Thoughts as open tabs

I work bet­ter at night. At around mid­night, I’m more prone to en­ter­ing a state of re­laxed fo­cus, my mind mak­ing more lat­eral con­nec­tions when read­ing or com­ing up with ideas that will likely have great pos­i­tive im­pact on my per­sonal life and work.

This hap­pens af­ter a hard work­out too, or af­ter hav­ing a stim­u­lat­ing dis­cus­sion with a trusted, un­bi­ased, and driven friend.

The con­flict comes ev­ery day I wake up in the morn­ing, and it’s as if the open tabs of use­ful thoughts in my mind have closed, re­freshed, but with no Com­mand+Shift+Tab to re­open them ex­actly the way they were. I feel differ­ent in the morn­ing; with­out the vi­sion and sub­jec­tive “charged” state I felt the night be­fore, my mind doesn’t give me a clear path to ex­e­cute on the use­ful thoughts from yes­ter­day. I don’t have full ac­cess to that ac­tion-tak­ing state.

It’s log­i­cal that the sub­jec­tive im­pact of thought and mo­ti­va­tion changes from day-to-day. I wouldn’t want to re­mem­ber and feel the em­bar­rass­ment from a so­cial faux pas I made last week, ev­ery day. I just want to be able to cap­ture and feel more of the good stuff from the day or week be­fore. To feel the same emo­tional im­pact as when I first came across par­tic­u­lar in­sights, so that I’ll fol­low through on that with fer­vor and per­sis­tence.

Is there a way of hack­ing the brain to get the up­side, with­out in­cur­ring the down­side?

It’s al­most as if I ex­isted in two states: one which thinks that it has done enough and de­serves sur­face plea­sures and rest—akra­sia, and its op­po­site, non-akra­sia—buzzing with quiet en­ergy, work­ing to­wards fulfill­ment, con­stantly alert to ideas that I can im­ple­ment.

I know that be­ing in a state of non-akra­sia for sus­tained pe­ri­ods of time is pos­si­ble. There are the Elon Musks of the world, those who work 80 hour work weeks to­wards their very spe­cific cause of choice. I choose to be­lieve that they were not so much ge­net­i­cally pre­dis­posed to do so, as they had some­thing to pro­tect as well as sys­tems that ruth­lessly re­duced fric­tion and dis­trac­tion and rit­u­al­ized the state of Flow.

The im­por­tance of coloniz­ing mars and re­vers­ing cli­mate change are likely kept as open tabs at the fore­front of Musk’s mind, thoughts with deep sig­nifi­cance to him, that has guided ev­ery busi­ness or en­g­ineer­ing de­ci­sion he has made.

Given the limi­ta­tions of work­ing mem­ory, how do I keep my use­ful thoughts as open tabs af­ter a night’s sleep, or at least be able to ac­cess the full “His­tory” and re­store them? I’d imag­ine that if I was able to hack my brain to ac­cess the long-term-think­ing, fulfil­ment-driven mode of non-akrasian thoughts, there will be ex­po­nen­tial gains in the ar­eas of my life that mat­ter—no more in­stinc­tive check­ing, mind­less scrol­ling of so­cial me­dia as dis­trac­tion to fulfilling work, no more su­per­stim­uli foods to dam­age phys­i­cal and men­tal health.

The cost of giv­ing into temp­ta­tion will be greater than the short-term benefits pre­cisely be­cause the open tabs show me that I’m for­go­ing a much greater physique or ca­reer im­pact if I take the easy path.

More im­por­tantly, it will give me the con­fi­dence to fol­low through on all of those thoughts in the ex­act way I in­tended to. Be­ing able to re­mem­ber the full ra­tio­nale and po­ten­tial im­pact of these thoughts, I will be able to ex­e­cute them with­out sec­ond-guess­ing my­self. Find­ing a sys­tem or trig­ger to ac­cess these thoughts from my sub­con­scious, in or­der to act with con­vic­tion and con­sis­tency with my long-term goals—that is my pri­or­ity at this point of time.