I have a version of this post in my drafts, yesterday’s blog gave me a better example.
If you get my stuff via email then you may have noticed a type-o yesterday. I wrote I hadn’t been away from my house for a week since 2000.
I corrected the error on my site, after repeating it on Twitter.
Here’s the error…
In my head, “a couple years ago” is linked to the year 2000.
I have no idea why this linkage exists but it “feels like the truth”.
My wife has something similar. Often, she feels like she’s just finished high school.
We anchor on the salient, not the truth.
Anyhow, my point isn’t about the fleeting nature of time.
What’s more useful is catching myself when irrational opinions, and clearly false views, feel right.
I marvel at my capacity for self-deception!
It is unlikely I can eliminate my “false feelings” but I can build systems, and habits, so I don’t screw up my life by acting on them.
Write important stuff down is something I’ve been doing since 1990. The value of a “note to file” was drilled into me when I started working in Private Equity.
gMail archive, and searching What’s App, to uncover what was agreed… defuse many situations before they can spiral, and let me see the facts before getting emotionally engaged in arguing about truth.
Better to have my documentation-habit deemed strange than have to deal with unforced errors.
Know your path to ruin => this one is a bit more subtle.
When I’ve made large, unnecessary errors, I have followed a two step path…
- I am absolutely certain
- I am fed up and ready to do something extreme about it
Certainty, fed up, drastic measures being required… politicians love to tap into that pattern.
I have learned not to make ANY decisions when I’m feeling certain.
Stop all decisions, chill out and spend time on something else.
If I can’t trust my feelings to get the year right, then I’m really cautious when they’re telling me I should take rapid, drastic action.