3 Minute Monday
Laura Vanderkam is a time management expert.
In my podcast with her in 2018 she talked about how there are 3 selves which make up our lives…
The Anticipating Self, is the one who looks forward to experiences which are yet to come.
The Present Self, or experiencing self is the one who experiences the events which are occurring right now.
And the Remembering Self is the one who looks back at experiences we’ve had.
Now these 3 selves should be equal actors in the play that is our lives, but the immediacy of the experiencing self means we bias our actions toward what we want right now, not what we said we wanted to do today when it was last night, or what we would have wanted to remember doing tonight when it is tomorrow.
Imagine it’s a typical Saturday afternoon and you’re thinking about what to do.
On Friday, your anticipating self was excited about the idea of going to a salsa dancing class, you’ve wanted to do it for a while and it sounds like fun.
On Sunday your remembering self would have appreciated you going – you met some interesting new people, made some amazing memories and had a great time doing something new.
But on Saturday the present self takes over. It says it’s cold outside, work was difficult this week and the bed is warm.
You’re tired and you can just go next week.
Understanding this mechanism is crucial to our personal development.
The present self will always take the path of least resistance, by which I mean it will choose to NOT do something, rather than do it.
It sleeps in.
And leaves early.
We spoil the present self like a petulant child by giving it whatever it wants.
If left unchecked, our 3-self-play becomes a monologue, dominated by immediately gratifying, short termist choices which please a self that is literally only around right now.
As far as I can see, a good life is one which, in retrospect, you are glad you lived.
Each action you take is an investment which your Remembering Self can cash out in future.
Join the Modern Wisdom Community to connect with me and 3000+ other people who all listen to the show.
I do a podcast which has had 40 million+ downloads. You should subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Jim Al-Khalili – physics, space, aliens, simulation hypotheses, existential risk, theoretical holes in science and more. Accessible but advanced. This one was cool.
Alan Stein Jr. – the coach of NBA superstars Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry and Kevin Durrant explains his process for overcoming stress, stagnation and burnout.
Not sure yet, maybe Seth-Stephens Davidowitz on what Big Data can tell us about people’s real preferences in life. Amazing episode.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Penguins are a danger to Malta.
In Antarctica there are 21 million penguins and in Malta there are 502,653 inhabitants.
So if the penguins decide to invade Malta, each Maltese will have to fight 42 penguins.
Why is no one talking about this.
Not all risks are created equal.
“Building a business is risky.
Living paycheck to paycheck is risky.
Some risks come with upside.
Others do not.
— Alex Hormozi (comes on Modern Wisdom this week)
10% is a dangerous margin.
“The universe appears to be 13.8 billion years old.
The earth, 1.5 billion years.
In another half billion years, the sun will expand and probably evaporate the oceans, making life impossible.
So if consciousness had taken 10% longer to evolve, it would never have evolved at all.
Just 10% longer.
I wonder how many dead One-Planet civilisations there are out there.
That never made it to the other planet, and were ultimately destroyed by themselves or other factors.
Probably a few.”
— Elon Musk
Always pack a hoodie when travelling.
Every plane ends up being too cold.
Even if you’re going from somewhere hot to somewhere hot, you should always have a warm hoodie packed so you survive the journey there.
This week I went from Austin, 32 degrees celsius, to Guatemala, 26 degrees celsius.
The plane was easily -3.
Thank you Zara menswear.
Join the Modern Wisdom Community.
Guatemala is very cool. I’m channelling my half-GCSE in Spanish as best I can to navigate around.