🐤 Coercion can’t make you think particular things

[🐤Twitter thread]

Coercion (anti-rational memes) works by setting up blocks that repel you from thinking certain things.

It doesn’t make you think particular things — only creativity can do that.

Creativity boosters (that should be used all the time but get forgotten):

Follow fun. Navigate by “towards”. Try things. Think what’d be awesome, not just ‘un-meh’.

Why does this fit with the critical, problem-solving approach?

If you’re feeling bad, the “towards” approach can unhook you from that block.

Meaning you’re free to use criticism productively/unpainfully. Because you’ve got places to go, instead of only things to avoid.

In science, we need a better rival theory in order to refute anything. If a theory seems faulty, we still have to stick with it until we’ve got something better.

Likewise with personal problems, it’s no use to just criticise and move away. You need something to go towards.

🐤 Discipline is fighting yourself

[🐤 Twitter thread]

‘Self discipline’ is a patch for being conflicted about what you want to do.

Often, productive people are interpreted as ‘having discipline’: able to force themselves to do the work even when it’s unpleasant.

But creative productivity only ever works in spite of that.

“Discipline is remembering what you want.”

When that works, it’s not ‘discipline’; it’s getting less conflicted.

The real answer to productivity and motivation is to resolve the conflicts you have.

Once unconflicted about what to do, even hard work is effortless, motivation-wise.

(And fun. #ReasonIsFun)

It becomes effortful to not do it. It pulls you in and demands you keep working.

Discipline is fighting yourself.

Wasted energy. Wasted creativity.

Put that instead into figuring out what you actually most want.

Solve problems in doing what you want with reason, not force.

It sounds cute and simplistic — like meaningless motivational self-help talk — but the world really does work this way.

Problems really are soluble. What’s stopping you really is conflicting ideas. Force is trying to reach answers/truth using brute authority instead of reason.

“I’ve tried everything! Self-discipline, Beeminder, social media time-outs, Tony Robbins, waking at 5am… Nothing seems to work!”

Cool, have you tried reason?