Trajectory

byelriggs1y2nd Jun 2018No comments

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Position:

What's your goal? What do you want? What do you want different in this world? What should be different in this world?

Where are you now?

Velocity:

Where are you headed? Where are your actions pointing towards? Which actions are pushing towards your goal? Which actions are pulling away?

What's your trajectory?

Acceleration:

What will it take to move faster? What are you doing right now to move faster, to be more, to take on more in order to get what you want sooner, or even to get it at all?

What bounds are you pushing? What limits are you neglecting to push?

Jerk:

How fast are you improving? How often do you up your game? Are you pursuing growth more and more? Are you embracing the growing pains that come with it?

Have you even considered this question at all?


Since starting my 80 day productivity sprint, I've put a lot of thought into my trajectory, my path my actions are pointing towards and how fast I'm headed there. If I was to condense the above poetic-text, I would say:

Position: Your goal and current state

Velocity: Speed towards goal

Acceleration: Speeding up

Jerk: Speeding up more often

On Velocity:

Trajectory is the combination of all relevant velocities. There are actions that add to your velocity and those that take away the opportunity to choose a positive velocity. For me, reading textbooks, work, and connections add to my current pace. Pica such as junk food, fiction, and social events take away time & energy that could be spent elsewhere.

A common heuristic I asking myself is, "Is this action helping my trajectory?"

On Acceleration:

Acceleration is upping my trajectory to achieve my goal sooner by pushing my bounds at a certain rate. In order to do that, I need to have a better understanding of my bounds, what it feels like to push those limits, and to actually do it without burning out. I'll separate those bounds into quantity and quality bounds.

Quantity:

How can I gain more time & energy? One already stated is getting rid of pica in my life. Another is changing my environment to be more conducive to deep work such as no people, phone notifications, or visible tabs on my browser. The last one is saving money that I can trade for time.

Quality:

How can I more effectively use my time & energy? To quote Raemon quoting Critch:

There are increasing returns to deep, uninterrupted work. A half hour here and there is qualitatively different from spending a four-hour block of time, which is qualitatively different from focusing on a problem for an entire week.
A technique I use is spend escalating chunks of time figuring out how to spend escalating chunks of time thinking.

I would like to emphasize two parts: large chunks of time & escalating chunks of time. Large chunks of time are indeed much more useful; however, if you escalate too quickly, your quality will drastically drop. In fact, my past failures occurred by going from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, burning out, and quitting. I would think "I could do this for 1 hr /day" and most certainly yes, I theoretically could, but I couldn't accelerate that fast in 1 day!

Knowing my bounds is essential to find the right rate of acceleration, and I discovered my bounds by actually trying and hitting them.

I'm still in the process of learning what it actually feels like to push my bounds in order to recognize it in the future and more accurately measure how often I'm pushing myself, but this is hitting on the next section's idea.

On Jerk:

Jerk is increasing how often I up my trajectory/ how often I push my limits. How often I push my limits can be as simple as planning it in more often; however, it's a different problem when I'm trying to increase how often I'm able to push my limits.

At the moment, I only have a vague idea on how to do this the right way. My initial, superficial description would be: build up knowledge of your human hardware & software by noticing your thoughts and automatic reactions when you're intending to push your limits. I feel like that's a more advanced use of the skill "focusing on sensory information", so I'm working on developing it by meditating.

By July 28th (The end of my 80 day sprint), I'll have a better idea of what I'm trying to say here.

Tags: self-reflection, poetic, instrumental rationality

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