Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle For Goals

Hi friends,

As we're all setting goals and trying to be productive in these times, a quick thought:

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

After thinking for a while, I found that the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle also applies to goals really well. For those who may not know, the principle states that the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured simultaneously. The moment you try to measure the position, the velocity changes, and vice versa.

The same concept applies to goals as well. It's impossible to simultaneously evaluate a goal and its alignment with a long-term objective. In these times, as we're all setting goals, we might want to think ahead and then backtrack. We might say, "I want to eventually succeed in X, and so I need to do Y now."

However, as I've written here and have talked about in my video (here), goals are useful in so far as they put you into the practice of pursuing those goals. The practice, then, becomes more important than the goal itself. The goal will most likely change. For example, today, I might want to do a 4-mile run. So, I will practice accordingly. However, once I'm in the practice of pursuing the "4-mile run" goal, I might decide to do a triathlon instead, thereby using my running athleticism, and not getting attached to the initial goal.

Similarly, I suggest there are better ways of using time than to fix our present goals in strict accordance with a distant future. Sure, a "future plan" is great, but it should only serve us directionally, not tangibly. For example, a reliable (and effective) long-term plan for me is to add value, not "be a content creator." The latter is too specific, boxed, and concrete whereas the former is just right because it is subtly abstract yet meaningful at the same time.

In essence, then:

  1. If you really have to set long-term goals or develop your short-term goals as a function of the long-term ones, set abstract and philosophical long-term goals, not concrete, tangible ones. The former will free you; the latter will trap you.
  2. For the short-term goals, once you begin pursuing them, forget about the goal... Just focus on the process. Let the goal evolve with time and the process.
  3. I suggest you could reach out to other friends and family members, asking them about their perspectives on goals, life, and stuff in general. Here's a little message I drafted if you'd like to use that.

Until next time,

Video of The Week

In this video, I talk about Chrome and system shortcuts that have helped me most in increasing my efficiency, workflow, and improving my productivity. :)

Podcast of the Week

I won't be revealing this week's episode, because Ali and I are working on a different format. We recorded many episodes today, but are thinking of spicing it up a little bit. I'll keep you posted about the next episode. (Think of it like an upcoming season.) 😊

In the meantime, listen to this podcast by The Art of Manliness that puts forward the case for being unproductive. (Take some time off.)

Blog of The Week

Check out RibbonFarm (https://www.ribbonfarm.com/), a fantastic blog with several in-depth contrarian views and magical frameworks for thinking.

See you next time :)