Boats and Self-Rule
This week's curated content to strengthen your resolve and improve your decisions.
Several of my favorite newsletters curate good content as often as they create it. I’ll be doing some of that here at The Next Step, alternating between mostly creating and mostly curating. I’d love your feedback—do you like to hear from other creators? What type of media and creators do you want to see featured? Shoot me (@miriamrosah) a DM on Twitter or Instagram and let me know.
by Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D.
I read this piece at the gym (yes, I am that nerdy person who is often seen reading while I rest between sets) and two concepts struck me as particularly relevant to our pursuit of better decision-making.
One is the idea of an “implementation intention,” which the author describes as “a strategy to plan for the worst — so you can perform your best.” In essence, it’s deciding under what conditions you’ll quit; if you decide ahead of time, you’re actually less likely to quit. I’ve found this to be true when I go for a run, as I almost always run further if I decide how far to run before I even start, instead of just running until I feel like stopping.
The other point that I loved was the emphasis on envisioning the future. Check out this quote:
Lots of potential experiences and events don’t happen for people because — once they get the idea, they mentally note it and forget it. They don’t give themselves 15–20 minutes to write it down and really think about it to validate it, and then if validated, consciously create it. Very few people are thoughtful about their future.
Simply having a thought about what you’d like to do or who you’d like to be won’t cut it. We have to take the next step of writing it down or talking it over with someone we love. These practices help make our ideal future more tangible and, in turn, easier to break down into one small action we can take now to get us there later.
No One Can Take This Away | Why Seeking Out Challenges Will Change Your Life
by Ryan Holiday
This episode from one of my favorite morning podcasts hits on a key concept for decision-making: learn to rule over yourself. Ryan has a talent for taking ancient philosophy and applying it to the modern day. Ruling over yourself might look like choosing to hold back an unnecessary unkind word, or choosing to challenge yourself to do something physically challenging so you can develop more mental toughness. It’s a daily choice which compounds into a life, and that’s no small thing.
A Thought to Ponder
To close out this week, here’s a question for you (extra kudos if you journal about it): what is a decision you regret, and what would it take to never regret something like that again?