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🤯Unknown Unknowns #110 - Interest
For a long time, I was scared to show what I was interested in. I just wanted to fit in, so I liked whatever my friends (or people I wanted to be friends with) liked.
Drinking is an example. I’ve never liked drinking, never liked the taste, never saw the point. But I would go out because that’s what my friends did, and I wanted to hang out with them.
Doing things you’re not interested in not only means that you’re not doing things that you’re interested in, but it also means that you’re not finding things that you’re interested in. You’re just reinforcing that you’re not interested in the things that you are doing.
Social pressure drives this. In my finance career, there was a huge amount of peer pressure. Golf, drinking, sports, and gambling were among the few hobbies that you can talk about freely. It’s like middle school - you can’t sit at the cool kids’ table if you have some weird hobbies.
But what is the point of life if you aren’t doing things that you’re interested in?
A couple of weeks ago, I talked about how Courageous Thinkers not only have Dynamic Agency, but they also know what they’re interested in. If you apply Dynamic Agency without knowing what you’re interested in, you’re going to fixate on a metric and maximize that metric. For example, if you want to “be healthier” without a reason for doing so, you’re going to fixate on weight or one rep maxes or another “measurable.” But if you are actually interested in being healthy, you’ll gravitate toward a “feeling.”
The trick is knowing when you’re actually interested in something. We can’t know what we’re interested in until we try something. But as I said before, social pressures can often get in the way of trying new things out.
I find that when I do find an interest, that interest starts taking over my life. I call it “making time” vs “killing time.” I make time for real interests - it becomes a priority and I schedule around it. But when I don’t have an interest, my day gets filled with activities that I don’t care about and I find myself “killing time” between them.
When I was working, I was constantly trying to find things to distract myself between times when I was at work. What should I do after work? What should I do this weekend?
More thoughts on finding interest in the Discoveries section.
1️⃣ An interesting essay from Ava.
Never take life advice from people who don’t know what they care about and don’t understand what makes them happy. These people have no agency. They have never in their life exercised their will to actually obtain something that gives them joy and pride. They’ve relentlessly exercised their will to obtain things that they like the idea of, that they think they “need.” They always think pleasure is a sin.
Our only conception of what a good life was was performative: if you’re beautiful and smart and lovable then someone really special (or some really wonderful institution!!) will approve of you.
The greatest barrier to finding your interests isf worrying about what other people think.
2️⃣ Through the internet, you can explore any interest.
3️⃣ Visa asks, “How do I figure out what I want?”
The pure question is, how are you feeling? Right? But everyone says that to everyone all the time? How are you feeling? How's it going?
Whatever. And we ask it with our heads, and we tend to answer it with our head.
Oh, yeah, I'm good. I'm fine.
But like, there is a felt sense in your body. Right? That is, desire comes from the heart. And it's below the conscious mind.
And yeah, so my question for for readers, for viewers or listeners, is take some time to really like, go on a slow walk with yourself, or like, sit with a journal, whatever. And very slowly ask yourself how you're feeling.
4️⃣ Inertia hurts you before you start and helps you when you’re moving.
Curiosity is kind of like that.
You just have to get started and it'll generate its own momentum eventually. Keep going until you get to that point, and then you probably won’t be able to stop even if you wanted to!
It’s a skill.
Over Time, you get better at learning new things, experimenting, keeping an open mind and not defaulting to “not for me” too quickly, at giving something new a real try (most people stop too quickly or pre-judge how much they like something based on not much — nobody would like coffee or beer if they only ever had one sip).
The implications of this are profound:
If true, it means that the hardest it’ll ever be is at the beginning.
It’s an encouraging thought! Get started now and get good at it so you can get to the more flow-y, more enjoyable part!
5️⃣ Sherry’s “Pleasure” sounds like my “killing time” and her “Enjoyment” sounds like my “making time.”
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Leaving you in peace,