The Gold Medal Fallacy, 9 Habits of the Curious, & More

The Gold Medal Fallacy, Why Time Flies, & More

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Here are 5 interesting ideas to spark your curiosity heading into the weekend.

Today at a Glance:

  • Question: Hack your discipline muscle.
  • Quote: The power of control.
  • Framework: The Gold Medal Fallacy.
  • Visualization: Why time flies.
  • Article: 9 habits of the curious mind.

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Question to hack your way to discipline:

How can I bring the after into the before?

Self-improvement is the natural byproduct of consistently taking actions that feel bad now, but good later.

  • Doing that hard workout
  • Eating that healthy meal
  • Having that hard conversation
  • Doing that focused work
  • Waking up on time

All of these things are painful before you start (and during), but feel great after you finish.

The most disciplined people in the world are exceptional mental time travelers—they pull that winning feeling from after into the before as a means to hack the process to get started.

When you find yourself slipping—when the mental gymnastics start and you tell yourself you don't need to do that thing—remind yourself how good it will feel after you finish.

Normalize bringing the after into the before and you will change your life.

Quote on the power of control:

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." - Khalil Gibran

Much is out of your control, but your reaction is always within it.

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A framework on a dangerous mirage:

The Gold Medal Fallacy

I recently re-watched one of my favorite movies from childhood, Cool Runnings.

It's a great movie, but there is one scene in particular that I couldn't get off my mind.

In it, the coach, played by the late John Candy, is talking to one of the stars of the team about the motivation for victory and the desire for more.

The two have an incredible interaction:

Coach: You see, Derice, I've made winning my whole life. And when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what, you understand that?
Derice: No, I don't understand, Coach. You had two gold medals, you had it all.
Coach: Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
Derice: Hey Coach, how will I know if I'm enough?
Coach: When you cross that finish line, you'll know.

This interaction uncovers one of the most significant lies we tell ourselves:

"If I get [X], then I'll be happy."

It's easy to convince yourself that your happiness is contingent upon some external milestone:

  • Money
  • Promotion
  • Fancy stuff
  • Recognition

But these "if, then" traps are a dangerous mirage:

You climb to the top of that mountain, only to see the happiness you thought you'd find melt away and reappear in the distance.

If you convince yourself that your satisfaction is contingent upon the next achievement or milestone, you'll never find it.

Real satisfaction and happiness is an inside job: Find it on the journey—or you won't find it at all.

Remember: If you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it...

Powerful visualizations on time:

​Why Time Flies​

This is a really cool series of visualizations on time.

It taps into our perception of time and how it changes as we grow older. Maximize the screen, scroll down, and experience the full effects of the words on the screen.

Very cool, very impactful.

Article to engage your curious mind:

​9 Habits of the Curious Mind​

Lovely short read from my friend Anne-Laure Le Cunff, who is a brilliant writer and thinker.

I write a newsletter called The Curiosity Chronicle, so perhaps it's not surprising that this article caught my attention.

"Listening with compassion" was my favorite habit on the list. I've never thought of "compassion" associated with listening, but it's so accurate. My most curious friends definitely have this habit in spades.

Stay curious, friends!

In Case You Missed It:

I made a video breaking down my best pieces of career advice (the things I wish I knew when I was just starting out). You can watch and subscribe here.

In Wednesday's issue, I shared a three-step approach to avoid the dark side of compounding.

The three steps are as follows:

  1. Create Space: Pause, breathe, gather. The worst decisions are made when you are rushing after a mistake or failure. Stop yourself before moving forward.
  2. Evaluate the New Situation: Gather new data and orient yourself around the new situation and decision.
  3. Execute: Once you've evaluated the situation and data, you have to move.

Follow those three steps and you'll find a way to win.

Sahil's Recommendation Zone

Perfect your morning routine with my partner Athletic Greens:

I get asked about my morning routine all the time. It changes from time to time, but AG1 has been the one constant since 2011. I drink it with a big glass of water every single morning to start my day on a positive tone.

It replaced an entire cabinet of supplements for me in one daily scoop—seriously, its latest iteration covers a multivitamin, multi-mineral, prebiotics, probiotics, adaptogens, greens, and more. It keeps me feeling healthy and strong throughout the year, even when I'm traveling (thanks to the travel packs).

Athletic Greens is offering Curiosity Chronicle subscribers an exclusive deal: a free 1-year supply of liquid vitamin D plus 5 travel packs with your subscription purchase. Take advantage of it!

Sahil Bloom
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