The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Musashi #9: Do Nothing that is of no use

This should be painfully obvious, but is not. Don't waste your time and energy. How many times do we spend great effort to accomplish something that was never worth our time to begin with? "There are battles it is not worth winning" is a great motto. Worse still is to LOSE such a battle. To that end, you have to be very careful, and to know which activities will actually lead you to your goal--and which will not. Until you have made this evaluation, it is best not to act. Measure twice, cut once. Distinguish between gain and loss. All of this leads to the idea of doing the minimum amount to get the maximum result. It would be possible to spend a lifetime mastering this single lesson.
1) Exercise: know what behaviors and attitudes actually produce results. Be clear on the results you want.
2) Relationship: Learn to communicate in the language your partner uses. There is no point in communicating in YOUR own mode, unless the other person can decode it. If she wants flowers, don't bring candy. If he needs to talk, don't suggest dancing.
3) Career. In writing, learn to use the precise language. Don't use five words if three will do. Cut all extraneous characters, scenes, whatever. Be prepared to kill your favorite scenes. Cut, Cut, Cut.

6 comments:

Edwin said...

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kamagra said...

I agree with your phrase "don't waste your time and energy"! I think we need to be smarter than anyone in this kind of issues, and also I think you're a metaphoric blogger, and i love it, because you always use them. "There are battles it is not worth winning" 23jj

Sylvia Bryden said...

A great blog. So often feel we must be "doing" all the time when actions from reflective contemplation creation towards our goals my be "less" butas the saying goes - "Less is More!" Be blessed

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