(2021-07-22) Shapiro Starting Principles How To Turn Great Advice Into Action

Julian Shapiro: Starting Principles: How to turn great advice into action. If I have a superpower, it’s that I now act on great advice. (See my application at bottom.)

Advice, on the other hand, is an instruction set for how to live. It’s complex knowledge—like the textbook lessons learned in school. To implement knowledge, you need to understand it, practice it, and sometimes memorize it. Or you fail your exam.

My solution is to treat advice like I can only remember a few pieces at a time. (focus)

The second cause of advice laziness is not knowing how to navigate advice overload. That’s what this post is about.

I call these my Starting Principles. They’re first principles for my mind—shortcodes for forcing myself to act thoughtfully in everyday situations (mantra?)

From experimenting with friends, we've discovered a limit to the number of principles we could easily memorize and recall throughout the day: six.

That left one more obstacle for acting on advice: building the self-control to pause when facing important decisions.

Write your starting six principles on a sticky note.
Look at them every morning for a month until they’re memorized.

List of principles

When advice is narrow, such as “Be nice to service people,” it’s more of best practice than a Starting Principle.

For example, the Starting Principle behind “Be nice to service people” could be "Start by assuming good intent."

How do you know when advice makes for a good principle? When it changes your behavior for the better. (self-improvement)

It must resonate emotionally and intellectually

When you add a new Starting Principle, you refine your identity.

therefore, they determine who you become.

The big question to ask yourself: Who do you want to become? (Hero's Journey)

we can influence who we become by being strategic about the experiences we pursue.

side-thought: maybe writing up each piece of advice as a Pattern makes it richer, convinces my Rebel nature

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