For many people, the fear of rejection and the fear of engulfment keep them out of relationships.
These fears are based on false beliefs, such as success or failure defines my worth as a person.
You can't force yourself to think faster. If you do, you'll likely make worse decisions.
There is a way to improve the quality of your decisions without resorting to hacks to speed them up.
If you are a knowledge worker, most of your work is trying to make the right decisions using a large amount of information. You need to discern what is the most effective for a desired goal and anticipate potential problems.
You may find yourself wanting to make decisions faster so you can be more productive. But this is a flawed approach.
Everyone is trying to work faster all the time, and they pressure everyone around them to work faster too. Examples include:
However, speeding up often results in poor decisions that create future problems. We can't force ourselves to make faster decisions just because we're faced with an unrealistic deadline.
The rate at which we process information is fixed, Tom DeMarco points out. If you're under pressure, the quality of your decision worsens. You may miss possible angles, won't think ahead, etc.
The clearer you think, the better your decisions will be. This often means you have to slow down and spend more time on your decisions.
Integrating new, better approaches to thinking does not lead to immediate improvements. It takes lots of time and repetition, just like any other skills.
Making good decisions is hard work and needs reduced pressure. It requires constant learning and verifying what you think you know, especially in the fields where the most relevant information has a short half-life. Instead of thinking faster, try to think better.
Is the way of thinking in which you consider the opposite of what you want.
Inversion puts a spotlight on errors and roadblocks that are not obvious at first glance. What if the opposite was true? What if I focused on a different side of this situation? Instead of asking how to do something, ask how to not do it.
The idea is to identify challenges and points of failure so you can develop a plan to prevent them ahead of time.
Imagine the most important goal or project you are working on right now. Then fast forward 6 months and assume the project or goal has failed. Tell the story of how it happened and ask yourself, “What could cause this to go horribly wrong?”
Applying inversion to productivity you could ask, “What if I wanted to decrease my focus? How do I end up distracted?”
The answer to these question may help you discover interruptions you can eliminate to free up more time and energy each day.
Marie Kondo uses inversion to help people declutter their homes, by asking them to choose what they want to keep, not what they want to get rid of.
This shift in mindset inverts decluttering by focusing on what you want to keep rather than what you want to discard.
It’s easier to take notes when we’re listening to content because our hands are free. But when reading a book, taking notes interrupts our reading flow.
There is a balance between taking too many notes - and reading too slowly- and too few notes which prevent us from capturing enough knowledge from the book.
Before you start taking notes, ask yourself what your goal is.
Taking notes should not become a tedious process, but it should be made as seamless as possible.
An optional step is to import your highlights and marginalia into your note-taking system.
Importing these ideas into a note-taking system is a way to create a dialogue between the authors whose work you have read while encouraging the interlinking of ideas.
Start by becoming more aware of your negative self-talk: do a little tally sheet throughout the day, marking a tally each time you notice a negative thought. Soon you’ll recognize them, and you can squash them.
How exercise is improving your life:
This is the most powerful way of achieving your goals.
When you try to take on many goals at once, you’re spreading thin your focus and energy — the two critical components for achieving a goal.
The essential relates to the things that are most important to you from your life.
Find them and then eliminate everything else. This simplifies things and leaves you with the space to focus on the essential.
The best routines come at the start and end of the day because they give a great start and finish to your day.
Develop a routine for when you awake, for when you start working, for when you finish and leave work, and for your evening.
You can become a better writer by simply becoming more aware of your surroundings.
Writing is mostly strategy. And a big part of writing strategy lies in listening.
It's about how you write. Every person has a different way of expressing themselves. We can all spot which writers are fake and which ones are real. But when we write, we forget about that. We fail to think of someone a bit sceptical.
When you write, you need to be convinced of what you write. Your biggest enemy is not the sceptic, but the reader who calls you out by simply discarding your writing.
Start becoming aware of things that actually matter by listening to your friends, family, spouse, readers, and yourself.
See yourself as a researcher who is studying your particular subject. The better you observe the details of daily life, the better you can explain them.
Ask a question. Then listen to the answer. Repeat the process.
You can do this for an article, book or email. Ask, "What are your thoughts?" Then notice what people are really saying. Ignore the extreme stuff. Listen to the ones who leave balanced responses.
Don't just re-read your notes. When you first read, you extract a lot of information, but when you do it the second time, you read with a sense of 'I know this, I know this.'
This gives you the illusion that you know the material very well, when in fact there are gaps.
Read once and then quiz yourself. Retrieving that information is what actually produces more robust learning and memory.
Even if you get the answers wrong, you'll still have an idea of what you don't know. This helps guide your studying more effectively.
Relate new information to prior information for better learning.
During a second reading, try to connect new information to something you already know.
Draw out the information in a visual form: diagrams, visual models or flowcharts.
Anything that creates active learning, that engages you and helps you generate understanding on your own, is very effective in retention.
The key to using them is re-testing yourself on the ones you got right.
Encountering the correct item again is useful. You might want to practice the incorrect items a little more, but repeated exposure to the ones you get right is important too.
Don't cram. Research shows this isn't good for long term memory. It may allow you to do okay on that test the next day, but you won't retain as much information in the long turn.
The better idea is to space repetition.
Mixing lessons and examples produces much better learning that can be transferred into the real world.
You're going to have to figure out the method you need to use for specific situations. And you can't learn how to do that unless you have experience dealing with a mix of different types of problems, and diagnosing which requires which type of approach.
This related to the 2 types of mindsets: fixed and growth.
One challenge in life is knowing when to explore new opportunities, and when to focus harder on existing ones. Do we keep learning new ideas, or do we enjoy what we've come to find and love?
In trying to assess if we should explore further or exploit our current opportunities, it's essential to consider how much time we have, how we can best avoid regrets, and what we can learn from failures.
When we consider seizing a day or seizing a lifetime, it is important to understand the interval over which we plan to enjoy them.
Explore when you have the time to use the resulting knowledge, exploit when you're ready to cash in.
Regret is the result of comparing what we did with what would have been the best.
We can minimize regret, especially in exploration, by trying to learn from others. In new territory, we can best prevent regret with optimism because we'll explore enough so that we won't regret any missed opportunity.
Not all of our explorations will lead to something better or be satisfying, but with enough exploration behind us, many of them will.
Failures provide us with useful information that will enable us to make better explore or exploit decisions.