“It’s remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”
— Charlie Munger
Here’s your gentle nudge to make your week more interesting, thoughtful and productive. You can always talk to me more about these ideas by replying to this email.
Try Remembering Your Square One
Playing the long-term game, i.e. building systems and habits for the span of years, is a great philosophy to live by. In fact, it has been the only way I’ve done things for a long time. Yet, when you play the long-term gain, you often fail to look at how far you’ve come. Hear me out.
There was a time roughly five years ago when I couldn’t do a single push up. Today, I breeze through a rather intense bodyweight workout or some moderate amount of weight training. In 2017, writing every day for a month was an achievement because I had never done it before; it’s the only way I write now. I write something, even if a short sentence, every day.
In fact, out of all things I do every day, the few bare minimum activities have been so consistent, they just became things I do. I have worked out, read, done some brain training, language and coding lessons (added later) even on the worst days I’ve had over the years, as long as I physically could.
They’ve become such staples of my day that I often forget the days when I used to give up mid-workout, couldn’t do mental math as fast as I can now, or knew zero German words.
It’s easy to forget something that’s a consistent part of your life. Pausing and thinking about your literal square one often helps put your growth in perspective, especially when all you can see looking back are the same 5-6 daily activities you do.
Take a minute today to think about the things you’ve done regularly for years. Give yourself credit for how far you’ve come. You’re a long way from your square one.
What’s On My Mind?
I’ve been thinking about how certain behaviours—like putting up stories on the social media platform of your choice—that are normal to us now are that way solely on the social acceptance of them. In my hybrid approach to creating stuff on the internet, I’m only using services that help me push content but avoiding using any platforms like Instagram or Twitter. I’ve realised how so much of what I did earlier was… just because. There’s no need to put up stories or browse a feed per se. I can still do it. I will eventually, too, but breaking the habit/autopilot has helped me achieve an odd sort of calm.
I hope this added some value to your week. Stay safe, stay inspired, and I’ll talk to you next week.
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