You know a book is going to be interesting when its preface is riveting. William Steinkraus’ prefatory comments to Lt. Col. A. L. D’Endrödy’s excellent work on equitation “Give Your Horse a Chance” provides powerful insight into how to be more effective in living. Steinkraus noted:
“It is ironic that so many of the people who have never studied the literature of riding – to which the present volume makes a significant addition – simply ‘can’t spare the time’ to do so. That they should cherish time is reasonable enough, for, after all, time is life; but they only way in which we can truly save time lies I borrowing from the experience (which is to say time) of others. Nothing is more wasteful than the tedious search for a solution to a problem which others have long since solved.”
This principle can be applied at any point in the learning curve of any challenge you face in life. Don’t be afraid to ask the experts who have gone before you, consult their notes if they are available and put their solutions to the test. Times change, of course, but to the degree that their solutions were applications of timeless principles, their relevance will hold no matter how many grains of sand have passed through the neck of the hourglass.
Steinkraus went on to describe that:
“Thus all of us who aspire, in our practice of riding, to something more than an interminable repetition of the same errors of technique or of understanding will find ourselves indebted to Colonel d’Endrödy, who has made it available to us in this volume the most precious gift a rider can pass on to his colleagues-his own experience and his understanding of it. His experience has been vast; he has probed it with an exceptionally keen analytical mind for the basic logical and consistent principles that are the only short cuts, and he has set forth these insights in an integrated, systematic form with the most painstaking thoroughness.”
In every field of human inquiry and activity, there are “basic logical and consistent principles that are the only shortcuts.” These are the principles of truth, which, when properly applied, constrain to the most efficient and consequently, elegant solution of any problem.
The masters in any field are those who have harmonized their function with its underlying logical and consistent principles.