Tag Archives: Progress

Progressing through internal peace and external disruption

Progress is a repeated cycle between two actions, one internal and one external.

The internal action consists of developing a thought about the way the world works. For example, this can consist of engaging with a person who you believe will make you happier, developing a habit which you believe will make you more successful, or building a product feature which you believe will increase user engagement.

What follows is the external response to your internal action. You see whether the person does indeed make you happy, whether you can stick to the attempted habit and whether it increases your success, and whether the new product feature increases user engagememt.

While the internal action is peaceful because everything makes sense in your mind, the external response is often disruptive as you discover that things aren’t exactly as your mind imagined they would be.

You then internally revise the way you believe the world works before putting it to a new external test.

Progress comes from realizing that a disruptive external response is just part of the cycle. When you see things this way, you’re able to repeat the cycle without giving up, at a fast pace, simultaneously across multiple domains. The end result is that your thoughts about the way the world works become more realistic each day.

Fully articulating your thoughts

When you’re thinking, you internally articulate some of your thoughts in full while leaving others unfinished.

The ones that you articulate in full, you learn from and use to guide your actions. You should therefore fully articulate as many of your important thoughts as you can.

However, leaving a thought unfinished isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can anticipate the conclusion of some thoughts without having to fully articulate them, and others just aren’t important enough to warrant full articulation.

The danger lies in those thoughts that you leave unfinished despite knowing that they’re important, and despite not knowing their conclusion. When you do this, it’s often because you’re trying to ignore the reality that you anticipate a fully articulated thought will show you in order to protect yourself from short term pain.

But it’s exactly those thoughts which, if you force yourself to fully articulate them, enable you to achieve the greatest progress after fighting through the pain.