TGA Core Concepts- Brain Sludge And Self Respect

Jan 5, 2023 | The Vault

This training will be an extension of Recapture and Reallocate and will probably be the most esoteric of the core concepts. If you’re able to make it to the end, keep those loops open, and implement the two frameworks discussed could potentially help you to recapture emotion, motivation, time, bandwidth, confidence, and self respect.

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Table of Contents

    Volatility And Velocity

    If you’ve been following the syllabus you should have a base knowledge regarding volatility and velocity from Recapture And Reallocate, if not go back to that training first. Volatility and velocity is about mitigating peaks and valleys, specifically valleys. By reducing the valleys, this drives volatility down and velocity up, meaning you are more efficient with your resources and are getting closer to what truly matters to you in life.

    What nobody wants to talk about though is the emotional and cognitive peaks and valleys. If you want to know why no one is talking about this you’ll want to go back to TGA Foundations: Adaptive Dilemma (1-3).

    Emotional And Cognitive Peaks And Valleys

    It feels good to be at a peak but what doesn’t feel so good is the valley that comes after it. Remember that a “loss” feels worse than an equal amount of gain, and ultimately you lose more resources when you are in an emotional or cognitive valley. It is incalculable how much time, effort, energy, or money is hemorrhaged when you are confused about how you feel, your brain isn’t “right”, or in an emotional doom loop. We will cover the two frameworks that when understood can help you to recapture and reallocate those resources.

    1. The Skills- Challenge Matrix.
    2. The Outcome Bias Doom Loop.

    The Skills Challenge Matrix

    Recapture Emotion, Motivation, Time, and Bandwidth.

    “I used to be able to line this up and knock it down, now I can’t get motivated to get it done. Where is my motivation? I must be getting old.”

    Does this sound familiar? We will use the Skills Challenge Matrix to dissect what might be going on.

    1. High Skill, High Effort: If you are an entrepreneur this will be what is referred to as “flow”.
    2. High Skill, Low Effort: Catharsis.
    3. Low Skill, High Effort: Hard Work.
    4. Low Skill, Low Effort: Kill Time.

    You can also view the Skills Challenge Matrix as a spectrum (the chart below is flipped). Keep in mind these may vary between people’s personalities.

    Example Of Skills Challenge Matrix

    Last year you decided that you wanted to learn how to play a guitar, build a funnel for your business, and write compelling copy. These skills might be low skill, low effort for someone who’s done it successfully for 10 years. While for you starting out, it would be high skill, high effort putting you into a flow state as you learn it.

    You’re a chess master which is a high skill game, but when you’re playing against your family you don’t need to try very hard.

    Most manual labor, like chopping wood, especially on a deadline will fall under low skill, high effort.

    Admin work that can be taught and done by anyone, like filing papers will fall under low skill, low effort.

    Last year you would wake up at 5AM and be able to work until 5PM on your funnel and copy writing. This year, you’re staring at the wall unable to get yourself to build a funnel and it takes you hours to write copy. Not because you don’t know what to write but something else always steals your attention.

    What’s wrong with you? Instead of going the route of:

    “You just need more motivation.”

    “Set better goals for yourself.”

    “Maybe you have low testosterone/estrogen.”

    Let’s see what the Skills Challenge Matrix says.

    Your skills that you mastered have now moved quadrants. You got so good at the guitar you can just pick it up and play it and now it’s cathartic for you no longer putting you into a flow state. Writing compelling copy now is just natural for you and building funnels you can teach anybody how to do this now.

    The same tasks can fall in different quadrants. Same skills, entirely different psychological state.

    There might be nothing wrong at all with you, except that you have just not properly categorized the tasks you do. The good news is that these are all things you can recapture and reallocate. If you’re entrepreneurial (a “go getter”) you probably need to have things in the high skill, high effort flow state or else you’re living in a psychological state of apathy and boredom. Not to say this is bad, but you just have to know yourself.

    If you know yourself then you can keep the tasks that need to be done balanced so that you aren’t overwhelming a specific quadrant. Improper categorization and resource allocation in this fashion can lead to days, weeks, or even months of nothing getting done because you can’t find the “motivation”. It’s not that you used to be able to build funnels for 8 hours, you used to be able to do “flow” activities for 8 hours. You can still do “flow” activities for 8 hours, you just need to figure out what those activities are and it’s not funnels.

    The Outcome Bias Doom Loop

    Recapture Confidence, Emotion, and (Self) Respect.

    The Dunning-Kruger Effect: The more competent someone is the less confidence they have (up to a certain point).

    There are many people who are not very competent but have an extreme amount of confidence (peak of “Mt. Stupid”).

    There are many intelligent people who don’t believe they are intelligent (Valley of Despair) and because they believe they aren’t capable of making good decisions they look up at all the people at “Mt. Stupid” (high confidence, low competence).

    The result? Some of the most gifted people abandoning their thought processes to follow the less gifted people. This is what can set societies back and is a byproduct of the Outcome Bias Doom Loop. Many people at the top of “Mt. Stupid” have had their success due to luck (randomness) and now have an extreme amount of confidence because they were “successful”.

    Time and Randomness wins again. Review the Engineering Luck training if you need a refresher but a cliff notes version:

    Randomness + favorable outcome = Good luck.

    Randomness + unfavorable outcome = Bad luck.

    Reality: A good decision can have a poor outcome and a bad decision can have a positive outcome

    Outcome Bias Doom Loop Matrix

    These two quadrants (Good Decision + Favorable Outcome) and (Poor Decision + Unfavorable Outcome) make sense and typically is understood.

    Your wish in life was to be a doctor, so you made the decision to go to medical school and you ended up becoming one of the highest paid and respected authorities in medicine (Good Decision + Favorable Outcome).

    You decided to run a red light and you ran into another car (Poor Decision + Unfavorable Outcome).

    The other two quadrants are less intuitive. Poor Decision + Favorable Outcome is incompetence disguised as competence.

    Good Decision + Unfavorable Outcome the competent person is disguised as incompetent.

    When you make a good decision and the outcome is unfavorable you end up typically starting to doubt yourself. Now you start to look to the peak of “Mt. Stupid” for advice and this is what will cause you to lose years or decades because you’re following the blind into the “Valley of Despair.”

    Outcome Bias

    Judging the validity of a person or outcome based on the result instead of the logic, reasoning, and evidence behind the decision.

    If you are not accounting for randomness and you start to judge the validity based on the outcome, this leads you to form an opinion to either position or reposition yourself and others. This move will also makes perfect sense because everything makes sense in hindsight as we form those narratives quickly. You are a ticking time bomb if you are making sense of everything quickly and trying to close all the loops you face. By immediately making sense of an outcome you rob yourself of a learning experience.

    We then end up rewarding bad decisions (that have good outcomes thanks to lady luck). We also do not learn from good decisions because they had a bad outcome (survivorship bias) and begin to model bad decisions (or decision makers).

    Would you play a game that had 5/6 odds of winning? What if that game was Russian Roulette?

    If you win Russian Roulette it doesn’t mean that I should also play or that your decision was a good one to play. 5/6 may win but it’s still a bad decision especially for that 6th person.

    Remember: A good decision that turns out poorly is still a good decision and a bad decision that turns out favorably is still a bad decision.

    If you make quick sense of something then you have not examined all the variables that went into it and therefore you cannot learn.

    “Got it, that makes sense.” = Learning from a largely fabricated experience.

    Because of that largely fabricated experience you now have a high level of certainty and expectation based on fabricated experience = Reality not meeting expectation.

    When reality does not meet expectation you become toxic and victimize yourself. You were so certain that this had to happen and when it doesn’t you become lost, unsure of what to do, or how to get out.

    When expectation becomes opinion of how things should be (all based on a false fabricated experience) it creates polarization (high ticket is better than low ticket, us versus them, left versus right). This is why making sense of things quickly is cognitively lazy and you will never learn from it, and If this pattern is kept up you’ll end up falling victim to The Doom Loop.

    The Doom Loop

    When reality fails to meet expectation it creates a massive doom loop of anxiety. This is the typical top down process:

    1. Convenient story created.
    2. Label yourself and people.
    3. Prophesize future.

    If you go through the top down flow and it doesn’t work out, what do you do next? Do you just make up a new story? There is no way to re-reason to move you forward. TGA prefers to work from the bottom up:

    1. Fundamentals (principles).
    2. Technicals (details).
    3. Narrative (story).

    If it doesn’t work out you can always reason to a new technical and narrative. Fundamental principles are unchanging principles and if we understand them, then we can go through any industry and reason through the technical details. The narrative is just the words that are used, the story that is told. It doesn’t matter if this story changes as long as it is reasoned from the technicals, which are derived from the fundamental principles.

    If you’re going through the Guardian Academy syllabus you’d know the fundamentals are the foundations and core concept trainings (principles). From those trainings you can figure out the specific details that would apply to your own life and however those technicals (details) manifest is the narrative that is told (story). We give you the operating system to help reason through what works for you.

    As you get better at working from the bottom up your reality starts to get closer to expectation. Every iteration you do gets you closer because you re-reason through the technicals and you update it with new information, giving you power over the outcome. This allows you to recapture the resources that were wasted toward poor decisions and reallocated to making better decisions for yourself. As you keep doing this you’ll develop the self respect to keep making decisions for yourself and even if they end up to be poor outcomes, you can now reason through. When the gap between expectation and reality becomes smaller, you’ve driven (emotional and cognitive) volatility down and gained velocity. This allows you to recapture your bandwidth, your respect and reallocate it appropriately by focusing on logic, reasoning, and evidence.

    Sometimes it will be all just “luck.” But in one scenario, you are a victim and the other, you have control and power over the outcome.

    Which one do you want?

    6WU- Wisdom Comes From Multiple Perspectives

    Can you summarize what you’ve learned into six words? Share them on the thread below so that others can also benefit from your wisdom. After you’ve shared be sure to read through what others have said as well to see what you can take away.


    Growing trees: outcome bias strikes again:

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    DISCLAIMER: These articles are for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as financial advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any sort of security or investment. Consult with a professional financial adviser before making any financial decisions. Investing in general and options trading especially is risky and has the potential for one to lose most or all of their initial investment.