A simple equation that works for an electrical circuit can also work in optimizing the work of any project. Ohm’s Law states:


V = I ⋅ R


Let’s look at this equation. V stands for the potential energy. What is meant by potential is exactly that. It is an energy that could happen. Analogous to height, a ball sitting at the top of a shelf has the potential to turn into movement or kinetic energy as it falls.

In this way, V stands for the difference between two states. In the case of a battery, it is the difference between where a bunch of electrons sit instead of a ball on a shelf.

“I” refers to the current of the electrical circuit. A physical analogy here may be that of water flowing down a stream. The faster and more water that is moving through the stream, the higher the current. This water stream could be powering something as it moves, much as happens with a water wheel.

In the case of the electrical current, it is the movement of electrons through all the stuff that it is powering the system.

R stands for Resistance. Resistance is not only what slows down the current, it is also what shapes the current. The relationship between resistance and the current is apparent from the equation. If the potential remains the same, raising one will lower the other. You can imagine that a winding river with several water wheels have a higher resistance associated with it than one that doesn’t.

Let us now extend the analogy to projects, in general.

The potential is actually described quite aptly by a quote from Pressfield’s War of Art:


“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.”


The statement concisely describes the concept of the project. It is a potential. It represents something that does not exist yet, though we may like it to. The distance between what is and what is not yet is perhaps the size of the potential.

The process of its actualization occurs in the current. The resistance is provided by the path taken.

When we work on most endeavors, much of our concern may seem to be with the current. It is when we do not see something happening that we are most likely to berate ourselves for some mythical state of laziness. It amounts to yelling at the stream of water.

Instead, much of the work may be better suited towards reducing the resistance. One may do well in designing the environment such that a project has a better chance of actualization. It is easier to play the piano in a quiet room, where others have been asked to give you time, at a time of day when phone calls are less likely, with a glass of water by your side, with responsibilities of the day understood, etc. In essence one clears a path to make the work easy, i.e. lowers the resistance.

A path of resistance in a circuit is not a straight line. There are bumps, curves, and buffers along the way. The same is true for the process of actualizing a project.

  • V is the project.
  • I is the project discharging.
  • R is the work we do to allow the discharge its path.

In this way, all of these components are intimately connected. Meanwhile, they all represent various components of doing a project. One may decide to focus energy on one part over another in order to get through a piece of work or play.