I view human personality similar to computer code.
You’re personality is written by your genes, your experiences, and your attitudes. You have personality flaws that expose themselves by “breaking” your expected/desired action.
Therefore your job is to identify bugs in your code, and fix them. Only problem is, you have to examine the root cause in order to fix the problem, I haven’t been doing that properly.
It’s often easy to say “I reacted poorly here, don’t do that again” — but it’s required to explore your motivations for your reaction and examine whether you want to change those or not.
The main issue comes from combating internal motivations, when something you want to do is forcing an action that screws up something else you want to do. Discovering this is important, because without it you won’t be able to prioritize in the moment.
Ask a question of yourself just before you take an action: “is this something I want to do?” But that only helps you align your external actions to a internal desire.
It’s far better to ask yourself something that stops you from negatively impacting other internal desires.
Here’s a suggestion: “what is the worst regret this could make me have?” This will highlight the competing internal desires that could be affected and you can then prioritize effectively.
Blogging was too hard while I was experiencing a ton of work at my startup.
- I’m good at following the weekly goals, but my dailies slip all the time.
- I have successfully improved the big picture, and improved my social life.
- I have (mostly) kept to my drinking goals.
- I failed exercise.
- Stop smoking
- Start exercise
- Eat better more consistently (create a habit rather than a thought)
I’m doing a reset this week, the whiteboard isn’t working anymore, so I’m moving to pen and paper.
Week - Don’t miss messages
Year - Frameworks
Decade - Establish platform
Probably once a month I drink excessively. This destructive behavior acts as a sort of “safety valve” to let off the pressures of work.
This is, I’m informed, fairly normal behavior for the college aged. However, I lack a friend group that is unrelated to my work. In my case, every judgement error I make or weakness I display is vetted by my peers in the working world - most of whom are well past this age related issue.
Excuses are effective ways to remove guilt about not performing your best or not being ready to perform at a level demanded by the situation. Removing guilt is important, as harboring it can be crippling (in my experience as a cause of depression). However, excusing an action doesn’t help you learn from it or fix the root cause. This means that you are clearing out your guilt without protecting yourself from feeling the emotion again.
The standards project offers a new method of self reflection and a path of action towards improvement. Channeling guilt around a mistake in order to improve the standards you hold yourself to is a good way to avoid future mistakes, and the guilt that would come with it.
In my weekly programming, where I decide what rules I will follow in the coming week, I look for habits I can set to improve my performance. This week, I’m changing that.
Instead of optimizing for the creation of positive habits, I’m going to search for self-destructive habits, thoughts, and patterns, and destroy them.
I think the removal of my more eggregious faults will pay better dividends than the improvement of my better qualities. I’m starting with the removal of excessive drinking, a rule that I’m extending to a timeline greater than my normal week, since the occurance of my excessive drinking is not on a weekly frequency.
The corrolary to this, is that I will need to discover new safety valves for stress, energy, and fun. Working out an solve the first two, I’m not quite sure what will solve the third, yet. I’ll have to try several ideas.
This is a great talk about how to design your life. I love the assertion that “nudges” are the trick. Affecting your lifestyle in subtle ways for the better through things like your friends, eating less, etc.
I found it really interesting that Sagmeister’s first sabatical contains his first schedule, something that looks similar to a Standards project.
The following is cross-posted from my blog, as it’s relevant to a larger audience (how I use my blog) and is related to my standards project (something I write about here).
So I just choose 6 meals and ordered enough food to make them for 2 weeks from safeway.com — this wasn’t a difficult decision, it was an efficient one. It also improved my health. My framework made it easy to make a limiting choice that was positive on my health.
Lesson learned for my standards project: I will focus more on frameworks that utilize a desire to be awesome + a desire to conserve attention to encourage efficient/scalable improvement.
Next week, I’m divorcing my health goals from my standards project (this week, I’ve got 4 goals related to exercise and food), and replacing it only with the requirement that I track my efforts. Standards should be light, a bare minimum of what you must do to excel.
Thought to self, on my struggle adhering to my Standards project. Grandoise.