3 min read

life cues (life mottos) - July/August

i read an article describing how the author writes 3-6 life mottos on a sticky note and puts it on his monitor. he then does his best to practice them.

here are examples he provided (he calls them memorized rules):

  • You can be twice as rich by deciding you need half as much.
    —Sahil Lavingia
  • If you rethink this from scratch, what would this look like if it were easy?
    —Tim Ferriss
  • In a year from now, you will regret not having started today.
    —Karen Lamb
  • To suffer before it is necessary is to suffer more than is necessary.
  • Most hard work is a form of laziness. The real hard work is in finding a way to make it easy.
    —James Pierce
  • Does the amount of attention I’m giving this match its importance?
    —James Clear
  • Today instead of tomorrow. Moving fast compounds so much more than people realize.
    —Sam Altman
Memorized Rules: How to give your life direction
A framework for putting advice into action. Use your Memorized Rules to remember rules of thumb for better everyday decision-making.

the author also puts a big emphasis on trying to find good mottos from reading etc. it gamifies finding life advice to put on your sticky note.

now, i actually don't want to call these life mottos, but rather life cues. life mottos sound like they have to apply to your whole lifetime. life cues, are like form cues from lifting - there's lots of cues you want to keep in mind when lifting or living, but you can't learn them all at once - you practice them 1-2 at a time till they become muscle memory. then maybe you move onto a different cue.

i want to start using life cues, and start reflecting on how i'm doing with them on a monthly basis. i'm not sure if monthly is the right cadence for this, but i'll start with that to experiment and figure it out later.

life cues to practice until end of August

1. "embrace discomfort"

historically, i've focused on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain and negative emotions (especially anxiety). this made sense for me for a long time bc i've been prone to depressive thoughts etc.

but i've been in pretty good mental health for a while now, so i'm ready to try embracing discomfort more.

specifically, when i notice i have an unpleasant emotion, i'm actually not great at letting go, and then leaning into / doing the uncomfortable thing. sometimes i'll "let it go" but ultimately still just run away.

don't run away / do the comfortable do the hard thing and be OK with that.

2. "count your blessings"

gratitude. i haven't done a great job practicing it in the past tbh. but i want to try to focus on it now.

3. "you can't do or have it all"

this cue is for me to practice the Epicurean / Buddhist idea around not having too many desires. as Naval put it, desires are a contract to be unhappy until you get what you want. i don't want to open too many of those.

when i am triggered by something, to want something, i want to keep this in mind to see if i really want or need it.

also more generally, modern society presents so many desires to us and we just can't do it all. big theme in the book 4000 Weeks

note 1

my life cues aren't worded as well as the ones Julian Shapiro found but I don't think that matters. what matter is the content. i might clean up the wording later

note 2

i'm going to preface all my life cues with "Consider:". e.g. "Consider: Count your blessings."

this helps them sound less heavy handed, becoming these "shoulds" I must practice in my life

note 3

i need to find some sticky notes lol