More information can do more harm than good
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I thought I try a new podcast and came across this episode which was about setting and achieving goals. In the episode, Huang (an associate professor in motivation) mentions how competition can motivate or de-motivate us. She explicitly mentions the impact of finding information about your competitors.
In anything we embark on, we have the choice to see what others are up to. For example, as an artist, you can find out what other artists are producing with a quick Google search.
As Huang goes on to explain, this information is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you could be really motivated because you're inspired by the other artists. On the other hand, you could give up because you think that you will reach the same quality as the other artists.
The explanation for this is when you can envision yourself achieving a similar quality as your competition, you are likely to get inspired. However, if you're just starting out and can't yet see yourself achieving that level, you may feel overwhelmed and be more likely to give up.
I found this quite compelling because it relates to my online writing journey. Especially since I've just started, it can be really demotivating to see other bloggers out there doing really well and creating great content, because it feels like I'll never get there.
Huang then proposes a solution to this: that it's sometimes better to restrict any external information that might demotivate you and start exploring again once you feel confident in your own work. I found this to be a revelation. It's so simple, and it seems like common sense. If external information is demotivating you, why not just stop looking for that information?
However, as straightforward as this solution is, it isn't always possible to avoid information that may demotivate you. Especially in the current era of personal ads, social media, and the internet in general, it can be difficult to escape the constant stream of information. Moreover, it can be tempting to keep up with what others are doing, even if it does more harm than good.
What I now do is avoid any external information for the first half of the day, to not let it interfere with my own work. I close myself to any new information to do my work and then open myself back up when the work is done.
This episode has taught me to be more intentional with the information I consume and that more information isn't always better. This has certainly helped me focus on my own work and not get distracted or stressed out by the work of others. I hope it helps you out too.
Have a great weekend.
I'll see you in the next one.
Huberman and Andy Galpin Notes
I finally got some time to take down all my notes from the 6-part interview with Andrew Huberman and Andy Galpin. It has really helped me better understand fitness and I hope my notes will help you out too.
Check it out here
A guide to setting up your own online writing website
I have also written an article that walks you through the 3 levels of effort it takes to create a website for online writing.