Honestly, I could do another 100 tweets on what this looks like in each case. The delicate dance of beliefs, emotions, strategies, behaviors, and tools that can be combined to internalize a new way of being.
I would love to see further discussion of what the solution looks like. Is there any writing out there that discusses this?
I’m not a psychologist/psychiatrist, but isn’t personality not very mutable past the age of around 7? At least without psychedelics or brain damage or something?
I’ve read that this is a common myth and that personality continues to change throughout our lives (1, 2). According to some psychologists, this could be related to the end of history illusion.
The book Personality Isn’t Permanent talks a lot about personality myths and ways to change one’s personality. In the section on how to change one’s personality, he suggests (albeit doesn’t cite studies) that the reason personality changes less in adulthood than childhood may be because our environment becomes more constant and environment can shape personality.
It seems that they can use vitrification as opposed to solely freezing the body, and this is more effective at preservation. Here’s a paper about scientists vitrifying a rabbit kidney then rewarming it and successfully putting it back into a rabbit (h/t wait but why). However, it seems that each organ must be studied so that it can be successfully vitrified given its unique complexities, so we can’t just apply that paper’s solution to every organ.
This seems to be almost exactly what you are suggesting. At the end of the article he seems to offer an open invitation to receive their vaccine. While there is no mention of their vaccine’s efficacy in the article, the article was written in late July so the team may have more updates by now if you reach out to them directly.
I’ve used the DelayWebpage extension. It can delay the loading for websites you choose but doesn’t offer some features mentioned in the article such as resetting if you alt+tab or increasing the wait time each check.
I’m not sure if I’m understanding your question correctly; are you asking whether you’re obligated to act in accordance with what worked in the past for you? One response could be that if you always follow what worked in the past, then you’d be akin to the recluse, constantly exploiting and never exploring. This means you could miss out on great opportunities that are not part of your past experience.
That’s interesting, do you have a link so I can read more about that?
I wonder if this effect is restricted to younger people who are supposedly more malleable
I read about a study in Thinkertoys, a handbook for creative thinking, about how employees who thought they weren’t creative but were told to tell themselves that they’re creative had more ideas compared to those who continued thinking they were not creative. (I could be paraphrasing incorrectly since it was a while ago). Writing your ideas down could be a way to reinforce to yourself the idea that you are creative, in case you have doubts about that.
For your first question, Cold Turkey is my favorite for Windows! Freedom is also a popular one, but I prefer Cold Turkey since it has more robust settings and doesn’t allow you to uninstall it during an active session.
If you want something lighter you could use browser extensions like LeechBlock but it’s far too easy just to switch browsers with those.
I recently read this Psyche article related to your question. While not an academic paper, they do cite them throughout the article. Here’s the text most relevant to the preserve vs. develop willpower debate:
According to a 2017 meta-analysis of many relevant studies, self-control training seems to be effective at improving ‘self-control stamina’ – the ability to exert inhibitory self-control for longer periods.
So, is that the solution to greater self-discipline? Exercise your self-control muscle and get better at inhibitory self-control?
Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. You might have noticed how I switched back and forth between ‘inhibitory self-control’ and the broader concept of ‘self-control’, but the two are not synonymous. Though boosting your inhibitory self-control or ‘willpower’ might sound appealing – perhaps you imagined yourself using inhibitory self-control to force yourself not to eat the cookies, just like you would if you forced yourself to brush with the opposite hand – it’s not clear that inhibitory self-control actually works this way in everyday life.
Take the findings from a 2017 study that involved volunteers recording their daily experiences of temptation for a week. The individuals who experienced more temptation were less likely to achieve their long-term goals, even if they also reported using more inhibitory self-control. This suggests that using inhibitory self-control to resist those cookies might help you in the moment, but not in the long run. So even if you use inhibitory training (eg, the teeth-brushing challenge) to build a brawny self-control muscle, your heroic efforts are likely to leave you looking more like Sisyphus than Hercules.
There is this HBS article I found which talks about it from a management lens and offers some okay recommendations at the end
Do you have any further reading on “the opposite advice would be useful” besides the SSC article? I’ve found it difficult to navigate the tension between two sides of some pieces of advice.
And the solution that worked for me, is to make it part of your identity to be an agent. Make it a point of principle to do things, not because the thing is necessarily the perfect action, but because I choose the life where I do things, over the life where I always wait for the perfect opportunity.
This seems like shifting from act utilitarianism to rule utilitarianism, where you don’t try to calculate the value from each option in relation to all other options but instead act upon a principle (or core values in business speak).
Notice the small problems, and fix them. Notice when everyone isn’t enjoying what they’re doing, and be the first person to voice this. Notice when the jug of water is empty, and be the one to fill it. Notice when you say “oh, I can do this tomorrow” and do it today. Notice when you think “I should get round to this some time” or “I’ve always wanted to learn juggling” and actually do it. Notice when something is inefficient, notice the thing nobody is doing, and be the person who does it!
Maybe I’m overthinking, but with this logic I imagine this happening:
0. Imagine someone who thinks “I can do this tomorrow” or “this is not a priority”
1. Read this article and start to take action on all the things they view as wrong in their life, following their newly developed principle of action
2. Find that they don’t have enough time to take care of all these things
3. Become disillusioned and conclude that they have to adjust their principle to only tackle problems that are worth it
4. Start shrugging off most problems as not being worth it
5. Frequently shrug off problems thinking “I can do this tomorrow” or “this is not a priority”
And the person has now ended in the same place they started… How would one avoid this?
Seems similar to Murphyjitsu
I tried a parade of experiments and tracked all the factors that I thought might influence my energy levels – including sleep times, sleep duration, hydration, exercise, medications, melatonin, doing a sleep study, temperature, naps, and nutrition.
I’d love to see a separate post to learn more about the details and results of this so that I could try it myself.
I’ve tried doing this but for focus instead of fatigue, but it became too tedious to track all these factors every day. This was especially true since I felt that a) there were so many confounding factors in my day to day life that I couldn’t control (e.g. the type of work I’m doing that day or the # of conversations) and b) with so many variables, I’d need a very large sample size to create an accurate enough model. Now I just track 2-3 variables at a time that I believe are likely to have the biggest impact on my focus.
Interesting; it’s similar to if you make a calculated bet in poker when the odds are in your favor but still lose. In that case, your decision was still correct as well as the means you used to arrive at your decision. So there wouldn’t be much to write about. Perhaps in this case the loser could write about why they think the winner actually made the wrong decision to continue playing the hand.
I agree that you can’t distinguish between those things. But I wonder if it could be argued that as long as someone is putting in effort and deliberately reflecting and improving after each outcome, then you can’t fault them since they are doing everything in their power; even if they are modeling incorrectly or behaving badly, if they did not have opportunities to learn to do otherwise beforehand then is it still reasonable to fault them if they act that way? The pragmatic part of me says that everyone has “opportunities to learn to do otherwise” with the knowledge on the internet, so we can in fact fault people for modeling poorly. But I’m not sure if this line of reasoning is correct.