This is a long read please bear with me.
I’m obsessed with decision-making processes. It’s probably half of what I post here and the reason I don’t get as many likes as the fucktards who post cute dogs and cats. In this post, I would like to discuss one of the most important applications of psychology to modern life
A recent finding that Far Transfer( basically trying to improve a skill by doing something unrelated ) is a myth has really had an impact on my worldview and I hope it changes yours after reading this.
Many people believe that playing chess, playing tough computer games or listening to classical music can improve their intelligence. This is what is considered far transfer since general intelligence spans over a wide area while chess is a simple strategy game
In simpler terms, I’m trying to convey that you cant get good at something you don’t practice. Practicing lots of chess will only make you good at chess. If you spend more time playing guitar you get good at that. It rarely if ever spills over to other areas of life.
As a broader application, this is the reason why performing well at school doesn’t make one perform excellently in one’s career. School and the real world are unrelated thus by practicing getting good at schooling you can be a top performing student but since you have no work experience you have to start over and learn how to get good at working.
WHAT ARE YOU COMPETING ON?
So then how do you apply this gem to your life, Seth Godin provides the most provocative answer to this by emphasizing on figuring out which is the activity for which you want to excel most at and directing as much of your waking time to its practice as seen below:
It’s pretty easy to figure out what you’re competing for—attention, a new gig, a promotion, a sale…
But what is your edge? In a hypercompetitive world, whatever you’re competing on is going to become your focus.
If you’re competing on price, you’ll spend most of your time counting pennies.
If you’re competing on noise, you’ll spend most of your time yelling, posting, updating, publishing and announcing.
If you’re competing on trust, you’ll spend most of your time keeping the promises that make you trustworthy.
If you’re competing on smarts, you’ll spend most of your time getting smarter.
If you’re competing on who you know, you’ll spend most of the time networking.
If you’re competing by having true fans, you’ll spend most of your time earning the trust and attention of those that care about your work.
If you’re competing on credentials, you’ll spend most of your time getting more accredited and certified.
If you’re competing on perfect, you’ll need to spend your time on picking nits.
If you’re competing by hustling, you’ll spend most of your time looking for shortcuts and cutting corners.
If you’re competing on getting picked, you’ll spend most of your day auditioning.
If you’re competing on being innovative, you’ll spend your time being curious and shipping things that might not work.
If you’re competing on generosity, you’ll look for ever more ways to be generous with your time, your insights and your work.
And if you’re competing on always-on responsiveness, you’ll spend your time glued to your work, responding just a second faster than the other guy.
In any competitive market, be prepared to invest your heart and soul and focus on the thing you compete on. Might as well choose something you can live with, a practice that allows you to thrive.