A Mental Trick to Make Any Task Less Intimidating

Publish Date : 2021-02-28


A Mental Trick to Make Any Task Less Intimidating

A few years ago, one of my children became obsessed with roller coasters. He watched video after video to study them from afar. He designed his own in computer games. There was just one problem: He was terrified of actually riding one.

Eventually, he identified the “Sooper Dooper Looper” at Hersheypark as a potential option: It wasn’t too tall or too fast, and had only one inversion. But when we actually went to the park, he started to lose his nerve. I knew he would regret it if he didn’t ride the roller coaster after all that, so I reminded him that in two minutes, the ride would be over. Even if he hated it, it was only two minutes (1:45, to be exact). I told him to picture himself on the other side of those two minutes.

This suggests the wisdom of really picturing ourselves on the other side of any hard choice. For instance, you might remember that in the past, you’ve always felt exhilarated after an invigorating sunrise run. Presumably “Future You” will feel the same way. Picture yourself on the other side of the unpleasantly cold moment when you actually have to swing your legs out of bed and put your feet on the floor. Instead, focus on coming home, rosy-cheeked and on a runner’s high.

This is really discipline in a nutshell. By picturing ourselves on the other side, we don’t have to choose what is immediately easy.

Get disciplined about happiness
Of course, it’s not just about discipline and choosing what’s good for us. Picturing ourselves on the other side can actually lead to a lot more happiness. That’s because the “self” is really multiple selves. The psychology researcher Daniel Kahneman offers a helpful rubric: There’s an “experiencing self” (what you are doing and feeling right now) and a “remembering self” (where you mentally spend a lot of your time — thinking about memories and what you’ve done in the past). I often think about my anticipating self, too — the part that’s dreaming and wondering about the future.

Your anticipating and remembering selves want you to do all kinds of wonderful things. Your anticipating self would like to take a spin on that outdoor ice rink downtown that everyone’s talking about. Your remembering self will have fond memories of those twinkling lights, the gleaming ice, and the amazing hot chocolate you sipped afterwards. Unfortunately, your experiencing self is the one who actually has to get off the couch, bundle up, and drive downtown in the cold. She resents this division of labor, and so she suggests you skip it and do what’s easiest in the moment: stay home and watch TV. Which is fun, but probably not as fun and memorable as the ice rink.

The only solution to this constant happiness dilemma is to picture yourself on the other side. If you’re excited about doing something, most likely you’ll be happy to have done it. You just have to go through a short time of something challenging to emerge to this happy state.

I’m certainly trying to remind myself of this as I embark on several big projects. I’m writing a book that involves a long and complicated time diary study, and that often feels hard and intimidating. But I’ve written other books. I know that eventually I will hold this book in my hand. My family is undertaking a big and complicated house renovation. But eventually we will move into our lovely new home. I can picture us on the other side, and it helps me to hold steady through the mess.

 

https://jobs.communitycare.co.uk/previewjob/1401688937/call-of-duty-mobile-cp-hack/
https://jobs.communitycare.co.uk/previewjob/1401688938/free-clash-of-clans-cems-generator/
https://jobs.communitycare.co.uk/previewjob/1401688939/netflix-free-premium-accounts-generator/
https://jobs.communitycare.co.uk/previewjob/1401688940/free-xbox-codes-generator/
https://jobs.communitycare.co.uk/previewjob/1401688941/free-brawl-stars-gems-generator/



Category :art-culture

Huygens, senior and junior

Huygens, senior and junior

- Huygens, senior and junior. How a father’s mere curiosity about nature evolved during the Dutch Golden Age into the son’s focused scientific enquiry


怪物猎人|Monster Hunter|电影版『TW電影』2020

怪物猎人|Monster Hunter|电影版『TW電影』2020

- https://zenodo.org/communities/ngiringanwiosmeureunya/


Are we delivering her a f in capacity or in exertions?q

Are we delivering her a f in capacity or in exertions?q

- Are we delivering her a f in capacity or in exertions?


Smitten or bitten? Some adore Uruguays Luis Suarez, others cry foul

Smitten or bitten? Some adore Uruguays Luis Suarez, others cry foul

- Luis Suarez has made his mark in football, as one of the most feared strikers in the game.<br><br>In