Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rules I Try To Live By; Tricks I Try To Use

These have been useful for me now and then, maybe they'll help you as well!
  • Ever get frustrated at something you did in the past (or more likely, didn't do) and wish you had a time machine so you could go back and change it? Try this instead: think of what you will be frustrated about five years, ten years from now and wish you had a time machine to fix. Guess what? You do. You just traveled back in time from the future, and you're here. Fix it. Related: when you think of how stupid you were five or ten years ago, that's a good sign that you've gotten smarter. You should worry if you never are frustrated with your past self's stupidity.

  • Every minute, every movement, ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing. Each movement of a muscle should lead to a pre-determined goal. You can't make 100% of your movements meet this criterion, but do so as much as possible.

  • If you live in a developed country, chances are most of the problems you encounter are those you've created yourself, and can fix or opt out of. So do that. And don't feel bad when you have trouble breaking out of some negative patterns, because that's another negative pattern. Your life is fine, and maybe you'll make it even better.

  • Imagine how frustrating it would be if you're playing a video game, and your character is sluggish or doesn't move and spends the game doing inconsequential activities that don't score points. Now imagine how frustrating it is that someone in a higher dimension is playing you as a video game character, and here we are reading the internet. Go out and only spend time on things that score points.

  • Many things we believe are wrong. Most things we believe are inconsequential. Beliefs should be constantly thrashed against reality to see if they survive. If they die, they deserve to die.

  • Sometimes people are just going to be jerks or hurt themselves. It's not your fault, and there's no point in feeling bad about it, but get away from them, and don't drive yourself batty trying to save them or help them. Also, it’s okay to want to punish them so they don't do it to someone else. Whether it’s okay to ACTUALLY punish them is a more complicated question.

  • Stay out of zero-sum games. If there's any kind of zero sum game you stay out of, make it status games. Don't underestimate how hard it is for you as a human being to do this, and the least you can do for yourself is not feel bad when you try but you can't.

  • The comparative advantage heuristic: as much as possible, try to restrict what you do to things you like. You probably do those things well, and can get value from them.

  • Think of people by their strengths. This will make them feel good, and will make them (and you) more successful.

  • You can't help everyone, and it's not your job anyway. The more a person is outraged by this statement, in general, the less likely they are to actually be doing anything to help and the more likely their outrage is about virtue signaling rather than to make any change in the world.

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