Effort, Stretching and Straining

From 'Knowing how to Know' Idries Shah

When people have a hard task to do - one which stretches them - they become less concerned with trivial matters. If you have not registered this yet, observe it in yourself and in others, and you will see that it is true.

When there is an emergency, for example, something which takes up a great deal of attention, triviality is reduced.

In order to enable people to be less trivial, and to tackle things which really help them develop, they should undertake tasks which provide the right kind and degree of stretching.

People who have achieved great things, genuinely effective accomplishments, will be found to have done so through this method: stretching.

When it goes wrong, people apply stress, not stretching. Stress is damaging and does not product constructive results.

Mistaking stretching for straining: labour for exercise, is what causes a great deal of trouble.

When triviality disappears, even temporarily, people are able to work at a higher level. This is true of all kinds of human endeavour: it is to be seen in attainment of all kinds and also even in a social milieu: people who are less trivial are more respected.