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Doing What It Takes

Doing What It Takes
By August Bradley • Issue #13 • View online
In this Issue:
  • Thoughts + Reflections
  • Personal Performance
  • Human Knowledge
  • Our World Transforming

Hello Everyone, and a big welcome to the 1,327 new subscribers since our last issue two weeks ago! Lots going on this week, so let’s dive right in.
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Thoughts + Reflections
Doing What It Takes
“My father picked me up from school one day, and we played hooky and went to the beach. It was too cold to go in the water, so we sat on a blanket and ate pizza. When I got home, my sneakers were full of sand, and I dumped it on my bedroom floor. I didn’t know the difference. I was six. My mother screamed at me for the mess, but my father wasn’t mad. He said that billions of years ago, the world shifting and the oceans moving brought that sand to that spot on the beach, and then I took it away. “Every day,” he said, “we change the world,” which is a nice thought until I think about how many days and lifetimes I would need to bring a shoe full of sand home until there is no beach, until it made a difference to anyone. Every day, we change the world, but to change the world in a way that means anything, that takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s exhausting. We don’t all have the stomach for it.” –Elliot Alderson
When I first heard this passage on the show Mr. Robot, I stopped the stream and re-watched it.
My work involves systematically presenting how people can change the way they live. Change the way they work. Change their world.
The response has been overwhelming in the channels where I’m sharing and interacting directly. When I wander out into other related communities, particularly on Reddit, I sometimes encounter discussion on what we’re doing in our little corner of the Internet. The criticisms I find are variations of the same theme:
It’s too long.
It’s complex
It’s hard.
Yep. The video series is long (though I get more complaints about not going into enough detail). It’s complex to set up, particularly if you don’t know the underlying Notion platform and are learning both the software and the system. Though once in place, life with it is less complex, more focused, and better aligned.
But most of all, it is hard.
It’s hard to get the new methods started. It’s hard to stick with weekly and monthly reviews. It’s hard to do things that demand more from us. It’s hard to change to new approaches, away from the way we’ve always done things.
Yet these same people came to the site because they’re unhappy with some aspect of their lives. Their current approach is falling short in some way. It’s lacking to a sufficient degree that they’re not only searching for solutions online but also elaborating about it on Reddit.
None of them presented an alternate solution to direct others toward as a better option. This is not because there aren’t other good options, it’s because all the other comparable options are also long. And complex. And hard. 
Long because it takes time to explain something new in sufficient detail that it can be fully comprehended and implemented. This requires more than a tweetstorm, it requires nuance to understand how and why it functions. We’re shaping a system that will change a psychology designed to protect itself from change. We’re re-wiring our self-perceived identities (discussed further in the previous essay).
Complex because our lives encompass a massive range of activates and dynamic interactions. And further complicated because the vast scope of psychological tricks we use on ourselves require an equally vast range of guardrails and balancing properties to keep us on track. 
Hard because it just is. Changing your frameworks on the world is hard. Changing your behaviors and approaches to life is hard. Big change is hard.
Guilty as charged. 
To change in a way that means anything takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once. It’s slow. It’s methodical. It’s exhausting. We don’t all have the stomach for it.
But it’s doable. And worth it.
Join me on Twitter @augustbradley
August Bradley
If you focus on outcomes, you'll be measuring yourself by things you have no control over.

Outcomes are not a function of obsessive focus, you cannot will an outcome to happen.

Focus in the inputs you control. The process you oversee. (1/3)
August Bradley
Focus on the craft and the quality that goes into what you do.

Define success as showing up, giving it everything.

Then it's your choice whether you succeed or fail. (2/3)
August Bradley
And when you succeed on the level of the inputs you control....

Outcomes have a funny way of taking care of themselves and working out on their own. (3/3)
Recent Published Work
Production has been slower lately on the Notion System Design YouTube channel the past two weeks. I’m testing a new editor, if that works out we’ll soon be back to my target output rate. Two new updates to the Notion Life OS:
Notion Database Relations & Rollups + System Updates
Notion System Updates + Task-to-Content Coordinated Sync
Mind & Machine Podcast
The Mind & Machine Podcast/YouTube show is on a temporary pause while we ramp-up some new initiatives that will fuel and enhance M&M the show when it returns. You can catch up on past episodes here:
Access & Subscribe to MIND & MACHINE directly:
Personal Performance
Doomscrolling Is Slowly Eroding Your Mental Health
Human Knowledge
Copying Better: How To Acquire The Tacit Knowledge of Experts | Cedric Chin
Our World Transforming
The Internet of Beefs | Venkatesh Rao
How to Get Ahead in the Future: Generalists are gaining ground over Specialists
Discovered on Twitter
Shane Parrish
The easy choice in the moment almost always makes the future harder. The hard choice almost always makes the future easier.

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” — Jerzy Gregorek
Amir Salihefendić
“If you’ve told a child a thousand times, and the child still has not learned, then it is not the child who is the slow learner.”
— Walter B. Barbe (found in The Montessori Toddler)
Thanks for Reading!
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August Bradley

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