The law of reversed effort as explained by Aldous Huxley — Quotes for Writers (and people who like quotes)
Take the piano teacher, for example. He always says, Relax, relax. But how can you relax while your fingers are rushing over the keys? Yet they have to relax. The singing teacher and the golf pro say exactly the same thing. And in the realm of spiritual exercises we find that the person who teaches mental prayer does too. We have somehow to combine relaxation with activity…
The personal conscious self being a kind of small island in the midst of an enormous area of consciousness – what has to be relaxed is the personal self, the self that tries too hard, that thinks it knows what is what, that uses language. This has to be relaxed in order that the multiple powers at work within the deeper and wider self may come through and function as they should. In all psychophysical skills we have this curious fact of the law of reversed effort: the harder we try, the worse we do the thing.
photo credit: 2012 TK OPEN-368 via photopin (license)
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It reminds me of his “Lightly, child, lightly” quote. I find wisdom in the message and use it as an affirmation, reminder, and goal.
Gardening and relaxing and thinking writing – always works for me. Or have I missed the point?
Anyone who can be nominated in seven different years for the Nobel Prize for Literature is worth listening to, and Aldous Huxley more than most. I’ll tip my hat to him not least for the reason that in addition to his travel writing, film scripts, novels, essays, poetry and works of non-fiction (“THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION”) he was also quite the short story writer.