Connect with us

friction4 1

Man, life can be a slog sometimes. 

Each day, annoying little piddly things arise that aren’t hard to manage one by one, but, when taken together, really muck up your mojo. Your car breaks down, your kid gets sick, an employee loses a file, you’ve discovered a leak in your roof . . . and it’s just 9 a.m. 

How do you handle these small-but-rhythm-destroying vexations? How do you deal with slog-inducing annoyances without letting them throw a wrench in the gears of your goals?

Thankfully, famed war strategist Carl von Clausewitz provided some insights in his landmark work, On War, that are just as applicable to the home and office, as the battlefield. 

Friction, Friction Everywhere

Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.

Clausewitz’s most enduring and insightful idea in OnWar is friction. 

Friction explains why a general can have a plan for battle that looks perfect on paper, but falls apart in real life. Friction torpedos morale and slows down action.

Friction isn’t just one thing. It’s the accumulation of a bunch of little things. Says Clausewitz:

Countless minor incidents—the kind you can never really foresee—combine to lower the general level of performance, so that one always falls far short of the intended goal. 

To help his readers understand friction in warfare, he gives an analogy from everyday life in the 19th century that we can still imagine parallels to today:

Imagine a traveler who late in the day decides to cover two more stages before nightfall. Only four or five hours more, on a paved highway with relays of horses: it should be an easy trip. But at the next station he finds no fresh horses, or only poor ones; the country grows hilly, the road bad, night falls, and finally after many difficulties he is only too glad to reach a resting place with any kind of primitive accommodation. 

As the complexity in any endeavor increases, friction increases as well, because there are simply more opportunities for things to get mucked up. The bigger and more complicated the endeavor, the larger the amount of friction. 

A factor that increases complexity, and thus friction, more than any other, is the inclusion of other human beings. Humans are the ultimate friction creators. Clausewitz notes that a battalion, by its very nature, will experience plenty of friction, because it’s made up of many different individuals who can interact with each other in a multiplicity of problem-producing ways. One soldier gets scared and runs, resulting in other soldiers catching the fear contagion and running. Before you know it, you’ve got an unplanned, chaotic retreat. Damn you, friction!

If life seems like an annoying slog sometimes, it’s because of friction. 

Any endeavor, whether it’s planning a party or starting a business or just living life, will encounter friction along the way. Little unforeseen pain points come together to make what seems easy to accomplish in theory, pretty hard to accomplish in practice. And because most of what we do in life involves our fellow human beings — the Vesuvian volcanoes of vexation — we experience a lot of friction in our lives.

If you

Trending Stories

Podcast #971: The 5 Factors for Crafting Simple (Read: Effective!) Messages

spotify

You want to convince your children, students and customers, whether you are a parent, teacher or business owner. In the modern world, where people are exposed to 13 hours of media per day, this is a difficult task. How can you make yourself heard in the midst of all this noise? My guest would tell me that it’s about keeping things simple.

Ben Guttmann, a marketing consultant and educator, has helped promote everything from NFL teams to New York Times bestselling authors. He is the author of Simply Put, Why Clear Messages Work–and how to Design Them. Today on the show, Ben explains the gap between how people like to receive messages and the self-sabotaging, complication-introducing ways people tend to send them. We discuss the five elements of effective marketing, which anyone can use to craft simple, powerful, and influential messages. We talk about why it’s better to focus on the benefits of something rather than the features. We also discuss how to use “and” instead of “so” in order to craft more focused messages.

Podcast Resources

Sunday Firesides: Do not confuse niceness with kindnessThing Explainer by Randall Munroe: Complicated Things in Simple Words

Ben Guttmann is on Facebook

Ben’s websiteBen at LinkedIn

Listen to the Podcast. Don’t forget to give us a review!


Spotify.

Apple Podcast.


Overcast.

Listen to the episode in a separate window.

This episode is available for download.

Subscribe to the podcast using the media player you prefer.

The Transcript is Coming Soon

Podcast #971: 5 Factors to Crafting Simple (read: Effective!) Messages The post Messages first appeared on The Art of Manliness.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/angel-jackets-review-black-cafe-racer-leather-biker-jacket/

Continue Reading

Trending Stories

Angel Jackets Review – Black Cafe Racer Leather Biker Jacket

Angel Jackets Review: Black Cafe Racer Leather Biker Jacket

Online shopping can be a bit like sailing through a turbulent sea. But every now and then, you come across a treasure trove that makes it all worthwhile. Angel Jackets is a paradise for jacket lovers like me.

I already own four leather jackets for men. What was my prize? My prize catch? The black café racer leather motorcycle jacket. This piece promised to not only add an extra layer to my wardrobe, but also to bring a new level of sophistication to my everyday attire. This is my Angel Jackets Review.

Easy Ordering Process

Angel Jackets’ seamless online experience set the tone from the start. The website guided me through the plethora options, but it was a black cafe racer leather motorcycle jacket that caught my attention, promising style and versatility. The ordering process went smoothly, with clear instructions and a checkout that was smoother than leather I was about touch. The PS169 price, including free shipping, was a great deal for the quality of what I received.

Unboxing

The four-day wait was well worth it. The package was not a simple box but a chest full of luxury that awaited to be opened. It beckoned, “Experience Luxury.” The message “Elevate Your Wardrobe with Our Premium Leather Jacket” was also inside. It set the scene for what seemed like a historic occasion. It was neatly folded, and a work of art, ready to be worn.

Black Cafe Racer Leather Biker Coat

The fit of the jacket was almost magical. It felt as if the jacket had been custom-made for me. The comfort of the 100% lambskin leather wrapped me in a whispering promise that it would age gracefully over time. The soft polyester lining of the jacket was like a loving embrace between it and its owner.

The nuances are what really set this jacket apart – the decorative padding on shoulders, which whispered stories of adventure; the four zipper pockets; and the zipper sleeve sleeves that speak the language of function with flair. The erect neckline with its smooth YKK zipper closure added a touch of sophistication.

This jacket wasn’t just a piece; it was an expression. The black color was like a blank canvas, allowing for endless combinations. The decorative seam details and the extra pockets, one of which is specifically for a smartphone

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/skill-of-the-week-throw-a-boomerang/

Continue Reading

Trending Stories

Skill of the Week: Throw a Boomerang

A man’s ability to adapt to any situation is an important part of his masculinity. We’re republishing an illustrated guide from our archive every Sunday so that you can improve your manly knowledge week by week.

The process usually goes like this: You buy a boomerang in a toy shop because it sounds interesting. You can throw it in an open field. Throw it half a dozen times, only to hear it crash to the ground about 20 feet from where you are standing. Place the boomerang at the back of the closet and forget about it.

It’s easy to understand why boomerangs frustrate. It’s not intuitive like throwing a football or baseball. The key to a successful throw is the correct grip, throwing motion and evaluation of your circumstances. Make sure you are using a “returning” boomerang. Many of them are only for decoration and fly around as well as snow globes.

Ted Slampyak, Illustration

The Art of Manliness first published the Skill of the week: Throwing a Boomerang.

Continue Reading

Trending