053 In favor of being extreme
In the self-improvement world, there’s a ton of focus on the importance of cultivating small habits and incremental change. 1% better a day adds up to a huge improvement—nearly 37 times better than you were after one year:
Though, I appreciate this view very much, it does not do justice to the opposite perspective. The one of being extreme while making changes to life—aka going “cold turkey”.
Here, you’re essentially going all out, to the top and starting from there. No “small steps”, or being the tortoise of the race—just full blown on the extreme end.
Not only does being extreme help while quitting a habit completely, it is useful when cultivating a good one as well.
Instead of learning Spanish for 30 minutes a day, do a “Spanish retreat”—go to Colombia for a month and try immersing yourself with the language as much as you can.
Of course that might not be possible for everyone. But you could reproduce something like it from home. Select a weekend where you only speak in Spanish or only listen to stuff in español.
It’s just a matter of finding out what works for you on the extreme end for your particular needs of course, Spanish was just an example.
If you want to start a blog, why not aim at writing a blog post a day?
If you want to lose weight, why not go no sugar for 30 straight days?
If you want to stay focused, why not keep your phone in a timed locker?
Though there might be some drawbacks from being extreme, (higher chances of exhaustion, lack of consistency, etc.) it’s a valuable method for testing presumed “limits”, learning ferociously and gaining considerable improvement in a short but still consistent time frame.
A similar concept is that of barbell strategies. I recommend this post to learn more about them.
The Amazing Things & Ideas List
James Webb Space Telescope:
This week NASA released 4 images and 1 very important graph taken by the James Webb Space Telescope that tell us a big deal about our universe.
The James Webb Space Telescope is just the beginning:
“A beginning of infinity could be the start of some new entity, process, way of thinking or doing, way of moving forward, correcting errors, making progress, solving problems, understanding more deeply or broadly, being able to do more, to do everything. To show what is possible and achieve it and see further off still into a deeper unknown of potential discoveries without limit except that which the laws of physics mandate.
A beginning of infinity is what allows us to make unbounded progress off into an infinite future.
But besides what the laws of physics mandate we cannot do, only our imaginations bound what we will make possible and that—our imaginations—are only bounded by our telling ourselves what is not possible... When in truth, anything that can be achieved really can be achieved given the right knowledge. And the right knowledge begins in our imaginations before being tested against reality.”
— Brett Hall (in his Origins video—a must watch!)
My favorite day:
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne
How to Take Over the World:
A new podcast show I’ve been listening to is How to Take Over the World by Ben Wilson. It analyzes the lives of some of the greatest men and women to ever live and helps the listener better understand them.
It’s literally like reading all the gems in a biography. Highly recommend. Start with the latest episode on Vladimir Putin if you can’t seem to find a perfect place to start.
Posts from my blog this week
List of double-edged swords (#171): a list of fundamental double-edged swords (anything that can have favorable and unfavorable consequences) to the human condition.
Diversity in unity: the same thing in different ways (#170): an observation of finding diversity in unity—the same thing looked at in two different ways.
Thank you for reading.
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