Practice, Don't Grind

Dear Matthew,

Popular culture these days has a lot of grindset discourse. Avoid grinding. Just don't do it. U have too many skills U want to grow to waste time grinding. Instead try to practice as much as U can.

Grinding means pushing through the point of diminishing returns, mindlessly carrying through the motions. A lot of people end up taking damage to their bodies through grinding. It leads to symptoms like repetitive stress injuries.

If U feel like U've started a grind, stop. Think about what U need to accomplish. If it feels like a grind that means U can look for some other way to achieve the goal. Don't let work feel like a grind, if it does that means U've left your intelligence out of it.

For non-work activities, especially watch out for grinds. U probably want to learn a specific skill, so if it feels like a grind to U, figure out how to make the activity more challenging and return to the practice zone.

Sometimes U might get totally stuck on a task and U don't see a way to make it less grindy. No problem, switch to doing something else that U can practice for a while. Most likely when U return to the original task with fresh eyes U'll find a way to do it without grinding.

U can engage in grunt work. Sometimes U just have to lift heavy and schlep. Not an issue, just do it as well as U can, Do Easy​. Do as many reps as U can while doing easy. Deliberately practice making your movements clean and efficient. If U feel your energy waver and U fall back into a grind, then take a break.

Reject the grind. Embrace practice in every moment. When U get bored, ask yourself if U've started to grind life, and ask yourself what skill U will practice instead. Try the skill of carefully staying still and observing every sensation that occurs in your awareness. U might find it deeply restful and surprisingly insightful.