The Best Way to Do Anything

7:37:00 AM

I'm reading Ray Dalio's Principles and he points out that by forcing himself to write and share his decision-making processes, it helped him get better at articulating his thoughts. He also discusses the role of tracking both the drivers (as well as the outcomes) of your decision-making. I'm taking a stab at that each morning, no caveats. Some of that will be published. Some won't. This morning, I'm sharing my rules for action as well as blindspots. 
 1. The best way to do anything is to do it: Tom Bilyeu (whose work I highly recommend), suggests that the best way to learn something is to do it. Acting is the greatest teacher. You'll either learn or grow. 

 2. Optimise for the result, not for your method: Caring more about the answer, and only the answer, makes me open to other ways of thinking about how to solve an issue. It also makes me more open to exposing my ideas to other for thoughts, feedback and challenge. The most important thing is the answer, not my answer. 

 3. As much as possible, place a heavy penalty on emotions: I think of a penalty like a heavy tax. I can be upset about a situation, but it is only going to affect .10% of my decision. The other .90% has to be based on sound logic and excellent feedback. Emotions will and can ruin your decision making. Emotions, of course, are an inherent part of life, but learning observe, feel and then place a penalty on my emotions when it comes to making decisions helps me move forward at the right times. 

 4. I can't remember who to attribute this to, but someone once said, the fastest way to learn anything is to find a coach. If you have internet access, if you know how to read books, watch Youtube videos, or access podcasts and audio books--you'll realise there is a world of coaches out there. Nothing you do is being done for the first time. Learn from people who have gone ahead. That is wisdom. 

I'm conscious about giving advice without pointing to how I've used/ failed to use it. In the spirit of transparency, I think a few blindspots personally are: 
1. Getting good feedback: It matters who you go to for feedback, because their advice carries a higher decision-making weight. Getting good at (a) asking for feedback and (b) asking the right people who are subject matter experts and (c) who have done what I'm trying to do is something I'm working on. I'm also working on understanding how people may react in different circumstances to build a fuller picture of their motivations which then helps me weight their advice appropriately. 

 2. Digging the well before I need it: Building relationships because I am genuinely excited about what that person has put out into the world, even if--especially if, there are no opportunities for me to benefit from that outside of purely learning. 

 3. Keeping a decision log: I recently experienced being in what I called 'a loop' Doing things that I had done before, which I knew would bring a certain set of results that I did not find useful. Like a neural net that's stuck in local maxima, I kept wondering how I managed to do the exact same things, end up in the same positions, when I knew there was a better outcome--and wondering why I hadn't noted down the lessons/ outcomes of what happened the first couple of times. So now, I'm trying to keep a decision log on important decisions/ tests. This practically means I can (if nothing else) avoid getting stuck in the same loop and learn when I'm unconsciously taking paths that lead right to that loop.

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