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You Don't Know What You Want

“A lot of what we call self-knowledge is actually self-interpretation. So I see myself make a choice, and then when I’m asked why, I just try to make as much sense of it as possible when I make an explanation. But we do this so quickly and with such ease that we think we actually know the answer.”

Petter Johansson

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You Don't Know What You Want

You Don't Know What You Want

https://medium.com/@krisgage/you-have-no-idea-what-you-want-757567375d31

medium.com

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Key Ideas

“A lot of what we call self-knowledge is actually self-interpretation. So I see myself make a choice, and then when I’m asked why, I just try to make as much sense of it as possible when I make an explanation. But we do this so quickly and with such ease that we think we actually know the answer.”

“A lot of what we call self-knowledge is actually self-interpretation. So I see myself make a choice, and then when I’m asked why, I just try to make as much sense of it as possible when I make an explanation. But we do this so quickly and with such ease that we think we actually know the answer.”

The meaning machine

The human brain is a “meaning machine,” and it will make sense out of literally anything put in front of it.

Figuring out what we want

Confirmation bias plays a big role in this process: once we make a selection, we’ll do almost anything to rationalize it.

Which is why action will always trump analysis.

Abstract expectations

They are the opposite of the real and actual here-and-now. The problem with them is that when we fail to reach the future we had pictured in our heads, we face feelings of disappointment, inadequacy, and anger.

And then we start to look for help from others on how to asses our lives (mostly from self-help gurus and writers).

Happiness isn’t in achieving fantasies

What will bring us the satisfaction and satiation we crave is, rather, abandoning our fantasies and misconceptions of what will bring us happiness.

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From an evolutionary perspective, there’s good reason to keep looking, to be curious. Information helps us make better choices and adapt to a changing environment. 

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Curiosity it’s less about what you don’t know than about what you already do.

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Life clutter builds up

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Inability to say "no"

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Being "fairly" judged

It’s impossible to be fairly judged. Nobody will ever understand you perfectly. You will continually be both underestimated and overestimated.

Your own assessment of yourself is hardly the “right” one. We tend to either obsess over our faults or overlook them completely.  And with strangers, there’s no hope of anything approaching a fair assessment. They have zero context for what they see in you. 

How we judge strangers

Become aware of your own judgments. You’ll discover that they’re almost always categorical (good person or bad person), that they’re provoked by a single behavior, and that you rarely second-guess these judgments.

Notice what it feels like to judge a person, how absolute and uncomplicated it seems, then remember that you’re seeing this person through the keyhole of a single moment in their lives.