To end-gain, end-gaining, being an end-gainer
This is a new word that has been in use by the Alexander Technique community since 1930s, invented by the founder. It describes the expression, "Go for it!" The word also describes the troublesome limitations of using one's will in the face of a new challenge. The word to endgain describes the irresistible urge to gain an intended goal that activates a habitual response connected to using one's will.
The word in the Alexander Technique community is most often used to express a lack of success, for a number of reasons. The best example of the issues may be illustrated by the metaphor of a conductor and orchestra. The conductor assumes when they give the direction for a certain musical effect, that the musicians are skilled and practiced enough to do what it takes to make the conductor's direction to come true. The success of the in-time response to the conductor will be in direct relationship to the amount of practice the musicians have invested in the skill of playing their instrument, what they expect from their familiarity with the music they have prepared to play and their ability to make sense of what the conductor is indicating. A lack of practice will result in a lack of success and a frustrated conductor.
The first issue is the effect of practice and how repetition builds abilities. Endgaining relates to this because the skill that has been practiced the most will jump forward to carry out the imperative direction to "do it" whenever the signal to do an act is given.
The other feature that determines success is motivation or drive, which is popularly expressed in the use of will.
A reason for the lack of success expressed in the word endgain is backed up by brain research. Movement actions have already been prepared to occur before conscious awareness of action happens. Technically, a person prepares to go into action long before that person is aware of their desire to act. Humans have only 1/64th of a second to veto or shape the way they are going to do an action that is already been prepared and is in progress inside of them before it becomes expressed in an overt action.
So - using one's will power to carry out an intention only works in relationship to how familiar and practiced a person is with the required skills needed. Endgaining means there is a primary motive towards reaching an aim, disregarding the method used to achieve the intended goal.
If we ignore the way we do things, the means we are most familiar to get our goals will happen by default. If the goal requires a familiar means for success or successively matches similar skills previously trained, all is well. But a new situation requires a new and unfamiliar means, there might be undesirable consequences. During situations that do not match previously trained skills inappropriate to the situation, pain, illness and injury occur. It will not matter how imperative the need or will to succeed is. An epic fail can still happen in the presence of the most arrogantly successful confidence and drive.
The Alexander Technique demonstrates a process that allows a successful approach to establishing a new means to deal with unfamiliar circumstances.
To be an endgainer when a more effective process is available for use marks the student as someone who needs more practice in the skill of temporarily suspending their goals to allow the use of unfamiliar means. Without using the new means-whereby, our responses follow the most dominant and most often practiced patterns. These old patterns recreate a series of perceptions that feel 'right' to us - but they are merely habitual. To get an unfamiliar new benefit, we need to stop doing what we know best. We need to be willing to feel "strange" and take a gamble. Effortlessness is our new signal of success, rather than comfortable familiarity.
F. M. Alexander considered end-gaining as a typical feature of western societies, and it's still an observable feature in human nature.