0305 – 2nd workout, reflecting on overthinking

I have a thought in my head, which is “I regret the amount of time I spent on Tumblr/Facebook.”

It’s an interesting thought. i usually am hesitant to use words like regret. I suppose having said it, i can sit with it and then turn it into something i accept.

Then i wonder, so what’s up with that? and I explore it.

There are a bunch of things i’ve read that have triggered a bunch of thoughts.

One was a phrase by Venkat in one of his essays, talking about how– the reason occupy wall st didn’t work out, ultimately, was because the protesters didn’t really have any cards to play, any real bargaining chips. I think that’s a powerful thing– that ultimately you always need power and leverage to do whatever you want to do.

Another was something in /r/marriedredpill, which talked about how… there’s your intellectual aspect, physical aspect, emotional aspect– and talking to people on the internet can only somewhat help you with the first, maybe the last. There will always be something you have to work on that nobody can quite help you with, and wanting to talk about it, oddly enough, ust distracts you from doing it.

And finally something I figured out on myself that was semi-counter-intuitive– which is the cost of having too much information and context. (well– paul graham wrote something that corresponds with that– which is that people who end up in charge of Facebook and Microsoft etc never set OUT to do those things– because those things are fucking crazy. instead they just solve little problems in front of their face, and it leads them there).

For me, I was playing around with what I know about product development, and how that model might correspond to personal development. I realize– in both cases, development requires a constant, endless stream of energy. and new energy only gets infused into the system when you have a win.

So whether you’re trying to become swole, write a novel or ask a girl out, or build a startup– in all cases, what you want is to get to your simplest win as quickly as possible. when you have to choose between more information and sooner action, you have to pick sooner action. the only information you really need is “what not to do because it will kill you / damage you horribly / have lasting negative effects”.

Because this win will give you the added energy you need to then begin your next round of research, your next attempt.

Otherwise you’re just going to sit there in your research stage, observation stage. witnessing the world, looking at it, thinking about it, thinking about your thoughts about it, reading more, learning more– but not acting, not doing

And the more information you have the more you know how things can go wrong. And the costlier action begins to take. And it’s also I guess self-serving– your “research department” will always demand more resources and time and energy to do more research, just as each department in a company is self-serving and will ask for more $$ to do more marketing, more HR, etc etc. The military will always ask for more $$ from the Government.


I realize I spent way too much time collecting data, processing data, and cycling that over and over again.

If you’re familiar with the OODA loop– observe, orient, decide, act – I would observe, observe, maybe orient, maybe sorta-decide, observe again, ad nauseum.

And at 24 going on 25 i realize this is not how i want to live my life. I wonder if i was thinking of everything up until now as a sort of preparatory phase. “I’m a boy, not a man.” I’m a student, not a practitioner. I don’t know what the precise transition point is (or if there is one at all) but i realize i’ve passed it at some point.

Adulthood is becoming your own parent, cleaning up after your own shit, setting your own boundaries, charting your own course, listening to yourself… and hopefully helping others do the same.

If I could go back in time, i would weed out so much bullshit. (I suppose the important lesson then is to ask– what is the bullshit that I’m practicing now, that I’ll wish I had weeded out?) A lot of all that talk was just trying to fill up time and space to avoid the difficult things.

I wish i worked out more, quit smoking earlier, reflected on my actions rather than my feelings and worldviews and philosophy and such.

To be kinder to myself i suppose i was a product of my circumstances up until then, to some degree. maybe. i never really, REALLY had anybody look me in the face and well and truly say “well, you’re in charge of your life now.” I don’t know. talking about it feels weird. I don’t want to bitch about it. everybody has their shitty starting conditions, and being born in singapore is already better than 99% of the world.


– collecting information/data (apart from basic principles about what direction to face and what to avoid) has very high opportunity cost and is self-serving, a kind of addiction no different from porn or cigarettes
– adulthood is self-parenting
– everyone should lift heavy ass weights


I think I left out some stuff about how I feel about social media. I have a lot of feels about those things… but it would just be whining, and at best it would be articulate whining that other whiners would relate to and celebrate me for. So weirdly, i’m starting to empathize with the position that some things are probably best left unsaid, even if you’re the only person (as far as you know) who can really say them.

To temporarily fall into a trap but to get out of it right away– I’m tired of everybody’s shit, but me saying that i’m tired of everybody’s shit is more irritating than their shit. i need to leave the village rather than try to argue with people. i suppose that realization is always a bit sad. because you grew up here. but the world is big, so go take a look (as that chinese teacher said).

I realize that I might write differently if I write for different audiences. Meaning, if I write a letter to a different person a day, I might end up phrasing things differently, maybe even think different thoughts. That’s quite a nice prospect. I think I’ll do that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *