Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

dglukhov comments on Excuses and validity - Less Wrong

1 Post author: Elo 13 March 2017 03:44AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (7)

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: dglukhov 15 March 2017 01:03:39PM *  0 points [-]

To strip situations of choice simply down to the merits of all goals contained within a situation is the best approach. To inject excuses into the situation is the easy approach. At the end of the day, if you constantly checked yourself for the presence of competing goals, you'd see that, with practice, it will get easier and easier to notice that your goals may be at odds with your comfort zone. Chances are, a LOT of goals lie outside your comfort zone. If they were in your comfort zone, they wouldn't even seem like goals, when the barrier to doing them is trivial.

Its interesting to notice this analysis. A lot of trainers (fitness, in my case) will strip the situation down to this kind of a framing. However, that's the easy part. In my experience thereafter, the best advice given was to practice the technique of getting outside that comfort zone, without really any direction in mind as to how to do it or when. This can be dangerous in some ways, extremely beneficial in others. Exercise caution.

EDIT: Therapists trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy would have a much better time guiding and directing those willing to engage in this kind of exercise than athletic trainers, now that I think about it. Definitely worth exploring that alternative if personal attempt become unfruitful.

Comment author: Elo 15 March 2017 11:15:30PM 0 points [-]

I wrote about comfort zone before:


Namely that pushing yourself out of comfort is going to cause harm, whereas expanding your comfort zone until it includes the things that you previously wanted to do but were not comfortable doing is a reasonable way to expand comfort zones.

With regard to training: injuries are for life. It's very costly to make mistakes that cause injury.

Comment author: dglukhov 16 March 2017 04:13:00PM 0 points [-]

I'm having a hard time distinguishing between your technique and strictly finding ways to AVOID stepping outside the comfort zone.

When you take the time to analyze why the uncomfortable thing is uncomfortable, then seeking solutions to accommodate those discomforts rather than confronting them doesn't seem to change anything for the person.

People form habits, sometimes good ones, sometimes bad ones. Habits require three major components: a signal, a task, and a reward. You seem to suggest that existing habits should be there, stay there, lest we harm ourselves. But how can one establish NEW habits, new tasks we have no training in, when those habits and tasks are not even allowed to be made when your logic dictates doing the routine is a failure mode.

To allude to the bar example. If the routine needed is developing experience BEING comfortable in a bar setting (perhaps a bar is your best chance to meet new people given time constraints or demographic preferences), avoiding the bar altogether won't be conducive to developing the routine. Perhaps learning to feel uncomfortable but still functional is a necessarily required skill in life, and your criticism doesn't seem to account for such a need. You can't always have time to analyze components of a situation and you can't always prepare for everything. Sometimes it pays to think on your feet.