Activation Energy

I was initially introduced to Noah Kagan through a live stream that was hosted by Ali Abdaal. During the live stream, a question was stated that had me intrigued about my comfort level.

Noah stated:

Walk into a cafe and place an order for a coffee and when you arrive at the counter to pay. Ask the cashier – ‘May I have a 10% discount on my coffee?

Now, the point of this was to test a theory of how comfortable you would feel asking difficult questions. If you’re reading this, consider the following question.

Would you have the courage to ask the question?

So, I tried it!! Last weekend, I stayed over in Birmingham and on a Saturday I decided to make a quick stop at Starbucks’s drive-through. As I pulled up to the ordering station. I spoke with a firm desire to order my go-to drink a flat white with almond milk and peach green tea lemonade, which required some practice. In my default motion, I would drive up and just tap the protruding contactless machine with my phone and be on my way. However, this time around, I looked at the cashier and stutter the words ‘May I have a 10% discount on my coffee?’ I was nervous, my hands were clammy – maybe because she had a suspicious look to her. She looked at me with sudden confusion. Her reaction consisted of an awkward laugh and the blunt response for a ‘No’. At that moment, I overcame the activation energy of uncertainty, which was depended on my initiative of asking a question that was outside my comfort zone. The outcome of this event led into a spilt peach green tea lemonade, on the passenger seat as I was pulling out and a well spent afternoon with a date.

The point I am trying to get out here is that we need to get over our hump of doubts, fears and uncertainties. We need to overcome the activation energy to see ourself progressing, challenging ourselves to feel the initial adrenaline rush and ingraining this into our mindset as we continue to pursue activities that are outside our comfort zone.

Published by


I am a writer and a graduate engineer working in Leicester, UK.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s