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Trajectory vs Position

One habit that I have found very disheartening is that of comparing myself to other people. I have a tendency to try to think of myself as being in the most favorable reference class* that makes any sense, and so then when I compare myself to other people, I naturally pick people from that reference class. Since I picked the nicest reference class in the first place, these comparisons usually don't work out well for me. I end up feeling depressed about my position in life, and it's very unproductive and unhelpful.

I have two strategies that I use to counteract this. The first is to try to think purely of myself in relation to myself, and not in relation to other people. Comparing myself to my past self is almost always a favorable one, and more helpful than favorable comparisons against other people, because it doesn't breed a superiority complex, and it demonstrates to myself that I can improve. So that's a better tactic.The other one that has helped me a great deal is thinking about myself in terms of trajectory instead of position. Focusing on position isn't actionable. It tells you that you're better than other people or positions you could be in, so you can rest on your laurels. It tells you that you're worse than different people, or alternate versions of yourself, but suggests no methods of improvement.

Thinking about your trajectory, on the other hand, changes all of that. If you're thinking about trajectory, you're not thinking about where you are currently, you're thinking about how your position is changing. So it doesn't matter if you're in a really bad situation, what matters is if your situation is improving or getting worse. And this lets you go meta, which is always a good thing: the second derivative, how how your situation is changing is changing.

This is really useful because, while the thing you actually care about is your position in life, you can't choose your position at any given moment. But you can, more or less, choose your trajectory. And your trajectory now determines your position later.

For instance, a few months ago I was in a really good position, but just sort of treading water. Not really improving or getting worse. Now I'm in a really similar position (that's what happens when you don't have a positive or negative trajectory, you're still in the same position later!), but I've started a new project (this blog), have two more projects that will be starting soon (National Novel Writing Month and a youtube channel), have made significant progress on two new games for my business, and am moving to Brooklyn in three weeks. My present situation hasn't changed much, but I'm setting myself up to have a lot more success in the future.

Stress, finance and achievement

On Ideas in the Making

When you start reaching outside of your comfort zone and start breaking through threshhold levels in your performance you are going to encounter stress. There is just no other way around.

Most people Live the same lives for almost there whole life and go through very little disruptive or deep change. If any change does happen it is mostly stair stepped into and they are given a lot of time to come to terms with their new reality and life. But sometimes, and arguably where the worse stress comes, is when massive change and massive responsibility is suddenly pushed unto someone.

I am not rich, I still have a long way to go, I wrote earlier about how I am already happy and love my life, but the only thing keeping me from being truly being free and doing whatever I want is money. Because of this I have decided to work hard everyday to achieve my dream of financial independence. But last year was such a rollercoaster ride that its hard to imagine what the future has in store. But this year I have set high goals for myself, and so far I am reaching most of them, although I still learning how to trade. I am done wasting time and the most time I waste is on socializing, which arguably is good for relaxation and such. I have quit video games, excessive redditing or facebooking, and all sorts of distraction. But at the same time taking this massive moves and aiming for the moon has had me undergoing stress, espcially easing into it.

A year ago I would have never expected to be were I am now, but massive action on my part has helped but in the time, energy and effort to achieve what I wanted, but unforunately there is still a long way to go, and I know the moves I am taking are bold. I've learned that the thing is once you start going for your dreams, espcially once progress starts to happen fast, its hard to deal with loss because everything seem fine and dandy. Your strategy and concept of reality have the catch up, and a lot of time if you wait for it to catch up, you will be missing out. This is where stress comes into consideration. It is important to focus on strategy and long term thinking. Follow principles and rules and stay disclipined and you can go a long way. But at the same time it is what makes fast progress so difficult: What rules should I follow? What frame work is right and which one is wrong? All these questions arise when one is in doubt.

Ultimately, a lot of this stress is eustress, is you challenging yourself to come up with answers and approaches that work. unfortunately sometimes, espcially when doubt comes over one, the stress can become bad and maddening and drive one of course. Thus I believe stress management and clear headedness, now that I have gone through the fog and decided my strategy and approach, are going to be essential to my long term success.

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