This note was sparked, and is therefore a continuation of a status I recently posted which says, “Human perfection is an asymptotic process.” as I sat and reflected upon it about 1 minute ago while laying facedown on my bed. It is additionally, a result of a Tumblr posting I made on why I decided not to post pictures of the day anymore.
The General Theory is as follows:
A large degree, and therefore the easier part of perfecting a technique/discipline occurs in the beginning and is highly mechanical, and systematic. The subsequent and continual refining of technique later in a discipline is more intensive, as it requires much more attention to detail, feel, and overall experience, and is therefore not as systematic.
It’s very similar to the idea of economic inflation, where the same unit of currency buys less and less as time goes on. One “dollar” of effort may have bought you 10 units of improvement in the beginning of your practice, which might buy 6 units of improvement at an intermediate level, 4 units at an advanced level, and 1 unit at master level, and so on.
This is why I believe many people attempt to improve or get started at something, and most are weeded out after the initial stages.
This is why in modeling/acting auditions, the vast majority of the people are turned away right from the get go. This is why so many people have New Year’s Resolutions of losing weight and stick with it for 2 weeks, and do not have the necesarry will-power to continue longer. This is why people practice the guitar after they realize how cool a good lead guitarist is, but cannot keep the regimented practice for longer than a couple months that it takes to attain such a level.
This is why millions of sperm race toward the egg, but the vast majority of them are killed in the beginning either due to genetic incompetence, or dangers along the way. And only 1 sperm can fertilize the egg. Talk about small odds, and may the best man win.
But see, this is also why even though the rate of improvement decreases as time goes on, at such a late stage of the game, even the tiniest bit of improvement is worth a lot. A lot more than a large amount of improvement was worth in the beginning. In other words, despite the difficulty is growth later on, each unit of growth is much more potent.
You might have entered the Drama Club at school as a nobody, and after three years of hard work became the best performer in the school, clearly a large feat. However, a highly paid A-List Hollywood actor might have gone from his current status, to then owning his own production company and becoming a director in addition to his previous status. Now, that surely took an enormous amount of effort, but wow, what a potent bit of improvement that is.
This is true for everything in life that we choose to partake in, learn, practice, master…everything.
Is there not so much information available online for let’s say…basic Algebra? A good deal available for Calculus? But then we start finding information on Theoretical Physics, Finite Element Analysis, Partial Differential Equations, etc. The more and more advanced a skill gets, the more personal it becomes, the less textbooks and masters there are to find information on the subject. In other words, it’s easy in the beginning and not only gets harder as it continues to advance, but the improvement per unit effort decreases at an exponential rate.
The later and final stages of development are attained by a purely feeling and case to case basis. I can’t tell you how many times in my engineering classes, or related experiences where a student asks a working professional, “How do I get a job?” or “How do you design a bridge? Do I really need to know thermodynamics?” Things like that. Or if one asks a photographer, “How do you shoot fashion? How do you shoot in daylght? How do you shoot at night?” Invariably, as should be the case if the individual is a true professional/master at their craft, the anwer will be “It depends.” Everything is A, B, C 1, 2, 3 in the beginning. Problems in an introductory physics class are frictionless with no energy loss, all integrals in Calculus I are solvable. But as we continue, each case must be treated individually, and what worked for one problem, or person, will not necessarily work for another. We must learn to detach ourselves from the predictable and comforting nature of formulas and fixed positions, and into the field of variance and feel and intuition, which are attributes that are attained only by long term experience and interest in a respective field.
The attached photo at the top of this note explains the following.
I view this relation between perfection with respect to improvement as a lograithmic function for the most part, though with an upper asymptote. I know math buffs, logarithmic functions have vertical asymptotes at their origin, lol.
Where “P” stands for perfection, and “e” stands for effort, NOT to be confused with the formal mathematical definition of “e” which is rougly 2.718
In this case, one can see the asymptote y=P, serving as the barrier to perfection.
Therefore, the limit of log(e) as e approaches infinity is perfection “P”
However, P(infinity) does not equal perfection, and therefore does not exist, because the asymptote prevents this.
Ideally, in a perfect world
Perfection “P” can be attained. It simply must take an infinite amount of effort. This is only possible in the metaphysical. This is a physical impossibility.
How can we then reach perfection? Simple, we must realize that our efforts and will power are truly infinite in nature. Simple, not necesarrily easy.
So long as we are limited by the finititude of physical existence, we are not able to make this affirmation. What is the source of will power? The mind. What is the mind limited by? Nothing, the mind is intrinsically infinite in nature. However, the body is controlled by the mind, therefore the body is subject to it’s constraints, but not the other way around. Nothing in this world truly has the mind shackled down. Yes, it can be influenced, brainwashed and indoctrinated, but by no means are those maladies uncurable and inevitable.
This does not mean that all obstacles and discomforts will be immediately conquered, even when the mind has attained such a level of fortitude. It may takes months, years or even decdes to reach ones true goals, and heart’s desires, but they are certainly attainable. We must never doubt our will power, for it is truly not to be doubted. A doubt is an illusory paper wall put up by our own selves. But, as long as we believe in that paper wall, we are sure to experience the doubt and failure it brings into our lives.
Doubt is the source of failure.
Even present in the tiniest portions, it is sure to foil a plan/goal. Just as a tiny bit of yolk can ruin fluffy white meringue, and just how a tiny hole in canvas can shatter the entire fabric, the smallest iota of doubt in the mind will be sure to multiply and consume one’s goals and dreams like cancer.
Doubt exists only in the mind. We must realize that doubt is an illusion, and it will therefore not manifest itself as a reality.
I say again from a previous note, “I think, therefore I am.” -Rene Descartes.
If you think it, it is a reality. If you do not think it, it is not a reality.
Therefore, perfection is an impossibility with doubt, for doubt does not truly exist. That is why the asymptote in the graph exists in “reality”. That asymptote vanishes when we realize that we are ultimately infinite, with infinite will and infinite creativity. Only then, are we able to attain perfection. It may take us an incredibly long time, and there may be countless of current obstacles, but in the back of our mind’s and the bottom of our heart’s, we must realize that whatever goal we wish to fullfill, is ultimately attainable.
We must not let doubt into the equation.
I cannot tell you how many times during training at my martial arts studio where I was kicking, practicing a form, sparring…whatever. When I had a lack of spirit, lack of confidence due the presence of doubt in my mind, my instructor would ALWAYS let know.
I’ll never forget one particular Friday evening while I was sparring and my instructor was refferreeing the match, I went in for a move and he immediately goes, “Break!” Looks at me and says with such conviction, “You had zero commitment in that punch…You have to commit. One of two things happens when you commit, you’re either gonna win, or you’re gonna die.”
Now, that wasn’t the only time I had that lesson, sparring in particular. But eventually, with enough scolding and practice, I understood what he meant and set forth to fix it.
Often times people have the idea of, “Oh, I know I probably could, but I can’t, I shouldn’t. It will probably work, but something might happen. I know he/she likes me, but I don’t think things will work.”
With that attitude, whether or not the situation is in your favor, you are guaranteed to fail due to the doubt.
Haven’t many of us seen 300? Though, the Spartans ultimatley were defeated, imagine that, 300 mean against, 1,000,000. And they stood their ground for that long, and even in the face of death and sure defeat, they set forth and fought to their very last breath. That is true strength, and that is true committment.
How then are we able to attain such an “infinite” level of will power? First, we must realize that yes, it is possible. This leads back to my note on unconditional love, which is that infinite source of effort is only unlocked when we truly and unconditionally love what we are doing.
"If you are not doing what you love, and loving what you do, then this highest state of consciousness is not possible." -Dr. Wayne Dyer
In a nutshell. Yes, we have infinite will. To get it we must leave behind all illusory and self-induced ideas of doubt and limitation, and have an unconditional love for what we are doing.
Delve deep within yourself, and find yourself. Only when you find yourself, will you find what you truly love.
Allowing other objects, people and ideas define you has a high energetic cost, and is bound to result in sadness and lack of fullfillment. First spend time finding yourself, let it takes, weeks, months or years of intense introspection, guessing and checking and trial and error.
For once you find yourself seated firmly in the throne of self-assurance, self-acceptance and infinite will-power, will you be able to improve your technique, or anything you so desire to the state of perfection.
Finding a temporary satisfaction, a quick fix, a mere night’s pleasure in hopes of finding true and everlasting joy are hopeless. For at the end of the day, once the high has subsided, once the girl at the party leaves the morning after, you’re still left right where you started, yourself, the very person you are trying to get away from.
You must first become strong, and happy and highly willed yourself, then you will find the glass half full wherever you look, even in the most unlikely of places. So despite how long or how hard that may be, is that not worth it? To wake up in the morning and enjoy looking in the mirror, telling somebody your name and saying it proudly, and instead of dreading the thought of returning to yourself at the end of the day, to enjoy that knowing that despite it all, you are, yourself, happy? Instead of, despite it all, you are NOT happy with yourself? It is a completely different state of mind, and therefore a completely different experience of reality.
It is worth it. However, that is only my opinion.
Let me credit Paramahansa Yogananda as well. I have a feeling that the last two chapters I’ve recently read in his book of collected talks and essays “Man’s Eternal Quest” on the subject of will power, creating good habits and attaining your dreams, had something to do in helping me write this note.
That is all.