Law of Least Effort


Before my injury, I used to run alongside a creek, located deep inside a gulch.  These runs changed my life because, one day, nature awakened me beyond the influence of any mortal soul I have ever encountered.  On this particular day, as I was running, I was observing the characteristics of water and it’s approach to overcoming obstacles.  Water avoids uphill battles, doesn’t resist change, and effortlessly flows around obstacles by following the path of least resistance.  Furthermore, when water encounters a bolder, a river bend, or other barrier, it flows effortlessly around the obstacle and continues moving.  Bruce Lee said, “Bruce Lee said, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash.”  When humans encounter obstacles, especially if it involves a disagreement with a fellow individual, many of us become embroiled in conflict until their fragile ego has been affirmed.  What nature taught me, as I ran alongside that creek, was that when nature encounters obstacles it continues to flow with effortless ease. 



nolan mcdonnellIf you take a moment to observe nature you will notice that the least amount of effort is applied to yield maximum results.  For example, grass does not try to grow, it just grows.  Fish do not try to swim, they just swim.  Flowers do not try to bloom, they bloom.  Birds do not try to fly, they just fly.  And to apply this principle on a literal global scale, the earth does not try to spin, it just rotates perfectly on its axis with no effort.  With that said, when you are in harmony with both yourself and nature, you can make use of the law of least effort.






nolan mcdonnellLeast effort is expanded when your actions are motivated by providing value, love, and productivity, while seeking nothing in return.  When you seek power and control over other people, your waste energy. When you seek money or power for the sake of the ego, you spend energy chasing the illusion of happiness instead of finding happiness in the moment. When you seek money for personal gain only, you cut off the flow of energy to yourself.  For example, if you take, take,  and request favors from others, and use other people’s resources for your advantage, eventually, people are going to grow tired of you not paying it forward or reciprocating the gesture you will find them distancing themselves from you and resentment will ensue.  On the contrary, when your actions are motivated by love, your energy multiplies and accumulates and the surplus energy that you accumulate can be channeled into creating potential opportunities for unlimited wealth.



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le4There are three components to the law of least effort, the first dynamic is acceptance.  Acceptance simply means let go of the past, the way things were, and commit with full intentions and no reservations towards moving forward and making progress toward your dreams and desires.  In short, let go of the way things were and commit towards working hard to make things the way you want them to be.  What this means is that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete, you’re accepting the way they are, and not as you wish they were in this moment.  Additionally, if you feel frustrated, or upset, by your person or situation, you must know that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but instead, you are at conflict with yourself and your emotions.  My workshop has a handful of proven conflict resolution exercises to achieve optimal results.  This leads us to the second component of the law of least effort, which is responsibility.


Life is competitive by nature.  Plants naturally compete for sun and nutrients, animals kill for food, and people attack fellow humans for pride and ego.  In life, no matter what arena you are in, someone will challenge you to take your place.  Whether it is a figure attempting to impose in your intimate relationship, a competing business, or a coworker trying to take your place, there will always be someone who behaves like an inhumane primitive primate praying on what you have and they do not.  It is your responsibility to work for what you want and protect what you have.  The best way to protect yourself is to be fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order as everything changes.   While living in the wilderness I used to run alongside a creek, comparing the characteristics of water to humans.  Water avoids uphill battles, does not resist change, and effortlessly flows around obstacles.  On the other hand, when humans encounter an opponent, many of us lock horns and become embroiled in conflict until the ego is satisfied.  For example, when river water encounters a bolder, or any other barrier, it simply flows around it,  Humans, on the other hand, especially if it involves a disagreement with a fellow individual, will argue and debate until somebody, “Wins.”  Rather than being confrontational, it would be wise to learn from each other and reconstruct natures balance of peace and harmony.  



Nolan McDonnellWhat responsibility means is not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted this circumstance, this event, this problem, responsibility then means the ability to have creative control to overcome the situation as it is now.  All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take a moment and transform into a better situation or thing.  Times of tension or chaos create opportunities that were never possible before.  In other words, tension and chaos create turning points, they bring us to a fork in the road, where we are giving new opportunities to make something of ourselves that we never had the chance of before.  To take advantage of these turning points you must first take responsibility for yourself, the pass, and the present so that you can answer the call to the new opportunities that lie ahead.


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Nolan McDonnellThe third component of the law of least effort is defensiveness, Which means that you have relinquished the need to convince or persuade others of your point of view.  If you observe people around you, you’ll see that they spend 99% of their time defending their point of view. If you relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will gain access to an enormous amount of energy that you have previously wasted.  Additionally, when you become defensive, blame others, and do not accept and surrender to the moment, your life meets resistance. Anytime you encounter resistance, recognize that if you force the situation, the resistance will only increase.  You do not want to stand rigid and waste valuable time or effort for things that are empty and meaningless in the grand scheme of life.  Completely desist from defending your point of you.  When you have no point to defend, you do not allow the birth of an argument. If you do this consistently, you stop fighting and resist, and you will fully experience the present, which is a gift.


Make a commitment to follow the path of no resistance.  This is the path through with nature’s intelligence unfold spontaneously, without friction, or effort. When you remain open to all points of view, you are open to all possibilities.



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Nolan McDonnell is a life coach of motivation, not by regurgitating motivational quotes, abstract theories of motivation, or by dropping an ostentatious motivational phrases on you.  Instead,  Nolan McDonnell takes the stance of putting in work and let your results speak volumes.  While it is wonderful that life coaches, wellness coaches, and anybody else who spews out motivational quotes, these motivational phrases are not enough to make a permanent positive impact on other people’s lives.  If you seek motivational quotes, theories of motivation, and motivational phrases, that is great.  However, if you are seeking motivational quotes, theory’s of motivation, and an inspirational life coach who is dedicated to delivering you real results is optimal.  With that said, Nolan McDonnell delivers beyond what the typical life or wellness coach provides by yielding results that exceed your expectations.  Motivation is crucial for any success in life and sometimes you need motivation to make that first step.  With that said, I strongly urge you achieve motivation of a life time my taking a taking a course on motivation.



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