I started getting more into this Progression Dilemma…but while I started writing about it a few concepts emerged that I’d like to define first.
Vortex: I described periods emotional flux through the habit/mastery process in THIS RECENT POST. Feelings include needing to do more, feeling you should’ve done everything years ago, anxiety, depression, panic. The urge to hop ahead and start trying to improve in multiple arenas. These feelings can be compared to its opposite but equally detracting phase Depletion, Ego or Endurance, where you feel drained of energy. In a vortex progress slows because you feel ripped a part by the need to do it all. In a depletion phase progress slows because you feel emptied of energy. I’m not sure if these are the best names, but we’ll keep it as such for now.
Vortex/Depletion Forces: Why add “forces”? I think of it as making it into a sliding scale. When you’ve entered a Vortex or a Depletion pocket it’s almost already too late. The forces may be in action far before - for example, when focusing all energies in one skill like writing, Vortex forces will increase if you’re surrounded by people who are working on physical exercise. You see people progressing physically, they may make some comments like “you should really at least get out, or eat better” and you’ll have this urge to start improving - you feel like you’re not improving on all vectors, which can eventually lead into a full on Vortex where all progress slows. The same dynamic can occur when pushing TOO much, manifesting in increased depletion forces.
**On a total side note, I’m horrible at naming, and fully intend on going back and really thinking about apt descriptors for these concepts. The more I think about it the more all of this terminology seems to mimic aerodynamics, and I might need to pillage jargon from that discipline.