Unlocking the Paradox: The Power of Surrender and Scout Mindset


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 22, 2023

3 min read


Unlocking the Paradox: The Power of Surrender and Scout Mindset


In life, we often find ourselves caught between the paradoxical nature of effort and reward. While the linear relationship between the two seems intuitive, it is the complex and multivariate actions that challenge this notion. This article explores the concept of surrender, drown-proofing, and the inverted curve, highlighting the importance of surrendering control and embracing a scout mindset. By examining the relationship between effort and reward, we can gain valuable insights into personal growth, productivity, and decision-making.

The Paradox of Drown-Proofing:

Drown-proofing, a technique used to survive in water, teaches us an unexpected lesson. Contrary to what one might assume, the more we struggle to keep our heads above water, the more likely we are to sink. Instead, we must surrender to the physics that would normally kill us and use them to save our own lives. By sinking to the bottom of the pool, we can use the pool floor as a launching pad to propel ourselves back to the surface. This counterintuitive approach highlights the importance of surrendering to forces beyond our control and utilizing them to our advantage.

The Diminishing Returns Curve:

In most complex activities, effort and reward follow a diminishing returns curve. For example, studies on work productivity reveal that we are most productive during the first four to five hours of the day. Beyond this point, our productivity significantly declines, making the difference between working for 12 hours and 16 hours negligible. Similarly, friendships operate on a diminishing returns curve, where having one friend is vital, but having an excess of friends yields minimal changes in our lives. Understanding this curve allows us to prioritize our efforts and focus on what truly matters.

The Inverted Curve: Effort and Reward:

While few things in life adhere to an inverted curve, it is within psychological experiences that we observe this phenomenon. When we consciously strive to control our feelings and impulses, we paradoxically feel more powerless. The desire for more freedom often limits us, and the desperate need for personal change leaves us perpetually feeling inadequate. The key lies in recognizing that the conscious pursuit of these states of mind creates opposite outcomes. Instead, we must let go, surrender, and accept our impermanence in the grand scheme of things.

The Power of Scout Mindset:

Understanding the power of surrender and the inverted curve brings us to the notion of scout mindset. Unlike the soldier mindset, which is rooted in emotions like defensiveness and tribalism, scout mindset is driven by curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. Scouts seek to understand rather than attack or defend. By approaching situations with a scout mindset, we can navigate through motivated reasoning, a phenomenon that unconsciously influences our judgments based on our desires and fears. The scout mindset allows us to see things as they truly are, even if it challenges our preconceived notions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace surrender: Identify areas in your life where surrendering control can lead to greater outcomes. Practice letting go and utilizing external forces to your advantage, just like in drown-proofing.
  • 2. Cultivate a scout mindset: Foster curiosity and a hunger for knowledge. Instead of trying to make one idea win or another lose, focus on understanding the reality of a situation. This approach will lead to more accurate judgments and decision-making.
  • 3. Challenge motivated reasoning: Be aware of unconscious biases and the influence they have on your judgment. Strive to recognize when you are being driven by soldier mindset and consciously switch to a scout mindset.


The paradoxical nature of effort and reward teaches us valuable lessons about surrender, scout mindset, and the importance of understanding the diminishing returns and inverted curves. By embracing surrender, cultivating a scout mindset, and challenging motivated reasoning, we can navigate through life's complexities and achieve greater personal growth, productivity, and decision-making. Remember, sometimes the best things in life require us to let go and see the world through a different lens.

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