🤯Unknown Unknowns #56 - Challenge Accepted
2 min read

🤯Unknown Unknowns #56 - Challenge Accepted

Even though I've been climbing for eight years, I still have a fear of heights.  My gym has 30 foot wall and a 45 foot and I usually stay on the 30 foot wall because of the fear.  Lately, I've been pushing myself and doing a couple climbs on the tall wall.  Acclimating does work!  But it's hard.  Is there a better way?  Or was there a deeper lesson?



The first discovery is a series of mini-essays by Mike Elias.

2,000 ways your brain is phoning it in
Pain creates preference
The desire to not understand
Pain makes us stupid
Pumping Iron, epistemically speaking

When you're learning, there's a battle in your subconscious between holding onto your beliefs and having an open mind.  According to Mike, you must be more interested in finding truth than avoiding the pain of changing your preference.

I think there's a few lessons.  The first is the idea of subsuming your ego in order to learn.  Putting truth seeking ahead of your own preferences.

I think another lesson is having a goal can allow you to sidestep obstacles.   Seeking truth allows Mike to avoid the pain of changing his preferences.  Going back to the climbing example, maybe I wasn't acclimating to my fear of heights, but the challenge of reaching the top made me temporarily forget my fear.  By focusing on overcoming challenges, maybe we can evade all the mental blocks we put in our way.

Finally, maybe this is a method to confront uncertainty.  Instead of going over every scenario and detail, view life as confronting challenges.  I've always found it easier to do physical things than mental things.  I've also noticed that I look at physical tasks as challenges, things that I'm overcoming.  Mental tasks don't have the same mentality.  They feel more like things to do rather than things to overcome.  Maybe if I reframe them to challenges, it will be easier to accomplish.


Why isn't confronting uncertainty taught in schools?  Problems have closed solutions, there's never a spiral of recursive fractal consequences that occur like in real life.

Obviously, it's hard, requires really good teachers, and most people don't have this skill already.

But at least we've identified a skill that's important to dealing with uncertainty: Reacting to moving targets that change as you act.  We just have to figure out how to learn it.

Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

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Leaving you in peace,