Day 15

Video transcription

A practice brings something new into our life and involves a kind of stretch. Stretching is the process of making some longer or wider or simply bigger. And with a practice we are in a sense making our life bigger. So that it can fit in more of what is important to us. But what is implicit in stretching of any kind is the discomfort that comes from reaching beyond where we have before.

If you have ever done any form of physical stretching, like yoga, then you’ll know exactly what I mean by the discomfort of stretching. So the first law of practice is that it can’t be done without discomfort. And this law is part of a more general law of life about the reciprocity of costs and rewards. My apologies for using that word “reciprocity” again but I have to confess I love it.

So the law of reciprocity as it applies to costs and rewards is that every action we do has a cost and a reward. For instance the cost of say exercise results in the reward of physical fitness. Or on the other hand the reward of say that delicious muffin that is calling to you has a cost of calories consumed and extra weight you’ll probably put on as a result of that.

And generally you’ll see costs and rewards play themselves over time. So there’s this tradeoff between cost and reward and our present and our future. And that means there are only 2 general strategies we can play. We can either have the reward in the present moment and the cost in the future, or we can have the cost in the present and the reward in the future.

And life. This beautiful thing we live in, lets us choose which strategy we want to live from in any moment. And maybe in any one moment there is no right answer. However. There is no such thing as liberty without responsibility. So whatever strategy we choose we also have to live with the consequences.

We can either choose to have more comfort in the present moment and pay the costs of this in the future, or we front-end the costs in the present moment and have the rewards in the future.

So looks kinda even right? Well not quite. And the reason for that is that practices (that is, paying the cost in the present) have not one, but two rewards. When we perform practices regularly they not only build the reward we employed them for in the first place, but they also reward us in building the fundamental capability of the author of that outcome. Us.

Practice pays out twice. It not only brings us closer to what it was we wanted in our life, but in the process of stretching for it, makes us fitter. That is our Self authoring fitness is developed. And self authoring fitness as I explained a couple of days ago is a capability that we can apply to any project in our life where we want to build more of what is important to us. And the only limits to how fit our Self author might become is how good we can become at meeting that moment of uncomfortable stretch, without turning away. We’re talk more about this tomorrow.