Showing all posts tagged with #Wisdom on Self portrait 01 big Daniel Puglisi's profile

I’ve finished reading The Elon Musk Blog Series by Wait But Why yesterday evening. All in all a really good blog post series but the last chapter was my personal highlight. It’s a depiction about how Elon Musk is able to do what he does. If you think about your body as hardware then your consciousness, your thoughts, your feelings are your software. And it’s what the last chapter is all about. I don’t have the time to go into much detail, but you can read the whole chapter here.

For me personally, it’s like I’ve found the next puzzle piece for conquering my fears:

Humans are programmed to take fear very seriously, and evolution didn’t find it efficient to have us assess and re-assess every fear inside of us. It went instead with the “better safe than sorry” philosophy—i.e. if there’s a chance that a certain fear might be based on real danger, file it away as a real fear, just in case, and even if you confirm later that a fear of yours has no basis, keep it with you, just in case. Better safe than sorry.

I’ve already been through epiphany #1 (I don’t know shit) and epiphany #2 (No one else knows shit either) but got stuck on epiphany #3 (You’re playing Grand Theft Life). It’s mostly my fears that hold me back and keep me from making progress. Everything else is ready to go. Damn, I can program almost anything but can’t sell it. Because somewhere deep down I’m afraid of what other people might think about me. Objectively does it matter? No. Most people will stop thinking about me the moment I leave their plain of sight or hang up the phone. Because unless I’m the source of their worries they don’t have the time to think about me. And I don’t intend to worry people, I intend to help them. But as described in the quote above, humans are programmed to take fear seriously, even if those fears are not rational. So, how can I solve this? Let’s use another quote to answer that question and close this thought:

The challenge with this last epiphany is to somehow figure out a way to lose respect for your own fear. That respect is in our wiring, and the only way to weaken it is by defying it and seeing, when nothing bad ends up happening, that most of the fear you’ve been feeling has just been a smoke and mirrors act. Doing something out of your comfort zone and having it turn out okay is an incredibly powerful experience, one that changes you—and each time you have that kind of experience, it chips away at your respect for your brain’s ingrained, irrational fears.

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It’s interesting for me how I can get caught up in certain moments in life and totally miss anything else. I don’t mean this in a positive way. I can recall two specific periods during the last 4 years where I was so deep submerged with solving a problem that, in retrospective, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed living. I stopped reading, I was absent at social interactions, I was anxious. All because I wanted to fix those problems and get them out of the way as soon as possible. I don’t talk about a week or two, I talk about being in this state for three months. And saying I want to fix something as soon as possible and spending three months on it doesn’t seem like a good idea when ignoring your health and all the other things that you normally would enjoy. Also I don’t think only spending time on that one problem wasn’t that effective. I remember sometimes sitting in front of the computer and thinking about how I could solve a certain problem without making any real progress. That whole pressure I put upon myself stunted me. It would have been more wise to define a certain time during the day to work on it. But of course, we are always wiser afterwards. Or are we? The reason why I write this down is because after reading the chapter “Alive time or dead time?” by Ryan Holiday’s new book Ego is the Enemy is that I realized those months I spent on solving those problems were mostly dead time. Life is too short to spent it ruthlessly. So this note should help me remind me of that.

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Feeling envy because other people do the same thing as you do but "better", because they have more subscribers/users/engagement, I would describe as a rational feeling.

Should you stop working on your thing because of this? Sure as hell no. Learn from them. In the end you may have a similar end goal but it's most certainly not identical because your entire background is different to that of other people which means you will arrive at different conclusions. What will be important for your thing and what the other person feels is important for their thing are most of the time apple and oranges. So don't feel discouraged. Actually feel good because now you have a new source of inspiration. Let them inspire you but don't just blindly copy them out of "envy rage".

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