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You're Not Stuck That Way - Nat Eliason

Learned Helplessness

This is a mental state where, as a result of a certain bad experience, we believe that we can’t do anything about a certain problem.

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You're Not Stuck That Way - Nat Eliason

You're Not Stuck That Way - Nat Eliason

https://www.nateliason.com/blog/youre-not-stuck-that-way

nateliason.com

6

Key Ideas

Past Deciding The Future

We let our knowledge and experiences of the past project into our future, by making concrete predictions that this or that cannot happen due to what happened in the past.

But life is constantly changing, flowing like a river, and does not follow past patterns.

Learned Helplessness

This is a mental state where, as a result of a certain bad experience, we believe that we can’t do anything about a certain problem.

Negative Motivation

We can start to feel helpless when we see people fail in a certain plan, and this could start acting as a negative motivation in our minds.

Reaffirming Negative Beliefs

When you reaffirm your own belief that you can’t change certain things, you’re putting that belief inside the people around you. And you're especially impacting your loved ones.

Move Towards A Growth Mindset

Move out of the fixed mindset, where you are stuck in inaction, towards a growth mindset.

In a growth mindset, you see obstacles as steps to success and everything seems to have a solution.

Positive Action

If you choose to change your life, even if you don’t know how to, you will figure it out. A solution-based and action-oriented approach will change the situation to your favor.

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Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a personality trait, which can be an endless pursuit of high standards in every area of our lives, but can also be a 'disorder' like condition or a phobia, akin to '

Constant Mental Punishment

The trait of perfectionism constantly makes a person judge, compare and criticize suboptimal decisions or mistakes in any aspect of the daily routine.

A person starts having mental difficulties, striving to do everything the perfect way, but falling short eventually.

The Voice In The Head

Perfectionism is a voice in our head, constantly fed by the media and society's ideals, coaxing us into doing things in the best way, to get the desired results. 

It is useful in its purpose but in extremities can have negative effects on the body and mind.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset:

  • tend to understand basic abilities as malleable, and believe they can be developed over time.
  • love new challenges and view setbacks as opport...
How to change your mindset

The 3 steps to encourage a change in mindset:

  1. Observe your mindset.
  2. Challenge your beliefs
  3.  Build a “growth” muscle.
Observe your mindset
You can’t begin to change a “fixed” mindset until you recognize it. 

Notice if you rush to conclusions about fundamental abilities:

  • Do you tell yourself that you’re no good at a particular task, so there’s no point attempting it 
  • Do you believe that success in certain kinds of activities are reserved for people who are naturally gifted?
  • Do you worry that if you try your hardest and fail at something, you’ll be exposed as “no good”?

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Losing your job: consider the bigger picture
Losing your job: consider the bigger picture

Losing a job and being unemployed impact your mood, affect how you look for work and your chances of success. It is important to understand the emotional and psychological factors that could be hin...

Keeping a sense of control

When we battle with unsolvable problems, we start to question our abilities. This creates feelings of helplessness that undermine our ability to succeed.

While it is natural to feel demoralized and pessimistic, you have to address your negative feelings so they don't interfere in your efforts to find work. To overcome your negative emotions, you have to regain a sense of control.

List your skill sets

When you've lost your job and want to find a new one, start with the skills that you know you have. For instance, a restaurant host will have people skills, communication skills, the ability to multi-task, and problem solve.

Recording all your skill sets will remind you what you have to offer an employer. It will help you identify potential roles to which you might be suited.

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You Always Have a Choice

You have no control over things like the place you were born, your biological sex, the situation of your family or your skin color. These things will obviously impact your life in major ways.

Chuck Close
Chuck Close

"Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. Every great idea I’ve ever had grew out of work itself.”

Adopt a Bias Towards Action

Most people's approach to work motivation goes like this: they wait to be inspired, then they get to work.

But successful people don’t sit around and wait for inspiration. They just show up and get to work.

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Everyone is Skilled

The natural talents and skills of youngsters are quickly dashed at school, where they are told by parents and teachers that they aren't that smart, based on the prevailing metrics of measuremen...

The Brain is Always Changing

Schools that are practicing 'tracking' where they group students based on their test scores and abilities are hampering their development. They mistakenly think that the brain is fixed and these students are 'learning disabled' for life.

Every time we learn something, the brain is forming, strengthening and connecting neural pathways, at any age. We never stop learning, but stigmas and wrong beliefs at an early age impact the learning process.

Embracing Mistakes

Just giving the right answer in a test isn't enough. The brain works and learns better when solving difficult problems, absorbing it for a lifetime. If teachers make it all right to fail and provide students with the space to make mistakes, it can be incredibly freeing.

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Feeling busy

We live in a distracting world, and it’s not getting any better. We are constantly bombarded with new information.

It's natural to think we need more discipline or willpower to resist the ons...

Acceptance of distracting technology

Technology companies work hard to create products that bring convenience and delight. In turn, they benefit when we use these technologies more.

Our willing acceptance of distracting apps and our culture of constant busyness shows how normal these things have become. So, feeling busy and distracted is not your fault. However, you can take up the responsibility to change the defaults of distraction and busyness.

Remove distracting apps

The smartphone is the simplest and most effective way to reclaim your time and attention.

In contrast to hacks like disabling notifications, removing apps cuts the distraction where it starts. The app is still available, and we can still use it and check email and read the news, but we can do it on our terms.

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The Psychology Of Behavior

In trying to change a behavior, reason will take you only so far, incentives must be taken into account as well. 

In psychology, operant conditioning is a type of learning in whi...

Continuous Versus Intermittent Reinforcement

Studies on reinforcement revealed that the best way for us to learn complex behaviors is via continuous reinforcement, in which the desired behavior is rewarded every time it’s performed. Consistency and timing are the keys.

Nonetheless, some argue that intermittent reinforcement is the most efficient way to maintain an already learnt behavior. It consists of giving reinforcement only some of the times that the desired behavior occurs.

The Benefits Of Intermittent Reinforcement
  • Rewarding the behavior immediately may take time away from the behavior’s continuation.
  • It’s cheaper not to reward every instance of a desired behavior.
  • By making the rewards unpredictable, you trigger excitement and thus get an increase in response without increasing the amount of reinforcement.
  • Since the person is already adapted to not always being rewarded, they take longer to stopping the behavior when reinforcement is removed.

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Albert Einstein

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy ..."

Albert Einstein
The Dip
Across language learning, company building, and any kind of creative project, there is a dip. The Dip is the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.
Extraordinary benefits accrue to the tiny minority of people who are able to push just a tiny bit longer than most.
The Start before the Dip
In any goal that has to be accomplished, there is a Start. It usually gets overlooked, as it's always there. 
The Start is a much bigger problem since you can’t reach The Dip if you don’t get through The Start, and many more people fantasize about doing something than actually do it and give up.

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Fear-based decision making

It's when you let your fears or worries dictate your actions (or, in most cases, your lack of action).

The unfortunate result is that you don't do the things that you say are impo...

Low stakes goals

Don’t pick goals where the stakes are low. Failing in a safe zone is just a clever way of holding yourself back.

If you fail inside your comfort zone, it's not really a failure, it's just maintaining the status quo. If you never feel uncomfortable, then you're never trying anything new.

Nobody is rooting for you to fail

Maybe you'll succeed. Maybe you'll fail. For the most part, nobody cares one way or the other.

The world is big and you are small, and that means you can chase your dreams with little worry about what people think.

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Shared Culture in Personal Relations

One of the reasons for bonding between groups of people is the shared culture that they have created. Culture is an invisible presence, a set of beliefs, history and rituals that encapsulates th...

Large Groups Vs Small

A culture created in a two-way relationship or a small group is positive and open because it allows for differences to exist, which are not allowed by large groups in which cultures are attached to your identity.

Creating the right kind of culture organically is the magic of a strong relationship, something that is difficult in large groups with a shared ideology.

Connections and Happiness

The idea of a complete and fulfilling life is always related to personal relationships. Happiness, in a way, is the other person. Happiness is our connections, and the relationships we foster, which create and shape us.

It's a lost art to cultivate personal relationships without agenda or motive, just connecting and trying to understand and relate to different people.