3 MINUTE MONDAY
I’m still readjusting to being vertical and still totally defeated by stairs BUT I’m allowed to train again starting this weekend.
Chest & arms & achilles for the remainder of 2020.
Swoly Grail incoming.
Today we’re thinking about how to make good decisions.
The quality of your life depends upon the quality of your decisions.
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So learning to be more precise is going to have a profound impact on your wellbeing.
There’s also an opportunity cost to not making decisions quickly…
If you obsess over whether to start a business, ask someone out, have Italian for dinner or anything else for so long that the moment of opportunity passes by, then the precision of your choice becomes irrelevant – you missed your chance.
So we need a simple way to accurately judge what we should do which also doesn’t require us to assess every factor individually.
The simplest & most effective solution I’ve found which cuts through all the noise is to ask myself this question:“What would the future version of me want me right now to do?”
Asking this question focusses our attention away from the convenient and toward the meaningful.
It stops our obsession with minutia, which slows us down and ultimately matters far less than the speed acting on our decision.
It ensures that our current actions are aligned with our long term vision.
We tend to have a much clearer sense of who we want to be than how we’ll become them.
By keeping the end goal in mind, minor temptations are contrasted with a grander ideal future, which helps to make your decisions more balanced.
For instance… you right now might really want to eat a cookie.
What would you tomorrow have wanted you to do now?
Maybe you’ve been 100% disciplined on your diet for 6 months and you’d think “I deserved that.”
Or maybe it’s your third temptation this week and you’d be disappointed in yourself.
Either way, the answer is obvious.
Now you just have to do it.
There’s a final element here which fried my brain when I realised it…
Every choice is a fleeting momentary experience that your Present Self has to briefly endure, but your Future Self will live the memory of forever.
“The moment to moment of almost anything you are doing is a grind. It is only upon completion, in reflection where you can see the glory.” — Brian Greene
The future version of you lasts for the rest of your life. Make sure you give it something good to look back on.
In a very real sense, your only goal in life is to always be creating a world that the future version of you wants to live in.
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This week’s upcoming episodes:
Gad Saad – Twitter’s hitman and Evolutionary Psychologist The Gadfather talks about why bad ideas are infecting our minds in 2020, how to protect yourself, who he thinks will with the 2020 Election, what he really thinks about Nassim Taleb and much more.
Matthew Yglesias – the Co-Founder of Vox lays out the thesis of his new book which proposes to counter the rising economic and political threat from China & India by breeding and immigrating one billion Americans. More country music would be fine with me to be fair.
Final week of only 2. The backlog is building up and we’ll be returning to 3 very soon!
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Being smart might be bad for your sex life.
In high school each extra IQ point above average increases chances of male virginity by about 3%.
35% of MIT grad students have never had sex, compared to only 20% of average nineteen year old men.
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite which causes mice to lose their instinctive fear for the smell of cats.
Most mice flee the odour of cat urine.
However ones infected with toxoplasmosis are sexually attracted to it.
This is an evolutionary adaptation to help the parasite complete its life cycle…
Toxoplasma can sexually reproduce only in the cat gut, and for it to get there, the pathogen’s rodent host must be eaten.
So it infects rats, makes them sexually attracted to cat urine, so they can be eaten by cats, and then the parasite can finally reproduce inside the cat’s gut.
Remember that little alien that controlled the big Alien in Men In Black 1?
That’s precisely what I think is going on here.
China’s population is predicted to dip back below 1 billion by 2100.
One child policies, parental preferences for male heirs and a subsequent imbalance in men & women means that coupling up is becoming harder.
In China & India, men outnumber women by 70 million.
“In the future, there will be millions of men who can’t marry, and that could pose a very big risk to society” warns Li Shuzhuo, a leading demographer at Xi’an Jiaotong University.
Drive in silence once per week.
Cal Newport defines solitude as “time away from the input of other minds”.
He says it’s one of the most powerful self-development tools we all have.
It can be easy to get caught up thinking you’re optimising your time by always listening to the radio, an audiobook or Modern Wisdom (oi oiiii) when you drive.
But this can waste a great opportunity to add some more easy mindfulness into your day.
Take a journey once per week in total silence.
Allow yourself to reflect, consider and slow down.
Give your mind time away from the input of other minds.
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