“Motion organizes and creates order. It is by motion that all things tend to their equilibrium and find their place in the universe. And unrelenting motion is what helps conspire towards some unifying geometrical situation.”
That’s the Theory of Gravitational Order, as written by my friend Ed Sylvia in his metaphysical masterpiece, Proving God.
But here’s the really cool part.
If you soften your eyes and re-read Ed’s words with a mental posture of deep democracy, the Theory of Gravitational Order (also) happens to be the secret to execution excellence.
Let’s explore it more detail:
1. Optimize your efforts. Stop worrying about getting things right and start focusing on getting things moving in the right direction. As Michael Stanier explained in Do More Great Work:
“Your goal is not to find the perfect place to start. That might paralyze you, forever delaying action because it’s not just so. Instead, find a place to start. Take your best guess. And choose something that will do for the time being. Something that has potential – somewhere that’s a good enough place to start.”
Look: You don’t have to move on and know where you’re moving on to at the same time. Those who are stopped by not knowing how scare themselves into hiding. Go start something. What events will serve as your catalyst to start a favorable chain reaction?
2. Lower the threat level. Nobody’s asking you to finish and ship the whole thing today. Or even tomorrow. Instead, consider pulling a partial. Ask yourself: What is an easy, inconsequential version of this scary action I could take now?
For example, let’s say you’re not ready to publish your (entire) book yet.
No sweat. What if you posted a new chapter each week on your blog? Taking small action like this makes it significantly safer – and substantially easier – to convert your internal efforts into outward motion.
And if you do it enough, you’ll either get the whole thing done incrementally, or sustain enough small victories to pull the trigger when the time is right. Not perfect, but right. What other risky (but reasonably) baby steps can you take today to move forward?
3. Reluctance to make a decision is a form of resistance. At the same time, don’t wait too long to pull the trigger. Otherwise, by the time you’re ready to bust a cap, your target will be long gone. And you’ll be left with nothing but a sweaty finger.
Sadly, most people can’t overcome the paralyzing uncertainty of taking that crucial first step. That’s why I suggest the following: Violently refuse to get snared into an endless tangle of anxiety, regret and second-guessing.
You can’t go through life regretting every decision you make just because it might not have been the best possible choice. It’ll eat you up inside like a tapeworm.
Better to just make a choice and get on with your life comfortably – as opposed to being plagued by doubt, wondering about what could have been a marginally better option.
Maybe Shakespeare was right. Maybe delays really do have dangerous ends.
Remember: Opportunity is limited only by the courage to act. Where is resistance beating you??
4. Beware of the trap of thought. Reflecting, planning and thinking – when you should be acting, experiencing and learning – is costing you money by the minute. Come on. Enough with the thinking. It’s time to view your enterprise as a decision factory.
The secret to becoming a great chooser is something I learned from The Paradox of Choice:
“Having high standards; yet giving yourself permission to be satisfied once your experience matches those standards. Otherwise, if you keep looking, you’ll always find something better. And the tyranny of small, irrelevant decisions will keep you trapped in purgatory thought.”
Remember: Constantly searching for perfect solutions leads to frustration, or, worse yet, inaction. Are you picking or choosing?
5. Scare yourself out of irrelevancy. Knowledge that does not lead you to wisdom is nothing but empty calories. A six-pack of Diet Coke, at best. And likewise, ideas that do not lead you to execution are nothing but meaningless arpeggios.
Honestly ask yourself two questions:
*Is this fun but not moving you toward your goal?
*Is this a distraction that keeps you busy but doesn’t expose you to risk?
If the answer is yes, stop yourself in your tracks.
Embrace the credo of creatio contina, or constant creative action. And go do the work that scares you. Engage in perpetual effort. With no hint of dissipation. Insist on rapid (but non-reckless) movement that matters, and you win. Do you have enough self-control to tweet and get on with your life, or will you get swept into the undertow of inconsequentiality?
6. Practice deliberate indifference. Not caring is highly underrated. In fact, considering the amount of vomitous noise you’re exposed to everyday, not caring is your god-given right.
Take email, for example. Personally, I have no remorse about pressing the delete button on a message sent by someone who forgot to press the respect button. Period.
You should try it sometime. It feels great. And you’ll discover that concentrating on the essential without distraction from the irrelevant contains all the gravity you’ll ever need.
Remember: Stay intrinsic to action and you’ll remain allergic to inertia. Are you execution driven?
REMEMBER: Unrelenting motion is the prerequisite of exquisite execution.
As Seneca once noted, “Matters lies inert and inactive, a substance with unlimited potential, but destined to remain idle if no one sets it in motion.”
I challenge you to leverage these principles of gravitational order.
Who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll conspire towards some unifying geometrical situation.
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What did you execute this week?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.
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