Learning what to value.

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angellist at TechCrunch

I recently listened to Naval’s podcast episode on “Creating Wealth Without Getting Lucky” and one of the concepts that really stood out to me was the idea of natural games vs status games. Here’s a snippet of what Naval is talking about, but I’d recommend heading over to his podcast to learn more.

Status games are multiplayer, zero-sum, hierarchical, judged socially.

Get grades, applause, titles now — emptiness later.

Natural games are single player, positive-sum, internal, judged by nature/markets.

Pay in pain now — get wealth, health, knowledge, peace, family later.
- Naval

I’m not sure what sort of pain Naval is talking about here, so I’ll be speculating a bit, but I can’t help but feel the equation here is off base. …


The words you need to set outstanding goals.

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Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Over the past five years, I’ve read and researched almost every aspect of self-improvement. Every once in awhile I’ll come across some website sharing “10 quotes that’ll X your Y”. It’s clickbait, I know it is, but I can’t help feeling curious.

Without fail, I end up rereading some famous quotes and a simple summation of why it’s essential for me to heed the author’s advice. The last time I did so, I wondered if any research would back up what I read. Or were these merely the empty words of famous individuals.

So I set out to prove what I could, here are three quotes on goals backed by research. …


And the exercises necessary to get you back on track.

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Photo by Arren Mills on Unsplash

If there’s one piece of advice I’ve heard on repeat since I started researching willpower, it’s that you need to break your goals down into manageable chunks. As long as they’re accomplishable, you’ll be able to make progress.

At a high level, it’s something I agree with. After all, becoming debt-free or getting a new job aren’t overnight changes. Goals like that require broad thinking. You have to accomplish multiple steps to ever have a chance at succeeding. Yet, there are so many things that can get in the way of even the smallest steps forward. We struggle with productivity, motivation, self-control, distractions, anxiety, stress. …


How a simple email shifted my perspective on work.

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https://sivers.org/

If you’re not familiar with Derek Sivers, I would stop everything you’re doing and listen to his episode on the Time Ferris podcast. If you don’t have thirty minutes to spare, then he’s the founder of CD Baby, at one time the largest seller of independent music. In 2008 he sold the company and gave the majority to a charitable fund.

He spent 2014 to 2018 answering emails. If you’re wondering how many emails someone could answer in 4-years, it’s roughly 100,000.

I was the lucky recipient of one of those emails.

My Question

I told Derek I’d been struggling with motivation. I was working at a soul-sucking, 9-to-5 while trying to get my writing off the ground. I’d been writing steadily for a while, but something snapped. I felt my enthusiasm for writing burn out, and I was searching for fuel. I blamed my job for draining the life out of me. …


The mindset that allowed him to change history.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex/49934682271/

In Elon Musks’ own words, 2008 was the worst year of his life. By all accounts, I don’t think anyone could disagree.

After a series of failed attempts in 06 and 07 SpaceX, Musks aerospace company was finally ready for another launch. The rocket, Falcon 1, carried two satellites for NASA, one for the Air Force, and a payload of nearly 230 cremated human remains for a space burial. That’s right; you can be buried in space. You just need to make sure you’re flying on the right rocket.

SpaceX’s third launch was a near-complete failure. The company lost the rocket and all of its contents. Musk was now 0-for-3, and both SpaceX and Tesla were losing money fast. …


Research says these are the traits that promote discipline.

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https://stories.freepik.com/illustration/personal-trainer/pana

Discipline, willpower, self-control is the bedrock of entrepreneurs and hustle culture, but what characteristics do these individuals share? What separates the average from the extraordinary? It’s self-discipline.

I’ve studied discipline for six years, and I owe a lot of my success in my personal and private life to the habits I’ve developed because of that research.

I don’t have all the answers, but my research has made one truth clear to me;

“Discipline isn’t one thing”

It’s a cultivated series of characteristics and behaviors that promote a balanced life. …


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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

It depends on if we’re talking about being lazy for the sake of relaxing or because we’re putting off other work. In either case, a bit of laziness can be incredibly beneficial.

I’m going to answer from past experiences as a master procrastinator, someone who’s great at getting everything done, but what they truly need to work on.

When I first started writing I could barely eke out 300 words a day. I knew it was something I should be doing, and wanted to do, but I could never bring myself to get things done. …


Why treating myself like a friend is the best thing I’ve ever done.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

I use to believe that laziness was an innate personality trait — something I was born with and would never be able to overcome. I spent most of high school inside, playing video games, and barely skating by in school.

As I learned to define productivity in my way, I learned that being lazy and procrastinating wasn’t what I was doing. I had no interest in my school work, and there weren’t any consequences for mediocre grades. I needed to do enough to pass my classes, and the world kept on turning.

I was eager to play games. I’d do everything in my power to spend more time in front of my computer. What looked like laziness to the outside world was a serious discipline for me. But, my frame of reference was off because I was a child. …


Out with the bad and in with the good.

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Photo by Kirill Sharkovski on Unsplash

To this day, I can’t stop thinking about how much time I used to spend playing video games. Nearly six hours a day after work and as much as humanly possible on the weekends. I’d head out with my friends once in a while, but only after eight hours at my computer. And when I got home, I’d try to squeeze in another hour before bed.

I can’t say it was an addiction, but video games were all-consuming. The worst thing about it? I wasn’t accomplishing anything. …


Overcoming the pitfalls of self-control

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Photo by Meghan Holmes on Unsplash

When I think of productivity, I think of well-built habits. When we hear of folks going to the gym five days a week or juggling work, school, and social life, it’s not productivity hacks that fuel their efforts — it’s habits. Over time, these individuals built up a robust habitual foundation for behaviors the rest of society sees as “productive.”

To them, it’s merely the way they behave. they’re not extra productive; they aren’t operating through sheer willpower; they don’t know another way to act.

But how do you get there? You have to follow the same path. You’ve got to start from square one and build systems that fuel your efforts. …

About

Reed Rawlings

I focus on self-regulation — goals, compassion, motivation, focus, stress, and the tools to support them. Reed@mindcafe.co

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