Tag Archive | Contrast(ing)

Beautiful Models: Meta-Decisions

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“I don’t masturbate, nor will I masturbate EVER again.”


“Because I CHOOSE not to.”

“Is the desire still there?”

“Yes, but much fainter, like a muffled sound in the background.”

“How did you do it?”

“The essential thing to realize is that the desire to masturbate is a HABIT.

Like those ‘hitchhiker weeds’, it stuck to you at some point along the way. And it is in your power to rid yourself of it.

With the right strategy, ANY habit can be undone.

The process starts with a singular decision. That’s what I call a meta-decision, a decision that eliminates a thousand other decisions.

A meta-decision is a profound CHOICE.

A meta-decision is a 100% COMMITMENT.

Not 99.99%.

100%. NOTHING less.”

“The difference doesn’t seem like much.”

“The difference, while apparently insignificant, is HUGE.

Whenever the desire arises is a decision-point.

With anything less than 100% commitment, the decision is between whether to give in to the impulse or not. Sometimes it’s easy, other times – especially when in an unresourceful state – it’s not, and it takes a lot of effort to talk yourself out of it.

It’s a struggle.

Successfully keeping the impulse in check may seem like a victory in the moment. But the impulse will appear again and again and again. This can be during the course of a single day. But day follows day, week follows week, month follows month, year follows year… it adds up.

A useful exercise to realize the sheer magnitude of it is to project it far into the future.

You have to realize at a visceral level that, over the years of your life, you’ll have to fight it a THOUSAND times again.

You’re undoubtedly familiar with chunking-down.”

“Breaking down a problem into smaller pieces to make it more manageable?”

“Yes. The exercise is an inversion of chunking-down. Focusing on the sheer size of the problem. We could call it chunking-up.

With a 100% commitment, on the other hand, whenever the desire arises, you simply and serenely say to yourself ‘I don’t masturbate‘… End of story.

It’s effortless.

You won’t get there instantly. You build up to it. But it starts with a DESIRE to get there, and a BELIEF that you CAN.


This is a mantra worth repeating a thousand times, until it sticks. Because when it does, it will stay with you FOREVER.

The masturbation habit will also stay with you forever, unless you do something about it.

Contrast these two against one another. Which one would you rather have?”

“Isn’t it restrictive framing?”

“It’s strategic framing.

The choice is symbolic.

One choice symbolizes the extraordinary life you know you want. 
One choice symbolizes the small life you’ve been living until now.

Make your pick.”

“Another meta-decision?”

“Good eye.”

On turning passive-knowledge into active-knowledge

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“How do you turn passive-knowledge into active-knowledge?”

“Let’s take Opportunity Cost as an example.

By understanding what the concept means, you turn it into passive-knowledge. You shelf it away, add it to your knowledge collection, rarely to be seen again, until you encounter it again.

One way to turn it into active-knowledge is by thinking about it. We could call this deliberate priming. You’ve thus made it more readily available. It’s like you temporarily shelf it on the front row where you can see it all the time.

For instance, it can serve as a reminder of the hidden cost behind EVERYTHING we do, most notably as relates to the most precious of resources: time [<link; short length].

Another way to turn it into active-knowledge is by turning it into a mental model, a tool. You’ve thus given it immediate practical application.

For instance, you can use it for evaluation, to determine the value of an activity.

Ask yourself always,

What is the opportunity cost?

To amplify the effect,
bring to mind the Macro level,
the finitude of life, that there is an end,
your Values and your Purpose,
and then bring to mind the deeply meaningful things you could be doing, or you could have done instead.

The more specific and vivid the better.

FEEL it.”

“So you’re contrasting it with the things that are most meaningful to you, on the background of the Macro level.”

“Yes. Contrasting is another mental model.

Combining mental models is an Art/Game [<link; short] in itself.”

Contrasting 3

There are two types of time: alive time and dead time. (Robert Greene)

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Use opportunity cost as a Tool.


“Make it a habit to always ask yourself:

Did I waste time?

If yes, think of the deeply meaningful things you could have done in that time frame. Those things that make you feel radiantly and vibrantly alive.

That’s the opportunity cost.

In practical terms, you can make a small selection of them, and recite them like a mantra. Choose only the most powerful, 80/20 style. By uttering them one after another, it will amplify their effect.

Feel those things that are most meaningful to you.
Feel the contrast between that deeply alive time and the dead time.

Then anchor this feeling to the wasteful activity.

Turn any and all wasteful activities into a reminder of what’s truly important.

Contrasting 2

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“Do you have something like a little mantra that connects you with the present moment?”

“I do. I say to myself:

I love you moment!

This is powerful because it also connects me with Love, which is my central value. And I make it even more powerful by saying it in Romanian, my native language:

Te iubesc clipa!

Then I bring to mind the thought of death, ‘Memento Mori‘, and say to myself:

I love you life! / Te iubesc viata!


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

This too shall pass.

“Must you spoil the moment?”

There’s no better way to appreciate the moment than on the backdrop of the impermanence of all things.”