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Philosophy: efficiency and basic powers

Raw link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W1OTeEYVGs

In this ~50 minute video I talk about the theme of doing basic tasks with consistency. I cover lots of relevant points. In short:

  • A relatable story about a smoker who sets an unrealistic target on how to change their habits.
  • We cannot just set our mind to something and it happens. We have to act on it. Deeds matter.
  • Without deeds, we do not have anything to build on. We lack the capacity.
  • We build stuff little by little, including our powers. We know this already from our everyday experiences. We do not just bring things into being. There is a process.
  • My suggestion to help the smoker set an actionable goal. Nothing Olympic; nothing fancy.
  • What really builds up capacity is consistency.
  • I call them “basic powers” because they are not flashy and do not capture our attention the way superpowers do.
  • Comment on superheroes and how we want superpowers without putting in any effort.
  • We do not need superpowers. Those are nice for the spectacle but are otherwise a distraction.
  • What we are toiling against in our everyday life is this tendency of ours to let things degrade and to not put in the work to maintain them.
  • A basic power like consistency goes unnoticed by those who are not trained to recognise it. All they see is you doing your tasks. But they do not realise how difficult this is.
  • To be consistent requires perseverance and this means that it is rooted in patience. You acknowledge that whatever it is your are doing has a process and that you not being the finished article at the outset is part of this process.
  • Patience is about having a sense of the here-and-now in light of the longer term magnitudes: how you keep the goal in mind while not losing track of the immediate issues.
  • The desire for the magical solution is not just wrong; it is that it serves as a rationalisation of your victimhood and entrapment in that state that you do not like. By bringing your ambition to something you can actually achieve, you can no longer tell yourself how you are trying to quit but cannot do it because the basic goal is unreachable.
  • The standard has to be tailored to your particularities. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all. Find something that works for you; the minimum you can accomplish. And do it consistently. Once that becomes second nature, then you can increase the intensity.
  • Story about the Karate Kid and how the process is about building character. Without the requisite character, there is no foundation for the specific techniques.
  • It ultimately comes down to our wellness; to how we feel about ourselves.
  • Example of how disorganised I used to be as a young adult and how a chaotic life feels disempowering. Minimise your exposure to garbage to eliminate the sense of dread from your life: what you experience will feel connected to your volition because the work you put in is having an impact.
  • Comment about the modern pursuit of “being productive” and the nonsense of the “10x” employee.
  • Comment about not seeking the “second brain” when we should instead be trying to maximise the effectiveness of the “first brain” and the “first body”. Then, even if you do use a second brain/body, you will be empowered to use them properly.
  • Example of a case where I recommended a basic workflow instead of whatever hipster software/method.
  • When we are in the flow of doing something, however basic, we (i) gain capacity to do it better and (ii) we develop insight into what we need to improve. So we learn more about the task at hand as well as ourselves. Again, no one-size-fits-all. Discover what works for you in particular.
  • Comment about wasting our time pursuing the magical solution instead of doing something basic in the meantime.
  • Remark about how when we are doing something, we have a better sense of its difficulty and our ability to cope with it. Whereas when we are outsiders to it, we tend to underestimate it while overestimating our abilities. Start small and keep doing.
  • Note about my creative method, such as in my videos, where I produce them in one go with no edits that try to flatter me.
  • Comment about the prettification filter of the Internet.
  • Story from the time I was a football player about people whose words do not match their deeds.
  • What goes together with the basic powers is the attitude of not saying much; of not talking big.
  • This also makes us compassionate, because we know what it takes to do something. So when we see another person trying, we do not try to bring them done. We say “well done for trying” as we can relate to it.
  • Basic powers go with basic decency. Treat yourself kindly and the best way to do that is to set realisable goals.
  • Final thoughts to wrap it all up.