According to FM Alexander, the way we do an activity, the means-whereby, is more important than the result. However, in our culture we learn more about the importance of reaching goals (end-gaining) than doing things in an efficient way. The means-whereby include first and foremost the primary control as well as anything else we would need do to fulfill any given task.

A common 'exercise' to demonstrate the difference between habitual end-gaining and coordinated movement is picking up an object from a sitting position. The student is first just asked to pick the object up, without thinking about the way, and then to do it again, but to inhibit the habitual reaction and move directed instead. It may seem inconvenient to 'take some time to think about the how' before doing something, however, with understanding and experiencing our body mechanics more this process becomes easier and easier.

Initially students will be informed about the means-whereby by their teacher, most likely for common activities such as getting in or out of a chair. Finding an efficient and easy way of doing something takes time and practice, and it helps to experiment first with doing a specific activity in different ways.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.