Some Meta Advice That Might Work For Some People
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Post ported from nicholaskross.com
Many of us know plenty of good rationalist advice. Think longer before making decisions, look carefully for direct evidence, look to the research when it comes to seemingly-obvious high-stakes choices.
Today, I will share a piece of advice that, if I followed it religiously, would have probably made me much more productive years ago.
However, to avoid other-optimizing, I will say this meta-advice requires 3 key things to all be true at the same time:
And most importantly…
In other words, if you get advice that applies to you, makes sense, and sounds difficult for you, go in. This advice is basically an idiot-proofed extension of the advice to “go outside your comfort zone” and “if it’s painful, it might be good for you”. You don’t get to weasel out of denying evidence or your own logical abilities, just to make advice simpler to remember.
But if you’re avoiding doing something with clear benefits, solely because of some akrasia lurking in your brain… do it.