What’s hiding behind your self-sabotaging behaviors, focusing on your craft, and developing a high level mindset

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: Even bad behaviors have a purpose

Have you ever wondered why you keep self-sabotaging, even though you know better?

You’re not alone.

Most people struggle with self-sabotaging behaviors, despite wanting to change them.

But before we can change our self-sabotaging behaviors, we have to understand why we do them.

Because our behaviors aren’t’ random—they serve a specific function.

Check out this article if you’re curious to understand what function your self-sabotaging behaviors could have:

What’s Hiding Behind Your Self-Sabotaging Behaviors?

Insight 2: Don’t put the tool before the craft

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in optimizing our tools, we forget our ultimate goal—to improve our craft.

Researching the “perfect” writing system (tool) isn’t a substitute for actually writing (craft).

Spending thousands on the latest fitness gadget (tool) isn’t the same as developing an exercise habit (craft).

Watching hours of YouTube videos on fancy kitchen knife skills (tool) isn’t the same as getting better at cooking for your friends (craft).

Why do we get distracted optimizing our tools that we forget about our craft?

Because getting wrapped up in our tools feels like we’re being productive. It’s an easy way to rack up a quick win, but it’s superficial—a “cheap dopamine hit,” as the cool kids say.

In this article, Nat Eliason shares his insights to help keep us on track to focus on our craft, instead of losing ourselves in tools:

“Tool work should always be a focused attempt to fix a specific problem, not passive information consumption hoping to find a quick win that will make the work easy.”

Check it out if you’re curious.

Insight 3: Develop a high level mindset

What wisdom does a 24 year-old hip hop artist have to share with the world?

In this TED Talk, Cordae shares the mindset, and lessons learned, that helped catapult him from poverty to Grammy-nomination and the TED stage.

“The high level mindset is not a recipe for perfection, but a commitment to honor your potential and what you have to offer the world.”

Even if you’re well-read in the personal development space, this Talk is a great refresher on the mindset and habits we need to build (and maintain) to succeed.


  • Remain positive despite setbacks
  • Be intentional with your desires
  • Discipline = excellence
  • Remove negative people immediately
  • Build a legacy worth leaving behind

Question for the Week

Think of the habits currently holding you back.

Which is the simplest one to change this week, and what is your specific plan to change it?

Share Your Insights

Know someone who’d love this content? Share it with them!

My goal is to help people 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 one other person who would find it valuable.

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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


Founder: Intentional Life Design