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Tear It Up and Start Again

Naive expectations

Naive expectations

In relation to self-improvement, we often create idealized systems with unnatural rules and regulations. We also naively believe that we will find a way to stick to our rigid plans when life gets random and hard.
The problem isn’t that plans fail because crises appear; it’s what we do when they fail that matters.

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Tear It Up and Start Again

Tear It Up and Start Again

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/smarter-living/tear-it-up-and-start-again.html

nytimes.com

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Key Ideas

Naive expectations

In relation to self-improvement, we often create idealized systems with unnatural rules and regulations. We also naively believe that we will find a way to stick to our rigid plans when life gets random and hard.
The problem isn’t that plans fail because crises appear; it’s what we do when they fail that matters.

Build on what worked

When a plan or resolution fails, don't dismiss it to try a new, equally rigid resolution. Build on what worked.

When your plan fails, the best you can do is to look back and see which parts of it worked; which parts you found fun and easy and which you couldn’t handle even when you were full of enthusiasm.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

“I never lose. I win or learn.”

Fail and learn

All of us fail at meeting our goals at dome point in life. That is not a problem. The problem appears when we fail and we are not learning from our mistakes.

That keeps us in the brutal cycle of making the same resolution every year and never achieving it.

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Give it some space

When you write something, you get very close to it. It is nearly impossible to distance yourself from it straight away to edit properly.

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  • Do not worry about the editing yet. Get the big ideas down and leave the details for later.
  • Make sure your paper is organized in a logical way. Make your thesis statement and follow it up with arguments, quotes, and evidence in a way that makes your purpose clear.

Editing a paper

It happens once you have a draft you are confident in as a whole. In this process, you are going to look for the details that may have slipped by you during the writing process. Spelling errors are often caught by spellcheck but do not trust this tool to catch everything. Word usage is also a common problem to catch in editing. Is there a word you use repetitively? Or did you write there when you meant their? Details like this seem small on an individual basis, but as they pile up they can distract your reader. 

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Urgent ≠ Important

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Do the most important thing first

Decisions and choices that you make throughout the day tend to drain your willpower. You're less likely to make a good decision at the end of the day than you are at the beginning.

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