A Difficult Life Transition

I believe I am running up against all of the following interrelated problems right now.

1) Exploration vs. Exploitation – I am rapidly approaching (or have recently passed) some major pivot points in which it would be wise for me to cull exploration and massively exploit.  Primarily, it seems evident that I should un-diversify my habit portfolio: I should consolidate bodies of knowledge to study, such as programming, and cut out frivolous areas of inquiry, such as video game strategies.  I would maintain, though, that at a younger age studying video game strategies is an extremely effective use of time.

2) Levels of Action – I have naturally been attracted to higher levels of abstraction as opposed to Actually Doing Something.  For example, I have generally preferred math to physics to engineering, I have generally preferred life-planning to decade-planning to year-planning to week-planning, and I have generally preferred studying philosophy to rationality to habit-formation.  In a sentence, I’m studying theory of language instead of Django, which again makes a lot of sense earlier in life but is rapidly losing its effectiveness.

3) Habit Destruction vs Construction – I have always been proud of my excellent habit destruction techniques.  Some triumphs include the destruction of habits related to social awkwardness, poor nutrition, mind projection, fear of novelty, and cultural backwardness.  However I have not been nearly as successful in habit construction.  I am aware of excellent techniques for habit construction, and have a few successful cases (work habits, exercise habits, and empathy habits come to mind), but in general are in dire need of a whole slew of good habits.  I can easily decide on them, and fairly easily construct plans for hacking them into existence, but am not effective in executing on them.  When habit destruction was more important, I was excelling, and now that habit construction is more important, I’m struggling.

4) Freedom vs. Structure – This one is a simple result of having more freedom than I’ve ever had while needing more structure in my life than I’ve ever needed.

I think that in all these cases, I am realizing as I mature that balances are shifting and I am both slow to react and afraid to react.

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One Response to A Difficult Life Transition

  1. GS says:

    Brilliant analysis. Generally, I maintain that insight rarely leads to appropriate change. Every rule needs an exception. Good luck with the difficult transition. Don’t let one or two or three failures discourage you. Action, construction and structure are difficult to initiate and maintain but you will succeed. Exploitation and exploration must coexist, although I agree that emphasis needs regular rebalancing. Remain open to reevaluate what once seems to be the best course in your progress. Modify as you learn. Use your support systems. Many are eager to make your difficult life transition successful.

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