Available from McGraw-Hill Business in January 2014
In his (amazing) book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman touches on a fascinating concept that he calls, “The Law of Least Effort.” Kahneman states that, “…if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will gravitate to the least demanding course of action.” The premise here is that people are not categorically lazy but are striving to be efficient.
Before reading on, it is worthwhile to consider some of the natural implications of this law.
- Minimal effort o Acceptance of mediocrity
- Blending in with everyone else
- The dreaded “Minimum Performance Standards” (I despise that term!)
There is a strong psychological underpinning to all this. Finding ourselves unsure of the depth of a given threat (an opportunity to be bold), we revert to the instinct of energy preservation. It’s a survival technique.
Here’s the problem: this subconscious tendency actually helps us to feel better about ourselves when we yield to discomfort. There is a built-in justification for doing so. Our primal brain assures us: “Hey, I’m just preserving my energy in case a greater threat comes along.”
Of course, the penalty for taking the path of least resistance can be severe, coming in the form of limited potential and confining self-beliefs. Every time we give in to discomfort we cement ourselves more fully into the familiar yet confining world of mediocrity. Just ask those around you who have taken bold but uncomfortable steps in their own lives. They will tell you that the so-called “law of least effort” is a sham, and that the richest treasures are not to be found on our existing mental maps.
Where are you guilty of offering only the least amount of effort? In this one case, I encourage you to break the law: the law of least effort! Be bold and start making the effort to go the extra mile today.
About the Author
Jeff Shore is a highly sought-after sales expert, speaker, author and executive coach whose innovative BE BOLD methodology teaches you how to change your mindset and change your world. His latest book, Be Bold and Win the Sale: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Boost Your Performance, is forthcoming from McGraw-Hill in January 2014. Learn more at jeffshore.com or follow Jeff on Twitter.
More About the Author: For more than three decades, Jeff has guided executives and sales teams in large and small companies across the globe to embrace their discomforts and deliver BOLD sales results. In a crowded field of sales experts and training programs, Jeff Shore stands out with his research-based BE BOLD methodology. Combining his extensive front-line sales experience with the latest Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research, Jeff has created a highly effective, personalized way to reset sales paradigms and deliver industry-leading results. Jeff doesn’t just teach you how to sell, he shows you how to change your mindset and change your world.