I was talking to a friend recently about where great results come from. I was curious because this guy has already achieved some incredible results in the world and he is having a positive impact on countless students. My belief is that when the heavy lifting is done upstream then the results flow more effortlessly downstream. The only catch is the initial mental effort upstream lifting requires, it is like the mind of a physicist operating from first principles. Nevertheless once the work is done it is almost like a switch flips downstream, so instead of battling against the current you can now flow along in the direction that it's natural force takes you.
A Practical Nature
The terms upstream and downstream are a little ambiguous, so lets bring things back to a more practical reality. According to my friend an example of upstream work would be taking the time the night before to set his goals for the following day. The upstream work here is like planting goal posts on a football field, nobody ever really notices or appreciates the goal posts but without them there would be no point to the game to begin with. He found that just by putting a little time and effort into this upstream work every day then he could operate in autopilot more throughout the day because he knew what he had to do and he had a sense of direction. The downstream work therefore entailed more periods of the flow state that is required for creativity and innovation, of which he has already done in spades.
Have you considered doing any upstream tasks? Do you want to see more of your path? If you have any insights, questions or recommendations feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail.