Via Negativa

Via Negativa

Word count: 404

Approximate reading time: 4 minutes

A Latin phrase used initially in Christian Theology, ๐‘ฝ๐’Š๐’‚ ๐‘ต๐’†๐’ˆ๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’—๐’‚ was the idea to explain what God is by focusing on ๐’˜๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐‘ฏ๐’† ๐’Š๐’”๐’’๐’•. By acknowledging the finite capacity of the human mind, the task of affirmation is easier to conceive than addition of thought; hence, ‘God is Love’, ‘God is Light’.

In modern times, we observe the inverse. For example, when deciding what people can create or improve on, the act of what they can ๐™–๐™™๐™™ blinds the consideration of what they first ought to ๐™ง๐™š๐™ข๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š.

A couple aphorisms in which we acknowledge the latter, but adamantly persuade ourselves to the former:
โ€ข Consider that a clear mind is ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰๐’๐’–๐’• distraction.
โ€ข Clear writing involves ๐’“๐’†๐’Ž๐’๐’—๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ clutter to make room only for the essential.

Life can drastically improve by merely knowing what to avoid. Much of ‘innovation’ (in any stretch of the imagination) should, at times, be viewed as ๐™จ๐™ช๐™—๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š, ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™™๐™™๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š.

Consider here, a modern piece of a classic entrepreneur whose words still echo as a timeless reminder:
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” – Steve Jobs

Where, then, do we observe these patterns in physical programming, especially when asked by an ominous client in the context of recovery? (and not limited to clients. Coaches, you are still susceptible here)

More often than not, when seeking to improve performance and finding more avenues for โ€˜recoveryโ€™ to assist in the process, the less is more approach is the age-tested tool that governs more success than seeking to add further complexity.

In a more pronounced version of the less is more approach, such a tool ought to be viewed as โ€˜when doing nothing, is better than doing somethingโ€™.

Superfluous โ€˜interventionistโ€™ tools are exactly that; superfluous. How many more massage treatments do you actually need? Is adding another foam roller โ€˜treatment recoveryโ€™ really going to make the difference you are seeking?

Much of where your body adapts to a given stimuli simply needs a path of more subtraction (rest), than addition (added stimuli).

A life heuristic in decision making, no matter the context:
๐˜ผ๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ž๐™™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™™๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™ž๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™จ๐™š๐™š๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™—๐™ง๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก๐™ž๐™–๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š.