"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Powerful Influence of Velocity

"Speed...is not only a powerful influence on those on your side. Frederick the Great noted that an army that moves quickly has higher morale. Velocity creates a sense of vitality. Moving with speed means there is less time for you and your army to make mistakes." Robert Greene, 33 Strategies of War

There is something powerful about speed. It is valued at many different levels. Speed in and of itself gives a rush. Think about sports, cars, and even business. I find for instance, that when making business calls, going at an accelerated rate creates a sort of "flow." This flow was well documented in the book "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is a transcendent property of execution. When one extends and challenges oneself for an extended duration a sense of well-being, union, and transcendence is experienced. It is as if we are partaking in our best execution, call it - 'spontaneous right action'.

To build our capacity to accelerate on call, preparation must be sought. The more well prepared we are in whatever activity we want to accelerate the easier and speedier we create this flow. If we are inadequately prepared for a task we wish to be fast in we will stumble and go slow. However, if we are well prepared by practice, training, and simulation; we will have a greater ability to use speed to our advantage.

One of the greatest military commanders of all time Fredrick The Great noted that speed was not only a strategy to win battle, but also helped boost morale of the soldiers. Speed has processional effects. It makes us feel good, it makes us perform good, and it makes us experience a result sooner. The paradox to becoming effective speedsters is the arduous underpinning of preparation. Preparation takes time. Preparation involves a large investment of time and rehearsal to simulate live action. The more we engage in time consuming preparation the more we will win come show time' and the faster we will be able to use speed as a leverage factor.

Succinctly we can say - slow down (prepare) to speed up!

Angel Armendariz

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