Replacing Guilt14 Jun 2018
I finished reading Nate Soares's Replacing Guilt series. It's highly recommended reading if you periodically find yourself guilty over what you didn't do or failed to achieve. Roughly, it's about excising guilt as an ineffective motivator, and about installing a strong intrinsic motivation mechanism in its stead.
It's well worth reading in full, there are a lot of articles, but all of them are relatively short and to the point. For myself, I extracted the following list of insights and directives, in order to remember to apply the lessons in my life. It's about what resonated with me, so your own take-away might be quite different. Read the whole thing!
Some of the terminology used below might not make sense if you didn't read the articles, but most of it is fairly general.
- Guilt doesn't work as a motivator.
- Half-ass it with everything you've got. Do just enough to reach your goal.
- Succeed, with no wasted motion.
- Don't fail with abandon.
- Drop your shoulds, consider the alternatives.
- Consider not forcing yourself.
- Not because you should, but because you can.
- Expending willpower is a stopgap, not a solution.
- Forcing yourself won't work next time if it didn't work last time.
- Don't work yourself ragged. Self-care is a goal too.
- Rest in motion.
- The ground state is motion - don't take damage while in motion.
- Rest is not a reward, it's part of your activities.
- Shift guilt from the instance to the pattern.
- Use science to debug bad behaviour patterns.
- Be a new homonculus, do some original seeing.
- There is no default "do nothing" action.
- Don't tolerify.
- After an outcome, simply locate yourself, don't compare to your expectations.
- Seek the best actions you can identify at the moment.
- Play to win: don't stop and "try".
- Don't have excuses as a line of retreat.
- Understand your failures is understanding what you could have done better.
- Assume capability in the background.
- It's not about effort or willpower, but focus. The path is the way.
- Don't bang swords, hit the ennemy.
- Seek and actually do the obvious things.
- Prepare and improve response patterns.
- When faced with a problem, don't flail. Start breaking it down, apply well-known and brute force approaches.
- Derive confidence from being well aware of your limitations.
- Odds shouldn't influence your ability to commit. The best plan is still the best regardless of odds.
- Be reckless: commit yourself fully to the best plan until a better one comes along.
- Be defiant: refuse the accept the current state of things.
- You will be measures by outcomes, not by how hard you tried.
- Act to ensure the future is as good as you can make it.