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Activation energy: the chemistry of getting started - Ness Labs

https://nesslabs.com/activation-energy

nesslabs.com

Activation energy: the chemistry of getting started - Ness Labs

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The initial hump of getting started

The initial hump of getting started

The most challenging part of a task is often getting started. For instance, to get out of bed or to start studying for an exam.

Usually, we make the process of starting much more laborious by adding unnecessary steps. We sign up to a gym that is too far away, or we commit to overly ambitious goals.

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Applying the activation energy principle

In chemistry, activation energy is the energy that must be supplied to result in a chemical reaction. The more energy you need, the harder it is to start the chemical reaction. A way to apply the activation energy principle is to reduce the amount of energy you need to do the action.

Ensure you have enough energy in the first place by feeling well-rested. Then break down the task into smaller chunks that need less activation energy. Once you have started, you'll often find yourself motivated enough to keep going.

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Activation energy: Use catalysts

Catalysis makes it easier for a reaction to start. To motivate yourself for a task, add a personal catalyst.

  • Energetic linking. Try to link the task with an existing activity which requires low levels of activation energy. For example, to get yourself to listen to a podcast, play an episode while you shower.
  • Energize your environment. If you are trying to study, go to the library for a quiet environment.
  • Energy incentives. An accountability partner is a great way to create an incentive.

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Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon

Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon

The tip-of-the-tongue, or lethologica, is a common phenomenon where memories seem to be momentarily inaccessible.

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How to manage the tip-of-the-tongue state

Next time you experience a tip-of-the-tongue state, don't retrieve the information from memory. Instead, look up the correct answer. Repeat it a few times or write it down to help with encoding.

People that experience the tip-of-the-tongue state often suffer from incorrect practice time. Instead of learning the correct work, they are learning the mistake itself. For example, some music students who claim to practice diligently can get worse over time. This is because they keep on repeating the same mistakes, instead of using deliberate practice. They actually train themselves to make mistakes.

Ordinary and altered states of consciousness

Ordinary and altered states of consciousness

Altered states of consciousness can only be defined if there is an understanding of an ordinary state of consciousness.

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Modulating states of consciousness

  • Excessive dancing, meditation, and mind-altering plants were used in ancient civilizations to modulate the activity of the mind.
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  • William James introduced the scientific investigation of mystical experiences and drug-induced states into the field of psychology.

The five altered states of consciousness

  • Pharmacological. These altered states include short-term changes caused by psychoactive substances, such as LSD MDMA, cannabis, cocaine, opioids, and alcohol.
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The Hindsight Bias

The Hindsight Bias

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The Factors Behind The Hindsight Bias

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Hindsight Bias: Consequences

If the bias distortion is within limits, hindsight bias makes a normal person confident and self-assured and facilitates decision making.

Rational thinking is impaired with hindsight bias, as one is not inclined towards learning from experience, or having a growth mindset which involves views different from our own.

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