Note: In this post I try and do more of my own thinking/analysis and less repetition than in earlier posts.
Part 5 of Video (continued from last post)
If you’re stuck between two ideas, neither has an immediate solution. So you should come up with a reasonable idea about what to do in this situation, like putting off the decision while thinking it over more.
Pressure Changes the Context
Ssituations where you are e.g. running out of time are a difference context than where you have plenty of time. You may need to restate the problem. When you do this, solutions you may have had objections to earlier may work. This applies not just to time pressure but other sorts of pressure like having little money.
J’s Comment: yeah.
I think that often people’s analysis of situations and the level of pressure they are under can be a bit “sticky.” Say they have a general policy that they use to decide certain things that works well most of the time. Some people don’t want to actively reconsider their policy in some situation. They don’t want to think about whether their general policy applies reasonably in the particular situation they’re dealing with. So they’ll suffer some unnecessary hassle and expense, or even serious danger, in order to comply with their typical policy.
One example might be having a typical policy that you try and ride out storms cuz you wanna be on-hand to deal with minor house damage issues, and to fend off any looters. But now there’s gonna be a Category 5 Hurricane and your house has a good chance of being washed away according to the latest weather reports. For some people, imminent house destruction would be a kind of pressure that would rule out a bunch of solutions that involve staying in the house. But people can be really dumb about analyzing what to do in this kind of situation. You see the really dumb people on the news sometimes.
So people will ignore certain things which should objectively be treated as pressures in order to not have to reanalyze their actions.
They will also create pressures on themselves (that don’t exist in reality) in order to “trick” themselves into making certain decisions. Like not wanting to go home and think about whether to participate in some shady money-making scheme, because they’re afraid they will come up with a criticism of the scheme if they think about it.
Harder is easier
Elliot says you want to choose less ambitious goals in harder situations. But don’t be unambitious generally. Choose the most ambitious goals you can achieve.
J’s Comment: certain projects can have a range of outcomes that are productive. So you could try and go for a more ambitious outcome within that range, but have “fallback” outcomes you’d be okay with. The fallback outcomes can help keep your motivation up in the face of setbacks.
Like if you start writing what you intend to be a long essay, but you realize you don’t have as many interesting thoughts as you thought you did initially, you can turn it into a blog post or list post. Np! Maybe you can build on it later too.
Something I’ve been doing as a minor hobby is time-lapse photography. Time-lapse photography can be FUSSY. There’s so many things that can go wrong, and not all of it is even under your control. But a bunch is. I’ve had one of my attempts not go great, but then I say “okay fine, this isn’t working well.” And so I just try and take some nice pictures instead. This way, I get something worthwhile that I’m happy with, instead of just getting demoralized. And then I try and ensure the same problem doesn’t happen again next time.
For the interested, here’s a time-lapse checklist I have developed. It doesn’t have literally every step, but is more focused on things that can go wrong. It’s also customized to my set-up so it won’t apply to everyone:
J’s Timelapse checklist
- Set images to RAW, NOT RAW plus jpeg
- Manual camera mode
- Autofocus OFF (generally)
- Image stabilization OFF
- Remove any significant dust from lens
- If using filter: Remove any significant dust from filter, place on lens
- Consider stabilizing tripod with backpack (esp if windy)
- Ensure subject is in focus manually (VERY IMPORTANT STEP, DO NOT SKIP!!!)
- Set a reasonably wide aperture to avoid issues with dust specks (but keep in mind depth of field considerations)
- Set time-lapse parameters. Allow the parameters to adjust enough to handle the light changes expected in the scene.
Elliot says if you have multiple yes ideas, and none guide you in deciding what to do and refuting the others, none are good enough for acting in this situation. So boom they’re all refuted! Now brainstorm!
There’s Always a Way to Make Progress
If you’re stuck with multiple ideas, none of them are good enough.
So you can:
1) keep trying to come up with a good idea (instead of declaring one supported)
2) reconsider your goals (maybe you just need more time to make a final decision)
3) try solving a less ambitious problem. “How do I solve X given that I’m willing to allow Y minor inconvenience to happen”
Choosing whether to buy a new iPhone
- (Trying to come up with a good idea) Think carefully about the use case. Get advice from friends.
- (Temporary solution) It won’t come out for a while. So I don’t need to decide now. Maybe if I wait a bit, then the rumors about the 2018 iPhones will give helpful information.
- (Solve a less ambitious problem) Maybe I could just try deciding whether I want to try it for the two week period it’s return-eligible instead of making the final purchasing decision upfront.
Elliot says never act on a criticized idea. A criticism means the idea doesn’t work.
Note: These are comments on the longest/”main” video in the Yes/No educational product, and specifically on the content starting at the 90 min mark and continuing until around the end of part 5 at the 112 minute mark. This is a selective summary/discussion of items and will omit many points and details, which you will have to pay for the whole product to get!