Through our Streaking journey, Law #1: Keep it Laughably Simple fueled our streak because it was something to which we could not say no. Our rejection response went way down, almost zero, because the thing that we were asking ourselves to do was just too easy not to do. For example, read at least one paragraph in a non-fiction book, or write a sentence, or review a vocabulary word are all too easy not to do.
For 1600 days, as of this post, I have read at least one paragraph in a non-fiction book. The result of this streak has lead to many different discoveries and learning from other writers who have unique and creative ways of viewing life. The most recent book I have ventured into from this streak is titled, "How to Think Like a Rocket Scientist" by Ozan Varol. Ozan ventures into the world of applying rocket science thinking to every day life.
While reading about "thought experiments" one particular paragraph ignited a different way of viewing Streaking Law #1. Ozan writes, "...In this era of 'move fast and break things,' curiosity can seem like an unnecessary luxury. With an inbox-zero ethos and an unyielding focus on hustle and execution, answers appear efficient. They illuminate the path forward and give us that life hack so we can move on to the next thing on our to-do list. Questions, on the other hand are exceedingly inefficient. If they don't yield immediate answers, they're unlikely to get a slot on our overloaded calendars."
According to Ozan then, answers are efficient and questions, that don't have an immediate answer, are inefficient, thus these questions don't get time in our thoughts or on our calendars. Efficiency becomes a problem because it squelches curiosity. When we stop what we are doing in the moment and think, "I wonder if..."
this pause is the start of inefficiency; however, this pause is also the beginning of creativity. Which brings me to the laughably small streak of reading at least one paragraph in a non fiction book daily.
Launching this streak was the result of my desire to be of service to others through, among other things, thought provoking and persuasive speaking, teaching, and writing. To be thought provoking and persuasive, I felt the need to read consistently. Following Streaking law #1, the laughably simple streak for me was to read at least one paragraph in a non-fiction book daily. No matter what the day brought, no matter how tired I was, no matter what my emotional state, I could read at least one paragraph and I have for 1600 days.
Then today after reading what Ozan wrote about thought experiments something of an epiphany lighted my brain. Streaking Law #1 is not only about overcoming the obstacles of reading, but also about providing space to think about what I am reading. Because I only need to read one paragraph to keep the streak alive, I can stop and ponder on it for awhile. I can run thought experiments because not only did I win by reading the paragraph for the day, but also I have released pressure of pushing to be efficient and finish reading the book in a specified period of time. Because I know that I am going to read tomorrow, I give myself permission to think deeply today.
Streaking Law #1: Make it Laughably Simple, then is not only about making something so simple there is no reason not to do it, but also about making it so simple there is space to think about what you are doing or have done. Conscious, consistent, laughably simple action is crucial to deep continuous and meaningful growth.