The power to stop entropy - minimal support dose

Entropy is one of the most implacable forces in the world. It is what causes essentially everything to breakdown.

In the long run, you can't beat entropy but in the short run you can do enough to stop it in its tracks.

What does this mean, it means you can look at a skill or ability you have and say what do I need to do and how often to keep the skill from going downhill.

This can be very different for different skills.

Mobility can start to decline in a day

Cardiovascular endurance can start declining in a few days

Muscular strength can decline in after a few weeks

Sports skills can decline over a couple of months

Other skills like driving or language fluency, require minimal check-ups maybe even every couple of years after you have achieved mastery.

Why is it important to know the minimal support dose?

It is important for a couple of reasons -

1. To know when you need to practice to keep a specific skill up

2. To know how much time you need to spend maintaining your skills to get a sense of how much time you have for building new skills (i.e. if every week you have 10 hours of free time, you need to work out 5 of those hours to maintain endurance, strength and mobility, you only have 5 hours to learn how to play guitar, learn how to cook etc. )

3. To know where the tipping point is with the skill. If you do less than the minimal support dose, you will start going backwards, somewhere in excess of the minimal support dose you have the opportunity to build your skill better. Returns aren't linear and what you do to support the skill matters but if you have a good enough sense of the skill to understand where you are to stay level you can focus on getting beyond that to build and grow.

One key thing to know is that different skills at different times have different minimal support doses. If you spend good time in your teenage and early 20s building muscle and general physicial capability that will serve you very well down the line as it is much easier to maintain gains and when you get older it is much harder to make new physical gains so you put your self in a better long term position investing in skills the right time to build them.

Also within the lifecycle of a skill there are different levels of minimal support dose. If you learn just a little bit of a language and then you let it drop, picking it up again or maintaining that skill level takes much more time than if you achieve real language fluency, where you have rewired your brain in a more permanent way. Getting to a mastery level paradoxically can lower your minimal effective dose. Arnold Schwarzenegger took up meditation for a year, and pushed so hard that he changed his brain and the changes are with him still even though he no longer meditates. Same with driving a car or riding a bike, the skill becomes so instinctual that it needs less to maintain.

So for every skill that is important for you (to maintain or get better) take some time to explore the skill, understand what you need to do to maintain it, and if you can invest your time better to both improve the skill and get to a lower maintenance level. Take the immersion course, or join the boot camp and see if you can get some skills to be come instinctual at an early stage and you will find yourself ahead of entropy.


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