You might think it’s not unique saying “Overnight success is not real” but the amount of conditioning done by mainstream media always leaves cracks in that belief. These cracks become the basis of “What if… there is a path through?”

Elon Musk studied for years learning about battery technologies for a decade or more before starting Tesla.

J.K.Rowling was rejected more than 10 times before a publisher took a chance on the Harry Potter manuscripts.

Steve Martin worked for nearly 15 years and in his autobiography wrote he spent “10 years spent learning, 4 years spent refining, and 4 years as a wild success.”

The path to making it is a long road with countless twists and turns. It’s the effort spread throughout the years which makes the difference. “Focus on the slow burnsas renowned productivity guide Tiago Forte Says.

Finding the Optimal Level

Work creates results and results are based on systems that are essentially habits.

Have you wondered what makes some habits stick while others fall apart? What is it about those habits that end up lasting for years? Is there a way to design those habits to maintain the peak levels of performance?

The Goldilocks Rule is the answer to these questions.

Any task has a variety of levels going from easy to just right to be extremely hard. It’s when the task lies in the zone of flow you become lost in the moment.

How does it show itself?

Let’s consider an example—

Playing tennis against a kid for example will be too easy and you’ll become bored. Playing against Nadal or Djokovic would be insanity and again you’ll end up losing motivation. Now, if you played against someone who is around your skill level then the game becomes interesting as you’re in the range of Goldilocks Rule.

“The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.” - Source

Tracking Progress

To stay motivated for a long time, we need to layer the optimal level of difficulty with doing things that provide us happiness.

“One of the important sources of human happiness is working on tasks at a suitable level of difficulty, neither too hard nor too easy.” - Gilbert Brim ( Psychologist )

Seeing the progress at the moment gives motivation on a different level. The feedback is what is important and pushes out the bad stuff from the good stuff.

This not only works in sports but other areas of life as well. It just requires different types of tracking to visualize the feedback for progress. Seeing something move and get bigger over time puts a fire within us to burn on during the dark days.

It can be easy to want to improve and even tell yourself “I will get better at that or I will start doing x more often.” Without the actual implementation of the thought, it will always be a wish and some wishes become unfulfilled forever. In order to avoid that from happening focus on making them align with the ideas above.

Core Concepts to remember for turning wishes into reality.

  • Use the Goldilocks Rule to find the optimal level
  • Visualize your feedback to get a reality check on your progress

Action To Take

James Clear has written a best-seller on changing habits and making changes that last. Check it out if you have not yet.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article. The support provides a chance for greater serendipity.