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Resolve Cycle

A resolve cycle is a way to discard distractions and excuses and simply solve a problem.

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A project or task may seem too large or vague to tackle, or too difficult to start. There might be an ugh field around the problem, or a lack of a clear script of how to proceed.

C. Terry Warner writes:

Except in a very few [tennis] matches, usually with world-class performers, there is a point in every match (and in some cases it's right at the beginning) when the loser decides he's going to lose. And after that, everything he does will be aimed at providing an explanation of why he will have lost. He may throw himself at the ball (so he will be able to say he's done his best against a superior opponent). He may dispute calls (so he will be able to say he's been robbed). He may swear at himself and throw his racket (so he can say it was apparent all along he wasn't in top form). His energies go not into winning but into producing an explanation, an excuse, a justification for losing.

The solution is simple: to solve the problem in five minutes. If the problem is unsolved at the end of the five minutes, set another five minute timer, either to finish it this time or to split it out into subtasks which themselves could be completed. The timer is short enough that only direct action has a chance of success, making it easier to discard rumination or meta-level optimizations that won't have time to pay for themselves. It replaces being satisfied with having a plan with being satisfied with success, as in Trying to Try.

Miyamoto Musashi writes:

The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means. Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy’s cutting sword, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him. More than anything, you must be thinking of carrying your movement through to cutting him.
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Todo: connect to other patterns. [In particular, this can be part of an antipattern of steamrolling resistance; make sure it's not that version.]

External references: CFAR handbook (this one hasn't been posted yet?), Mark Xu, alkjash