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Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Overcoming Self-Sabotage
By August Bradley • Issue #32 • View online

Hi Everyone. I’m working on moving this newsletter soon to a new platform that will better enable customization to your preferences and be more conducive to exploring ideas. When you see things looking different, don’t be alarmed! 😎
This will also solve many of the tech issues some readers have reported, including difficulty saving to Notion (sigh 😔).
Newsletter Name Change?
I’m also thinking about changing the title of the newsletter from “Mind & Machine Newsletter” to “Year Zero Newsletter”.
I had envisioned talking more about technological advancements, but when you really get into enhancing personal performance in life it’s not about apps, devices, and tech solutions. It’s about programming our minds, designing the systems, and shaping the patterns we live by.
Year Zero is about new beginnings and the endless possibility of what is before us. It’s always Year Zero, and it’s up to us to make the most out of the next stage of life.
What do you think, name change? I’m open to other ideas if you have suggestions. Just reply to this email.
Now let’s dive in!
Thoughts + Reflections
Overcoming Self-Destruction
Compulsive behaviors and recurring thought patterns rule our lives.
Our choices massively favor short-term comfort over long-term results.
This is the case for just about everyone. 
I’ve been exploring the work of Gabor Maté, an expert on addiction, trauma, and psychological development. He is one of the most consistently revealing thinkers on how we become who we are. If interested, a good place to start is this Tim Ferris interview.
At the core, he emphasizes that addictive behaviors are efforts to alleviate another state, typically one of emotional pain.
Dr. Maté says the question is not “why the addiction”, the question is “why the pain”.
This leads to a different approach, one that examines the whole life.
Most of us have some form of compulsive addictive behaviors — some worse than others, but all sabotaging long-term well-being for short-term comfort (Dr. Maté’s definition of addiction).
Even procrastination, while nowhere near the severity of addiction, follows this pattern. 
In my interview with Nir Eyal, he discussed how we procrastinate to avoid discomfort — not to do something appealing, but to not do something we perceive as uncomfortable.
The question is not “why the procrastination,” the question is “why the discomfort.”
Examine what you’re avoiding. Recognize the root. Ask “is it really that painful?” Often what we expect to be unpleasant does not turn out to be so in practice. Getting started reveals this and gets us past it — but only IF we get started.
If it is in fact painful on some level, can you identify other ways to reduce that discomfort? More constructive, less destructive approaches?
One of the cornerstones of habit change is that it’s more effective to replace a bad habit with another healthier action than it is to just stop doing it. We can also apply this to alleviating pain and discomfort. Ask what can be done routinely in response to the discomfort that does not have the detrimental effects of our previous reactive patterns. Program a better reactive action to the pain trigger.
Join me on Twitter @augustbradley
August Bradley
No matter how off track we go — food binge, angry over something trivial, wasted a few hours or weeks or months — we can always reset and restart right now.

There’s no reason the next hour or day or week can’t be among your most effective in years.
August Bradley
The start anew button is always right in front of you.

The shortcomings from your faulty past efforts do not limit the possibilities of the new start.

Change starts when you choose it.
Conversation Coming Up
Course Creators Q&A
Favorite Finds
…or below is the tweet thread version of the same article.
Julian Shapiro
Elon Musk is on record that he makes decisions using the same technique as Jeff Bezos.

I found YouTube videos of them explaining it.

A thread on thinking more clearly:
Sam Altman
"You get credit for moving towards the goal, not for getting ready to move towards the goal, and certainly not for getting ready to get ready to move towards the goal."
Our Online Community (Year Zero Collective)
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Thanks for Reading!
Thoughts and feedback on the newsletter or on anything covered within are always welcome, just hit reply. The thing I love most about writing this newsletter is follow-up interactions with readers.
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August Bradley

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