Removing hidden brakes

And enjoying hard things

Ben Ferrum
2 min readApr 27, 2021


Recently I got asked by my friend:

How do you find the motivation, strength, and will to become continually better in some aspect of your life?

The answer is simple:

I enjoy finding hidden brakes in my life and remove them.

Let me explain with a story:

When I was writing my Thesis at the Uni, I became more and more fatigued as the semester progressed, making it harder and harder to do deep work on the thesis.
I realized this was a problem and looked for solutions. My first stop was ginger tea, which helped for an hour. However, there is a certain amount of ginger tea that a person can consume in a day or go above and face the consequences.

My next test was to try out the butter coffee with coconut oil in the morning with had given me a 4–5 hour buzz where I could work on my highly demanding thesis.

After the stressful period was over, I started to think, why does my brain shift into -1 after the coffee (or start there)?

I went to various examinations, and I found that I had an enormous inflammation between my teeth and nose canal (gross, I know) which I got removed.

The moral of the story is if I never tried to become better, I would have never (or much later) found this hidden break.

This experience turned my self-development gear into the next level to seek opportunities to get to a higher level regarding cognitive function, exercise, sex, eating, sleeping, among a few others (the order is not representative).

This is still an ongoing endeavour that caused me to do hard things regularly (try to do a few blood flow restricted one-legged squats on a vibration plate).

Okay, but you could say, hacks are easy, but if it involves hard things how do you sustain yourself?

The answer is simple and comes from the great Lex Fridman.

When you are doing hard things, smile and try to find enjoyment in the action itself, try to thank yourself in the process of doing a hard thing, which in turn help you find even more hidden breaks, which you can unlock and become even better, for me, it had become an addiction to hunt down hidden breaks.

Go on a hunt, my friend!