3 Minute Monday – Regrets, Extinction & Addiction

3 Minute Monday

Hi friend,

I’m finally back in Austin after 2 weeks of travelling around the States.

It’s been great, I’ve met some fantastic people and made some great memories.

But I’m very much looking forward to no longer living out of a suitcase and getting back into some semblance of a routine again.

I got to have a ton of conversations with Douglas Murray while I was in NYC.

In one of them, we were discussing the inevitable trade-offs you have to make in life.

The things you need to put down in order to pick something else up.

The life paths you have to kill so you can pursue others.

He told me something Christopher Hitchens once said to him…

“In life, we must choose our regrets.”

I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about that over the last few weeks.

In life we must choose our regrets.

I’d never considered things that way.

I’d gone through life with this assumption that it’s somehow possible to have no regrets at all if you get things right.

If you make precisely the right choices at the right moments then maybe you can totally avoid regrets.

I’d presumed that any regret is essentially the side-effect of a sub-optimal decision.

I never considered that regrets could be unavoidably baked into the fabric of life.

They’re features, not bugs.

Upon reflection, this seems obvious.

Opportunity cost demands that we sacrifice one thing in order to do another.

You can make the absolute best choice, and yet still regret not making some other one.

Plus, we don’t get to run life twice, so you never know whether the decisions you made were right.

So, regrets are unavoidable.

What does it mean that in life we must CHOOSE our regrets?

Well, a lot of the time we’re going to incur some pain no matter what decision we make.

We need to choose between a relationship and a new job.

Either decision is going to cause regret, and given the fact that regrets are unavoidable, which regret do you WANT?

I think this adds a lot of clarity to big, difficult decisions.

Rather than working out which decision you want to live with, imagine which decision you couldn’t bare living without.

Which regrets could you put up with having chosen, and which could you never forgive yourself for?

In life, we must choose our regrets.

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MODERN WISDOM

I do a podcast which is the front end for a cult. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This week’s upcoming episodes:

Monday.
Anna Codrea-Rado – how do you overcome productivity dysmorphia, deal with obsessing over your daily output and actually take pride in your work? Very good.

Thursday.
Not sure yet, maybe Dr Duncan French the UFC’s Vice-President of Performance.

Saturday.
Not sure yet, trying to get a primer episode on Ukraine recorded this week so we all actually understand what’s going on and why. I feel pretty uninformed on the basics around why this conflict is happening.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED

1.
Brits have no idea what an existential risk is.

What do Britons think is most likely to cause human extinction? (select up to 3)
Nuclear war: 43%
Climate change: 42%
Pandemic: 30%
Asteroid: 25%
Extreme seismic event: 23%
Bees dying out: 16%
Robots/Artificial Intelligence: 7%

Compared with Toby Ord from the Future Of Humanity Institute’s assessment: (Chance within the next 100 years)
Nuclear war: 1 in 1,000
Climate change: 1 in 1,000
Natural Pandemic: 1 in 1,000
Engineered Pandemic: 1 in 30
Asteroid: 1 in 1,000,000
Extreme seismic event: 1 in 10,000
Bees dying out: Less than 1 in 1,000,000,000
Unaligned Artificial Intelligence: 1 in 10

2.
“The point of attaching sequences of letters to particular concepts is to let two people communicate—to help transport thoughts from one mind to another.

You cannot change reality, or prove the thought, by manipulating which meanings go with which words.” — Eliezer Yudkowsky

3.
“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” — Robin Sharma

LIFE HACK

iDissk Phone Lock Box.

This is where I’ve come to.

Buying a timed box to lock my phone in so I’m not distracted by it.

Anyway, this is the best one I’ve found.

You can charge your device while it’s in there, you can have it facing up through holes in the lid so you can answer calls if there’s an emergency.

It is £39 which isn’t cheap, but you’ll make that back easily with an extra few hours off your phone.

Shop on Amazon.

Big love,
Chris x

Join the Modern Wisdom Community.

PS
Thank you for all the kind birthday messages last week. I really needed that 💜 You guys motivate the shit out of me.

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