The staircase path

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

scotthyoung.com

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  • 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 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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RELATED IDEAS

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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How to Know When to Quit | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

Real activities on real projects, real work, or real results are more effective than substitution or preparation work.

Some examples include:

  • Advancing your career by doing projects at work outside your current abilities.
  • Pairing study with real-world use through apprenticeship programs.
  • Focus on training relevant to you rather than an unrelated activity that strengthens your mental muscles.
  • Speaking a language rather than doing language exercises.

However, there are arguments against doing the real thing.

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What are the Best Arguments Against Doing the Real Thing? | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

What many people fail at with long-term commitments is that they make their initial vision too rigid.

Flexible commitment can help overcome this by bringing together two properties. Flexibility to change the terms of your goal as information becomes available allowing you to redirect efforts and commitment to the core effort so as to not abandon your goal entirely.

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How to Commit to Long-Term Goals | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com