. Our futures might be only a finger flick away.


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