Word count: 404
Approximate reading time: 4 minutes
A Latin phrase used initially in Christian Theology, 𝑽𝒊𝒂 𝑵𝒆𝒈𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒂 was the idea to explain what God is by focusing on 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑯𝒆 𝒊𝒔𝒏’𝒕. 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 𝙖𝙙𝙙 blinds the consideration of what they first ought to 𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙫𝙚.
A couple aphorisms in which we acknowledge the latter, but adamantly persuade ourselves to the former:
• Consider that a clear mind is 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒕 distraction.
• Clear writing involves 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 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 𝙨𝙪𝙗𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚, 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙖𝙙𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚.
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 ‘recovery’ 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 ‘when doing nothing, is better than doing something’.
Superfluous ‘interventionist’ tools are exactly that; superfluous. How many more massage treatments do you actually need? Is adding another foam roller ‘treatment recovery’ 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:
𝘼𝙫𝙤𝙞𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙨𝙩𝙪𝙥𝙞𝙙𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙞𝙨 𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙞𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚.