The 1-1-1 Method, Forecasts for the Future, & More
Today at a Glance
- Quote: What do you grow in your field?
- Framework: The 1-1-1 Method.
- Tweet: The Misogi Challenge.
- Article: 9 forecasts for the future.
- Podcast: Suffering, longevity, and happiness.
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"Life is like an empty field. With intention it becomes a garden, without it weeds and debris will take over. Something will grow either way, but it’s your choice what takes root." - John Steinbeck
Intention creates reality.
What do you grow in your field?
The 1-1-1 Method
It is well understood that journaling is an extremely powerful tool for improving mental health. Unfortunately, journaling has been one of the positive habits that has managed to elude me for as long as I can remember.
For each of the last 5 years, I would create some elaborate plan for my journaling process in the year ahead. It usually involved buying fancy notebooks and pens, having impressive sounding prompts, and setting aside 30 minutes to be alone with my thoughts every single day.
On January 1, I'd hit the ground running with incredible vim and vigor.
I was a journaling machine...for about 10 days. Inevitably, by the second week of the month, my enthusiasm for the long, complex system I had created would wear off. I'd spend the rest of the year lamenting my lack of discipline and convincing myself that I would start back up soon.
The core issue: My aspirational self was way out of sync with my actual self.
My aspirational self has 30 minutes of silence in the evenings and the energy to sit down and write at length on a series of complex, interesting prompts.
My actual self does not.
Reflecting on this misalignment, I developed a dead simple solution: I call it the 1-1-1 Method.
Every single evening, at the end of your work day, open up your journal (or favorite digital tool/application) and write down three simple points:
- 1 win from the day
- 1 point of tension, anxiety, or stress
- 1 point of gratitude
The whole process takes about 5 minutes (though you can go longer if you're feeling inspired on anything in particular).
The 1-1-1 Method works because of its simplicity:
- 1 win allows you to appreciate your progress.
- 1 point of tension allows you to get the topic off your mind and onto the paper. It's therapeutic.
- 1 point of gratitude allows you to reflect on the most important things in your life.
With a simple structure and a low time burden, the 1-1-1 Method is an easy way to start building a journaling practice that will improve your mental health in 2023. I've been following this approach for many months now, and it has changed my life. I can finally say I've found something that works.
To add an additional layer of commitment to make it stick, create a group chat with a few others who want to make journaling a habit in 2023. The group chat is only used for sending a "Done" once you complete it in the evening. Use it to keep each other accountable and build the streak.
If you've ever struggled to build a journaling practice, I'd encourage you to try my 1-1-1 Method and let me know what you think!
Important Note: The 1-1-1 Method is not intended as a replacement or treatment for any serious mental health conditions. If you’re struggling, talk to a friend, family member, or mental health professional. Let’s all help lift others in 2023.
Good thread on an interesting Japanese ritual.
I've written about the importance of embracing friction in our lives. When we choose to do hard things, we are exerting a layer of control over our minds that bleeds into everything else we do. I'm a big believer that discipline spreads.
The central concept of the Misogi Challenge is to do one hard thing that makes everything that comes after it feel easier. This is one of the many reasons why I love my morning cold exposure routine—5 minutes of something very difficult that makes you feel like you can take on anything else the day throws at you.
The beauty of it is that we don't need to climb a mountain and stand under a frozen waterfall—or take a miserable cold shower—to get the benefit. You can do one hard thing in simple ways: By choosing to walk up the stairs rather than take the elevator, by choosing to walk to the store instead of drive, or by choosing to wake up 15 minutes earlier so you can get in a quick workout before the day begins.
The possibilities are endless. What will your simple Misogi Challenge be?
Scott Belsky is one of the deepest thinkers in the tech world and someone I'm lucky to call a dear friend (and intellectual sparring partner).
His forecasts for the future are fascinating. A few that stood out (with my thoughts in italics):
- Subscriptions to knowledge communities are the new books, as integrated tools emerge for “the platform-less creator” that allow content creators to own their audience. By subscribing to this newsletter, you are part of a de-facto "knowledge community" that I created. I think there will be a lot of power in creating actual community functionality, and this is something I want to prioritize in 2023. Being able to interact with my subscribers (and have them interact and learn from each other) in a more organic manner will be amazing. If/when I do launch a community, it will be free.
- A highly personalized, AI-powered medical assistant will complement (and eventually replace) our General Practitioner. This cannot come soon enough. We have so much data from our smart watches and health tracking devices, but our healthcare providers don't access or use any of it to improve care today. Huge opportunity brewing here!
- Hyper-personalized experiences disrupt traditional e-commerce and hospitality brands – and enable an immersive era that is tailored to you. Personalization is the future. If I can go to my favorite store, restaurant, or hotel and have an experience tailored to my preferences, I will go back there. This is going to be the key to retention and customer acquisition in the future. Very bullish on investing in this mega-trend.
The whole piece is worth a read, and Scott is worth following. He's going to do amazing things in the years to come.
The Drive: Chris Hemsworth on Limitless, Longevity, & Happiness
A surprisingly fun and engaging discussion on the importance of suffering to create durable happiness, among other things.
The most interesting tidbits for me:
- Chris swam in the Arctic Ocean and considers it the most painful thing he has ever done. He describes the happiness hormone kick after finishing as one of the most powerful of his life. Note: The science behind the dopamine release from cold exposure is well-documented.
- They discuss the APOE genotype, which is a genetic risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Chris has a rare combination that increases his risk of Alzheimer's to 8-10x the normal population. It was interesting to hear him comment on how this has motivated him to take steps to live meaningfully every single day since he doesn't feel his time is guaranteed.
- The discussion on the benefits of a sauna routine was awesome. There isn't robust scientific data yet, but the cardiovascular benefits of a regular sauna regimen (at high temperatures) appear very promising. This topic was also covered on a Huberman episode. I recently got a sauna and will share results as I experiment with it more regularly.
Great episode for you health nerds out there!
Listen to it here.