What I do, why and how

What am I doing?

Everything I’m doing can be boiled down to “Help people live well by influencing them to do X”.

Let’s break this down.

People” refers to:

  • Me
  • People closest to me (friends and family)
  • Other not-close people that I can affect within my ability

Live well” means living in a way that aligns to their personal values.

Notice that I am choosing to “influence”, not control. This is mainly because a lot of things in life are not entirely within our control, but we can at least give them the biggest influence we can to nudge them towards the direction we want.

Do X” can be:

  • Laugh
  • Feel certain emotions (e.g. Joy, Gratitude, etc)
  • Connect with other people meaningfully
  • Clarify their values, goals, actions and obstacles
  • Develop helpful habits aligned to their values, and break habits that are not
  • Get physically and mentally stronger against obstacles
  • Achieve progress towards their goals

Why am I doing this?

  • It’s the best use of my time and energy – My time being alive and conscious is finite, so I might as well devote my energy towards trying to have a great time. Having a great time means living a life aligned to my personal values.
  • Makes sense to scale up positive energy – If I want to have a great life, it helps to be surrounded by people having great lives as well. It starts with me making sure I live (fairly) well, so that I can help others live well. When they live well, that positive energy comes back to me, which can also help me live well. It’s a win-win.

How am I doing this?

Here’s my strategy:

  1. Identify actions that appeal to me to take that can influence people to do X.
  2. Practice influencing people to do X with a mix of appealing actions and inevitably some unappealing actions.
  3. Learn from results.
  4. Get better at performing appealing actions, and managing/performing unappealing actions.

My appealing actions that I’ve discovered so far:

  • Design and deliver experiences through:
    • Tools
    • Storytelling / Improv / Comedy
    • Music
    • Parkour
  • Explore and acquire new skills that can help me design and deliver the above experiences better

My usual pitfalls

I want to actively manage these since they usually prevent me from living well:

  • Habit of self-imposed harsh standards – I can be irrationally too harsh on myself. So I’m trying to be kinder to myself and learn to celebrate small wins.
  • Fear of undesired outcome – I sometimes fear mistakes and failures. So I’m trying to embrace this feeling and force myself to turn them into precious learning opportunities.
  • Habit of feeling guilt towards being unproductive – I sometimes experience headache, or feel lethargic/unproductive, and feel guilty as a result. So I’m trying to optimise my habits and diet to reduce their occurrence, and when they do occur, reduce the effect of guilt on my actions.
  • Fear of being disliked – I sometimes prioritise being liked over committing to my stand. So I’m trying to assert my position and feelings more despite my fear of upsetting someone.

If you have ways to address these pitfalls that have worked for you, I would love to hear them.

My personal values

I want to be:

  • Useful to others
  • Playful and taking myself less seriously
  • Loving and caring towards myself and others
  • Authentic and assertive
  • Self-improving
  • Nurturing to my body
  • Open-minded
  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Generous
  • Appreciative

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