Parts in Conflict

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Internal conflict is a staple of human experience. In fact, it seems our mental dynamics oscillate between Flow and Conflict. Flow feels like a dissolution of self — of a critic or observer — and as immersion in an activity. 

Thinking Toys #7 — Action Echoes

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  Think ahead to the next few days and find an upcoming situation where you expect to face temptation. Specifically, an urge that often leads to involuntary action that you don’t like. Something where it feels like in the long-run 

Thinking Toys #6 — Tonglen

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Look back on your past week and see if you can find a feeling or emotion that you had trouble with. Perhaps a scenario where you reacted in a way that you later regretted. It could be in a particular 

Developing Self-Efficacy with Minimum Viable Habits

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We often experience knowing what we “need to do” yet feeling unable to actually do it. We often feel like we won’t succeed at the action or that it’s “something that only others can do”. This is the feeling of 

Thinking Toys #5 — Focusing

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One of the most powerful and easy to learn introspection techniques is Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing. The basic structure can be broken down into six steps, although he encourages experimentation and breaking the rules once you learn the basics. You can perform 

Thinking Toys #4 — Falsifiability

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What’s something that you’re worried about or that is giving you anxiety? It may be a specific event that you fear may come to pass — losing your job! Alternatively, it can be a general sense of discontent or fear 

Thinking Toys #3 — Construal Levels

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Have you been feeling a lack of direction, purpose, or a sense of progress? Try asking yourself “Why?”. Why are you doing what you are doing, what does it accomplish? And then ask “Why?” again about that, and another time 

Thinking Toys #2 — Opportunity Pointers

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Thinking Toys are mental moves that help us solve problems. They can help us get unstuck. We’d like our minds to have effortless subconscious access to these tools. However, this requires regular practice until they’re installed. Learning to drive takes a lot 

Thinking Toys #1 — Inversion

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This will take about 2 minutes and may magically solve a problem for you. Pick a problem from your life. It can be big or small, but keep it salient — what was on your mind before reading this? Take 15 seconds and load it up into your head. You’ve probably thought about it already. You’ve been trying to fix something, or make something different, or achieve some goal. You may have some sense of 

Talking past each other

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“Free speech, liberty, freedom, human rights — we need more! Also, let’s eat more bologna sandwiches!” We can probably agree on the first part but perhaps the bologna sandwich draws some protest. In fact, we don’t actually agree on the 

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