Khe Hy on money and ice cream, Nat Eliason on Parkinson’s Law, and Derek Sivers on why you shouldn’t talk about your goals

Building Blocks: Actionable insights to build an Intentional Life

Hey everybody,

Here’s another batch of actionable insights to start your week off right, so you can be more intentional with how you live, work, and create.

Let’s get started.

Insight 1: Not every dollar is worth the same amount

What do money and ice cream have in common?

According to Khe Hy, both make you happy. And the more you have of each, the more they contribute to your happiness.

To an extent…

Then you hit a point of diminishing returns, where more of the thing no longer equals more happiness.

So how do we find the “Goldilocks Zone?” Aka, what Khe describes as:

“The point at which you’re deeply satiated, yet well aware that anything beyond it won’t really move the needle.”

How do we avoid the scarcity mindset that drives so many people to do work that makes them miserable because they’re terrified it’ll all come crashing down one day?

By figuring out what we’re optimizing for—freedom and fulfillment today, not sacrificing our life for a bigger number in our retirement account in 30 years.

Because at the end, each of us faces the same truth:

“You realize that you don’t want more money. You want more time.”

Check his article, “When a dollar is not worth a dollar,” for a deeper dive.

Insight 2: Apply Parkinson’s Law to other areas of your life

You’re probably familiar with Parkinson’s Law:

The time something will take depends on how much time you allot to it.

But it doesn’t just apply to time-blocking.

Turns out, we can apply it to almost every area of our lives to strategically apply constraints to get more out of our time, energy, and attention.

In this article, Nat Eliason dives into ways you can apply Parkinson’s Law to different areas of your life, including packing, personal finance, dieting, travel, and your living space.

Insight 3: Don’t tell people your goals

Did you know sometimes talking about our goals can give us a similar emotional payoff of actually achieving them?

Think of how many times you’ve talked about something you want to do: lose a few pounds, write a newsletter, open a bar, start training MMA, whatever…

Then, like that treadmill you bought a few years ago that’s now an expensive coat rack, it’s quickly forgotten.

How many goals have you talked about, basked in the glory of just imagining such a goal, then promptly do nothing to achieve it?

If you want a different strategy that may help you achieve your goals, Derek Sivers suggests you do the opposite—don’t tell anyone.

I’ve experienced the “cheap dopamine hit” of talking about a fancy goal but never achieving it. But I also like the idea of building in public to attract opportunities.

So I take a hybrid approach: after I’ve started and am seeing concrete progress, I share what I’m actively doing and building. So I can’t talk about it until I’ve created momentum and have something to show for it.

Which is also why I can’t share something with you just yet—but I should have something cool to share in the next few weeks. *fingers crossed*

Question for the Week

What goals are you actively making progress toward this week?

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My goal is to help entrepreneurs be more intentional with how they live, work, and create.

So if you enjoy Building Blocks, I’ll be forever grateful if you help me spread these insights by sharing this issue with other entrepreneurs.

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Let me know what you think and what you’d like to see in future issues. I’m always working to making Building Blocks more valuable for you.

Until next time—memento mori,

Corey Wilks, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Executive Coach


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