Human foibles

Here I am advising people to jot down their learning progress and review their goals daily, yet I am not doing it myself. Short-term busywork hijacked my mind.

It seems to be part of the human condition that the short-term crowds out the long-term.

Yesterday and the day before I spent hours and hours editing the manuscript but couldn’t find ten or fifteen minutes to reflect on what I was doing. If I can’t do this, how can I expect other people to?

I wonder if there’s some sort of reward that can be attached to review. This is akin to AA. One day at a time. Perhaps a sponsor is more important than I’d realized. At least you’d feel obligated to that individual.

Also, what’s required is enough to get over the hump and make reflection a habit? I posed the question on the Aha! Community.

A couple of weeks ago, I was moved by this quote from Kio Stark: “Anyone who really wants to learn without school has to find other people to learn with and from. That’s the open secret of learning outside of school. It’s a social act. Learning is something we do together. Independent learners are interdependent learners.” Truth be told, I’m usually a loner.

8/21 I surmise that the problem is that System 1 wants immediate rewards and you don’t get a shot of dopamine for something five to ten years away.

Is the solution to make the rewards of doing something trivial like spending ten minutes a day assessing where you’ve come from and where you’re headed so immense that even the emotional brain can’t deny them. Enjoying the future?

Some people appear to be wired different. (I’m thinking of the marshmallow experiment. Children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores,[2] educational attainment,[3] body mass index (BMI),[4] and other life measures.

Wikipedia: A 2011 brain imaging study of a sample from the original Stanford participants when they reached mid-life showed key differences between those with high delay times and those with low delay times in two areas: the prefrontal cortex (more active in high delayers) and the ventral striatum (an area linked to addictions) when they were trying to control their responses to alluring temptations.

Meditation and yoga disrupt the pattern of doggedly going after short-term rewards and following rote practices. They take your mind away from it all but don’t necessarily bring you back to a rational space where you balance the future and present.

now_later2 nowthen

This is not a new issue for me. In fact, I think it is the issue.