The circular path - Deepstash
The circular path

The circular path

... when you're trying to improve something look like this:

  • You start with some ideas.
  • You get excited for a while (1-2 weeks).
  • Maybe you take some steps and do something to act on your ideas.
  • Your enthusiasm starts to fade and your projects get abandoned.
  • You go back to where you started.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Is Your Path a Staircase or a Circle? | Scott H Young

  • Focusing on one thing at a time until you finish it: if you focus on one project at a time until completion, you will make infinitely more progress than the person who does multiple projects at once.
  • Having the right method: doing something that’s outside your usual routine requires not just commitment, but new methods.
  • Actualization vs. possibility: the more you can adjust your life to the joys of doing and actualizing, over daydreaming and philosophizing, the more solid your life’s foundation will become.

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The staircase path

... when you're trying to improve something looks like this:

  • You get an idea.
  • You build a specific project around it (short-term).
  • Once you finish it, you move to the next idea and the project around it
  • Each project builds on the last, expanding options.

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RELATED IDEA

Practice loops are useful as a concept to think about learning any skill. A practice loop is an activity or group of activities you repeat over and over again while learning something.

  • In physics: a practice loop is every problem you solve.
  • In business: it is each product or feature you launch.
  • In languages: conversations, flaschards, grammar exercises are all loops.

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Sticking through things longer builds resilience. But sticking through on a bad idea, project or effort can lose you years of your life.

The goal is to increase your ability to sustain commitments you make to yourself, without undermining those commitments by over-committing to the wrong things.

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The Mindset of Open Options

We live in a culture that prizes keeping one’s options open. It’s better to be maximally flexible, the popular reasoning goes so that we can respond to any opportunity at a moment’s notice. Committing to anything, even for just a few months, locks away other possibilities, and is thus undesirable.

But even if you want a more varied life, you still need to commit to projects for bursts of time to make progress. The person who commits to three-month projects may not achieve mastery. Still, they will get further than the person who merely thinks about doing those projects.

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