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Mark D.

@markd17

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The Inevitable Stage In Growth: Plateau

A common motivation dip is the performance plateau, when the quick and easy gains are over and done with, and slowly the momentum to keep your motivation diminishes. This feels like you have reached some sort of limit, and most people take it as a cue to settle down, and consequently stop improving.

Going beyond the plateau of contentment is crucial to hitting big goals.

@markd17

How to Break Through Any Learning Plateau and Never Stop Growing - Nat Eliason

nateliason.com

  1. Lean Into The Challenge: We normally avoid discomfort and like to get settled into our zone, avoiding challenges as we think we may fail and ruin our carefully cultivated reputation. One needs to identify any challenge that is being avoided and take it head-on.
  2. Push The Limits: We need to challenge our brain and/or the body in new ways, just like bodybuilders do, by changing the type, style or frequency of the ‘training program’ of challenges.
  3. Tactical Improvement: Find out what is the main weakness holding you back and focus your energy and time on it. It requires discipline and works to build up your confidence, as you complete your MIT (most important task).

A popular training program among newbies at the gym is the ‘starting strength’, where the routine and techniques change every few days or weeks, in order to avoid plateaus and maximize strength gains.

It helps to switch and mix up the exercise and uses the theory of constraints to avoid any particular muscle group becoming a bottleneck.

  1. Identify a challenge that is being avoided and focus your energy on it.
  2. Mix up all the methods and the systems and habits to stress every part of the skill.
  3. Attempt new challenges to find out the main weakness.
  4. Develop deliberate practice procedures to improve the weak part.
  5. Repeat when the next plateau happens.
A first principle is the fundamental building block of an idea, the most indivisible part that we know to be true and that we can use to build more complex thoughts.

The Most Powerful Way to Think | First Principles

youtube.com

Thinking from first principles is not a new idea. It's actually the single most consistent factor among great thinkers.

For example, Aristotle believed that you could not possess true knowledge without first understanding the first principles. He thought that everything could be divided into categories and sub-categories (the smallest of them being the equivalent for first principles).

An empiricist is a person that believed all true knowledge is based and obtained through experience.

The process of seeking knowledge through experience and making use of reason to give it structure it how we can find the first principles of a subject.

  • Conventional thinkers: their knowledge consists of proof that is on display.
  • Unconventional thinkers: they use experience and reason to organize their knowledge; they ask questions and make analogies to get to the roots of am idea.
Once a first principle is understood, we can look and improve each component (from the simple to the more complex) of a subject or a product.

If every part is remarkable, then the total is remarkable.

  • Innovation: once you understand the fundamentals of an idea, you can change and rearrange them to create new ideas and products.
  • Optimization: a fundamental component could be changed, to improve and idea or product.
  • Integration: once you understand a foundational component of an idea, it becomes a lot easier to integrate new knowledge into your understanding.
  • Transfer: understanding first principles makes it easier to transfer complex ideas to other people.

Write down and organize information. Create hierarchies and mind maps.

Most ideas are nested outside or inside one another. You have to learn to map out how these ideas are linked.

Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Ancient Greek philosophy extends from as far as the seventh century B.C. up until the beginning of the Roman Empire, in the first century A.D.
  • It distinguishes itself from other early forms of philosophical and theological theorizing for its emphasis on reason as opposed to the senses or the emotions.
  • During this period five great philosophical traditions originated: the Platonist, the Aristotelian, the Stoic, the Epicurean, and the Skeptic.
  • Favorite themes include the principle of reality, the good; the life worth being lived; the distinction between appearance and reality, etc.

What Were the 5 Great Schools of Ancient Greek Philosophy?

thoughtco.com

  • Plato (427-347 B.C.) is the first of the central figures of ancient philosophy and he is the earliest author whose work we can read in considerable quantities. 
  • He has written about nearly all major philosophical issues and is probably most famous for his theory of universals and for his political teachings.
  • In Athens, he established a school – the Academy – at the beginning of the fourth century B.C., which remained open until 83 A.D. 
  • Aristotle (384-322B.C.) was a student of Plato and one of the most influential philosophers to date.
  • He gave an essential contribution to the development of logic, rhetoric, biology, and – among others – formulated the theories of substance and virtue ethics.
  • In 335 B.C. he founded a school in Athens, the Lyceum, which contributed to disseminate his teachings.
  • Stoicism originated in Athens with Zeno of Citium, around 300B.C.
  • Stoic philosophy is centered on a metaphysical principle: that reality is governed by logos and that what happens is necessary.
  • For Stoicism, the goal of human philosophizing is the achievement of a state of absolute tranquility. This is obtained through the progressive education to independence from one’s needs. 
  • The influence of Stoicism on the development of Western philosophy is hard to overestimate; among its most devoted sympathizers were the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the economist Hobbes, and the philosopher Descartes.
  • Throughout history, Epicureanism has often been misunderstood as a doctrine preaching indulgence into the most vicious bodily pleasures.
  • On the contrary, Epicurus himself was known for his temperate eating habits, and for his moderation. His exhortations were directed towards the cultivation of friendship as well as any activity which most elevates our spirits, such as music, literature, and art. 
  • Among its metaphysical principles are the theses that our world is one out of many possible worlds and that what happens does so by chance.
  • Pyrrho of Elis (c. 360-c. 270 B.C.) is the earliest figure in ancient Greek skepticism on record.
  • Probably influenced by the Buddhist tradition of his time, Pyrrho viewed the suspension of judgment as a means to achieve that freedom of disturbance that alone can lead to happiness.
  • His goal was to keep each human’s life in a state of perpetual inquiry. Indeed, the mark of skepticism is the suspension of judgment.
  • The teachings of ancient skeptics exercised a deep influence on a number of major Western philosophers, including Michel de Montaigne, Renè Descartes and David Hume. 

It means that we have a good understanding of how we feel emotionally. 

Emotional Clarity: 6 Key Principles for Managing Your Emotions

nickwignall.com

Label your emotions

Use plain language. The more fluent you are with real emotional language, the more clearly you will be able to think about how you’re feeling.

Clarify your emotions

Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.

Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.

Feel your emotions physically

Practice distinguishing how you feel physically from how you feel emotionally. Because many negative emotional states develop out of a misinterpretation of a physical feeling.

It’s dangerous to assume that physical feelings and emotional feelings are always related. Sometimes a headache is just a headache.

Time your emotions

Emotions don’t actually last very long. It’s in the nature of emotions to be intense but fleeting:

  • If you feel upset emotionally, notice what the dominant emotion you’re feeling is.
  • Rate the intensity of that emotion on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • Set a timer on your phone for 3 minutes.
  • Now go about whatever it is you were doing, trying your best not to think about that emotion.
  • When the timer goes off, re-rate your emotion on a scale from 1 to 10.
  • Repeat 2 more times.
Learn your Emotional Kryptonite

We all tend to have a particular emotion that they’re especially afraid of and try to avoid.

Identifying your own personal emotional kryptonite is important because many of our bad decisions and ill-advised behaviors are actually the results of trying to avoid particularly uncomfortable emotions.

Validate your emotions
  1. Label the emotion. When you notice yourself feeling badly emotionally, simply describe what the emotion is that you’re feeling (sad, anxious, frustrated, etc.).
  2. Acknowledge the discomfort. Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel that way even emotionally if it feels uncomfortable or painful.
  3. Accept the emotion. Accept that the emotion is with you and that you can still proceed with life despite having that emotion.
Ignorance Of Our Own Ignorance

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is the mind's tendency to overestimate one’s own knowledge or competence and to underestimate one’s own ignorance. It usually occurs when the information is unknown to us, with one peculiar complication: The information that something is unknown to us is also unknown to us.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is essentially a meta-layer of ignorance. Example: drivers who pride themselves as being competent and safe drivers making highly unsafe driving errors.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect: The Paradox of Our Own Ignorance

markmanson.net

  • Known Knowns: Things we know, like how to ride a bicycle.
  • Known Unknowns: Stuff we don’t understand, like quantum physics.
  • Unknown Knowns: Things we know but never realized that we knew it. Most of it comes naturally to us, like parenting or crying.
  • Unknown Unknowns: This is the information we have no clue about, and we don’t even know the fact that we don’t have a clue about this.

Most people have information in all these four types, making each brain a combination of a labyrinth and a jigsaw puzzle.

We are heavily blind-spotted with regards to our unknown unknowns as we continue to believe our own rhetoric and start to project it on others.

Our delusion is further complicated by the fact that even if people point to us our problem, we are unable to believe them, due to our lack of emotional awareness.

To overcome the paradox of overcoming our own ignorance is itself a contradiction due to the fact that we need to look for something that we cannot see.

This is the same contradiction experienced by any conspiracy theorist: The basic premise of their belief (even if it is right) is based on zero-reasoning and the foundation that only they are the reasonable ones.

As most people do not like ambiguity and uncertainty, they are much more comfortable in knowing something even if it is completely false.

Knowing something wrong is better than nothing, as our beliefs let us make sense of the world, which is subjective by every measure.

If people are made to develop certain basic and related skills, including foundational understanding in an objective way, they perform better at certain tasks.

Being aware of the blindspots that one can have, the emotional awareness that one may not have, or about the nature of Dunning-Kruger Effect can help individuals who are already aware to some extent that they might not be the centre of the universe after all.

  1. Do not ridicule them, as it can make them defensive.
  2. Provide examples and gently guide their minds towards the possibility that their belief may not be true.
  3. Being humble, unbiased and objective are important values that can be nurtured in all, especially youngsters.
Bertrand Russell
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”
3 decision-making mistakes that you must avoid
  1. Impulsivity. Thorough decisions combine all three senses – seeing, hearing and feeling. Impulsive decisions always lack one of these elements.
  2. Allowing yourself to be persuaded against your better judgment.  The selfish judgment of others should not interfere with your decisions. 
  3. Analysis paralysis. Inner conflict usually means a 'no'. Put off your decision for a while. Make an assessment of the risks involved and decide what size of risk you are willing to take.

3 Decision-Making Mistakes You Should Avoid

addicted2success.com

FOBO: Fear of Better Options

Whether it is deciding what to watch on TV, or which job offer to accept, Fobo (Fear of better options) can affect anyone.

A Fobo-afflicted person may not make a decision due to wanting complete information or simply be overwhelmed with the daunting options.

Do you take hours to make a simple decision? You may have Fobo

theguardian.com

Technology accelerates FOBO

Sophisticated apps and social media only accelerate FOBO, giving us unlimited options. We are unable to decide due to a constant flow of new plans, events, invitations or commitments.

Decision-making people: Maximisers

Maximisers compare everything before making a decision, setting very high standards and expectations for themselves.

They often feel disappointed with their final decision after making it.

Decision-making people: Satisficers

Satisficers are the ones that make "good enough" decisions, have modest expectations and are generally happier and more satisfied after making their decision.

Our Need For Control

Nowadays, we do not have the luxury of secure jobs, political stability or affordable housing like past generations. And we often exercise our control in different ways, like relying on planners, which help us with feeling less anxious.

Paper planners are an attractive and effective way to organize the demands of modern life because they provide a refreshingly tactile break from technology.

Bullet journaling is everywhere now. Our love of planners is about our desire for control.

vox.com

Bullet Journals are a visually pleasing method to organize events, notes, lists and tasks. The Bujo method offers flexibility, customization and a certain gloss to the organizing activity with stuff like pictures, gel, pens, colour coding and washi tape.

Plus, when you jot something down, you take control over your day or week; you are also more likely to remember it.

The Competency Trap

Many people fall into the competency trap, which is the assumption that their established principles and mental models, that have served them all these years, will be sufficient in the future too.

They rely on familiar tools, skills and routines, getting into their comfort zone in the false belief that they don’t need to upgrade or change in this increasingly complex and competitive world, where change is the only constant.

The Competency Trap: How Smart People Sabotage Their Careers

medium.com

  • When we overcommit to our core competencies they become our only reality.
  • We start to see the business world outside with the same internal view that has been harnessed for so many years when we strengthened and relied on the same skills.
  • We strive hard to attain mastery in our core skills, but forget to incorporate other skills, habits and mental models that are required for us to thrive in the future.
  • One must continuously learn new alternatives, skills and approaches to work and nurture one’s innovative spirit, becoming a competitor to oneself.
  • One has to look for gaps, areas of improvement and new market realities.
  • One must invest time, money, energy and attention towards new methods, techniques and tools that help us innovate, reinvent and upgrade ourselves.
  • One can take time to analyze one’s life and career, reviewing and reflecting on the strategies that are incorporated to improve oneself.
Experience vs Beauty

While searching for happiness, one often confuses something beautiful with something that would make one feel happy. While beauty captivates us, the actual experience makes us far happier than the physical beauty.

A beautiful home, for instance, cannot guarantee that the experience of living there would be a good one.

Appearances vs Experiences: What Really Makes Us Happy

fs.blog

External beauty and pleasing appearance often influence our perception, and we believe that this would dictate our experience after we attain it.

The day-to-day experience of living in a particular place cannot be judged by its outer beauty. Our relationships and social health are more important than architecture.

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