When Life Becomes A Brute Force Attack

The Parable of the Perfect Pot 

A long time ago, I was watching this video by Hank Green called “The Parable of The Perfect Pot,” in which Hank outlined an experiment that I’m sure we’ve all heard before in some manner.

Basically, there were two teams assigned with two different tasks. One team had to create the most number of pots, while the other had to create the best pot. 

Over the course of the year, Team A worked hard and often quite frantically to make as many pots as humanly possible. And Team B worked hard to come up with the best design for their pot.

And at the end of the year, you know what happened? Team A’s pots were way better Team B’s pots. Team A’s first pot definitely wouldn’t be as good, though, but their last one was great. 

You wanna know why?

The whole time while Team B was busy planning and theorizing and thinking about how their one pot was going to be, Team A was actually out there, MAKING THE POTS. And yeah, sure, the first couple of pots would have been pretty crappy, but the more they worked, the better they got. 

In the book Atomic Habits, the author James Clear said that 

We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action.

– Atomic Habits

He also talks about motion and action. Motion is what Team B did. Team B planned, strategized, and learned.

Action, on the other hand, is actually doing what you plan to do. Team A didn’t have the choice to stay in motion, because they were told to only act. And that’s what they did. They delivered outcomes. 

This mode of action, of constantly putting out work, willingly or unwillingly, good or bad, is what Hank calls the “Brute Force Attack.” It’s when you try and try and try until you finally reach a goal. It’s very, very exhausting and long. But it’s worth it. 

Blogging, in a lot of ways, is a brute force attack as well. At least for me. When I first started blogging, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I had to do it. Consistently. Now, almost a year later, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Eh, for the most part. But I do know that what I’m doing is fun and people like and I’m connecting with people I’ve never met in my life. I know that I want to keep going and I know that I’m going to get better as I get older.

Later, I realized that this also applies to life. You can either try to spend your entire life planning, dreaming and deciding how to make the best possible, or you can go and live in multiple different ways. You can do as many things as possible to try and figure out what’s best for you. 

Anyway, I thought that was a pretty cool thing to talk about.