Let’s look back:
In 2018, I wanted to feel more “in the middle,” “joyous from nostalgia,” and “useful more consistently.”
In 2019, I wanted to “just do it.”
In 2020, I wanted to “be in the moment more.”
And in 2021, I said I wanted to feel “I am being responsible.” Specifically, I said,
- I need to try to bridge
- I need to get better at being kind
- I need to imagine myself role modelling “being content,” which means I need to work on genuinely enjoy life more consistently. I need to be the one “enjoying the sandwich” more often, under a variety of circumstances.
I failed to achieve my goal in 2021. I cannot recall a single moment where I intentionally evaluated my actions through the lens of “being responsible.” Murky and vague, 2021 ended up feeling mindless and transitional.
I ought to do better in 2022 and I have been exploring ways to be more mindful of my goal. I have decided to try and hack the “frequency illusion” to achieve my goal in 2022.
Frequency illusion is “a cognitive bias in which, after noticing something for the first time, there is a tendency to notice it more often, leading someone to believe that it has a high frequency of occurrence.” It’s the illusion where we begin to notice people wearing the same pair of shoes we have been thinking of buying, or all of a sudden the model of a car we have just bought seems to be everywhere.
So how do I want to feel in 2022? I want to feel I am more connected to others. I want to feel that I am part of something bigger than myself. Since I prefer introversion, this goal should be a useful balance.
More specifically, here are some of the questions I am asking myself:
- Which friends and family members will I reconnect with?
- What groups should I join and or form?
- How am I contributing to the groups?
- Whenever I want to retreat, what are my counters?
I am going to use “small groups” to trigger the frequency illusion. I am going to look for anything related to “small groups.” Whenever I notice “small groups,” I will remember my 2022 goal- “Feel more connected to others.”
This hack is already working. I was listening to an interview of Tyler Cowen and he advised that one should find small groups of people that shared broadly similar interests, with different points of view, and talk about things they cared about, and to solve some problems. Similarly, I paid more attention to the two casual coaching groups I was invited to join. And I felt strongly when my wife said “it feels good to be working with like minded people.”
I also need to remind myself to persevere and maintain these small groups.
I need to remind myself that there will be drama in all relationships.
I need to remember that it takes effort to nurture and evolve communities.
I need to remember that embracing conflicts is part of being better at connecting, that I am honing interpersonal skills by enduring relationships.
Alright, I am pretty happy about this goal. I am going to feel more connected to others.