Thursday, August 15, 2019

An Example of Me Doing Less

I'm staying a friends place in Canada and he lives in one of those fancy apartments with its own gym. So one day I am doing a my workout and I think. Hey those machines look pretty fancy, maybe I should try out that leg press machine today. After doing a couple reps I start thinking back to what I wrote about longterm fitness goals and sustainability: do less. I talk about how people should think about long term goals; consider being your best 100 year old self.

I don't have a leg press machine at home, so this would just be a temporary. I mean I could go to the gym but I don't because its more efficient for me to not commute and I still get a great workout in. It's good to mix it up now and then but any gains that I'd get from it would be soon lost after I get back home and continue my standard workout routine. The leg press is a more isolated movement so I don't add it to my standard exercise routines, instead I opt for more (time) efficient compound movements.

So I decided to skip the fancy leg press machine and go back to some (bodyweight) squats instead. If I was trying to bulk up I'd definitely want to add more barbell and heavy lifting. But I've done that before and know that the amount of effort lifting and getting enough good calories to build muscle isn't worth it for me.

Everyone has different goals so do what works for you. Like the majority of people, I used to just go to the gym and do whatever seemed popular. But now that my goals are a bit more defined, its easier to adjust my actions to fit them

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Filter vs. Block

It's significantly more work to filter vs block.

Saying yes to the top 1% of things doesn't make it only 1% easier than saying no to everything. It's much harder.

If you are an investor, you can't lower your work by saying you are only going to invest in 5% of the best companies instead of 10% you did last year. The reason is because the filtering is the work. You have to filter either way.

It's easier for you to say no to candy, or alcohol if you decided you don't eat that food.

It's less work to filter your email by setting a filter to catch all email with the word "unsubscribe". But, you might miss something you actually wanted to see.

Choosing to say no to things frees up energy and focus for the things that are more important. But for the very important things, we probably should spend the extra energy that it takes to filter.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Trichotomy of Control

Most people have heard of dichotomy of control:

1) Things we have full control over. (This is usually things closest to ourselves like setting our own goals and values)

2) Things we don't have full control over. (External events. We find more as we move farther from the self)

In this case the wisdom is to focus on your locus of control; the things you do have control over.

But think Trichotomy of control helps us go one step further because really there are things where we have some control over. Now we have:

1) Things we have full control over.

Focus on the things we have complete control over like goals and values. Marcus Aurelius and the stoics believed that by doing this alone, we were in compete control of living the good life. Because having great character was the metric as opposed to external events.

2) Things we have no control over.

Ignoring these is pretty straightforward. It would be a waste of time and energy to worry about these things.

3) Things we have partial control over.

What do we do here? One option would be to ignore these things as well. But that would limit our sphere of influence. Instead what is suggested is to think back to our dichotomy again. Focus on the things we do have full control over. This might be mean reframing the problem. We don't have control over if we will win the match, but we do have control over giving our best effort. This starts to sound a lot like Scott Adam's system vs. goals.

Again, simple concept but invaluable. If you are interested in more stoic philosophy I learned about this via A Guide To the Good Life. I thought it was interesting how thinking about the Trichotomy of control help us map our thinking back to the Dichotomy of control.