Bad day contingency Dojo

post by Elo · 2017-10-02T07:43:40.861Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · None comments


  {Timer 2 minutes}
  {bonus list of bad things} 
  {bonus list of good things} 
  {bonus ambiguous list} 
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Original post:

The following is an exercise I composed to be run at the Lesswrong Sydney dojos. It took an hour and a half but could probably be done faster with some adaptations that I have included in these instructions. In regards to what are the dojos?

I quote Eliezer in the preface of Rationality: From AI to Zombies when he says:

It was a mistake that I didn’t write my two years of blog posts with the intention of helping people do better in their everyday lives. I wrote it with the intention of helping people solve big, difficult, important problems, and I chose impressive-sounding, abstract problems as my examples. In retrospect, this was the second-largest mistake in my approach.
It ties in to the first-largest mistake in my writing, which was that I didn’t realise that the big problem in learning this valuable way of thinking was figuring out how to practice it, not knowing the theory. I didn’t realise that part was the priority; and regarding this I can only say “Oops” and “Duh.” Yes, sometimes those big issues really are big and really are important; but that doesn’t change the basic truth that to master skills you need to practice them and it’s harder to practice on things that are further away.

Lesswrong is a global movement of rationality. And with that in mind, the Dojos are our attempt in Sydney to be working on the actual practical stuff. Working on the personal problems and literal implementation of The plans after they undergo first contact with the enemy. You can join us through our meetup group, facebook group and as advertised on lesswrong.

Below is the instructions for the Dojo. I can't emphasise enough the process of actually doing and not just reading.

If you intend to participate, grab some paper or a blank document and stop for a few minutes to make the lists. Then check your answers against ours. If you don't do the exercise - don't fool yourself into thinking you have this skill under your belt. Just accept that you didn't really "learn" this one. you kinda said, "that's great I wish I could find the time to get healthy" Or "If only I was the type of person who did things.". If this is especially difficult for you, that's okay. It is difficult for all of us. I believe in you!

Good luck.

Everyone has bad days. Each of us will have various experiences dealing with different causes and/or diagnosing, solving and resolving the causes of "bad-days"

With that in mind I want to do a few sets of discussions on factors of a bad day.

Part 1: Set a timer for 3 minutes - Make a list of things bad for state of mind, or things you have noticed cause trouble for you. {as a group each person shares one} Review the hints list as a group:

at the bottom of the page:{our bonus list of bad things generated in the dojo}

{As a group - were there any big ones we missed and discussion about what we came up with}

Part 2: {set a timer 3 minutes} Come up with a list of things that are good for your mental state

{Group discussion - each share one}

{optional hints list} {feel free to go through it as a group or glance at it or skip it}

{bonus good stuff list at the bottom}

{as a group discussion - did we miss any big ones?}

Part 3: Possibly ambiguous factors

Now that we have a list of good and a list of bad, we should build a list of possibly ambiguous factors that you can look out for. For example the weather, allergies, unexpected events - i.e. a death or car accident. Set a timer 3 minutes - ambiguous factors {as a group - each name one}

{Any big ones we missed} (discussion)

{bonus ambiguous list at the bottom}

Part 4: The important parts

Now I want you to go through the list and come up with the top 5-10 (or as many as matters) most relevant ones. From here on in it's your list, no more sharing so it doesn't matter to anyone else what's on it.

{Timer 2 minutes}

Part 5: plan for where to keep the list so it's most accessible - so that on a bad day you can access the list and make use of it. Could be in an email draft, could be on your phone, could be a note somewhere at home or in a notebook.

Timer 2 minutes - come up with where you will be keeping the list that makes it most useful to you.

{discussions of plans - including double checking of each other's plans to make sure they seem like they are likely to work}

{assistance if anyone is stuck}

Some ideas:

{end of exercise and break time}

{bonus list of bad things}

{bonus list of good things}

{bonus ambiguous list}

Bonus notes [8/2/2019]:

For supercharging the exercise I would be spending 10-30 seconds on each thing, feeling what that state feels like and trying to notice any patterns of feelings and what causes them, then trying to figure out how I might implement trigger action plans around them

I'd also try to feel into the states of resolved and go between them (broken/solution/solved) and try to understand what it would feel like to cause that pattern, "when I feel bad, I do X and I feel better".

sounds obvious when phrased like that but the literal feeling-based experience that is done during the process is the tricky part.

This bonus exercise is modelled off therapy.

Meta: this took an hour to write up and a few hours to generate the exercise.

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