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Pain + Reflection = Progress


Thinking In Public

October 13 · Issue #8 · View online
I appreciate the build in public movement. It allows people to share ideas, get feedback and learn quickly. So why not do the same with our thinking? That’s what I try to do with this monthly newsletter, send on the last Sunday of each month. The current iteration has 3 sections: - Clarify - Something I’ve tried to think through. - Consider - Ideas I’m playing with. Normally with questions. - Collect - Thinking I’ve collected from others. All thinkers welcome.

I hope you’ve had another good month. We are into Q4 - make it count.
Just a short post this week as I continue to think about reflection and its value in our work life.

Pain + Reflection = Progress
For the great philosophers of Ancient Greece, reflection was a way of life. The exercise of pausing to reflect - to think - was an important use of their time.
Today, we tend to focus more on doing. We have long lists of todo’s, striking each off with the implicit notion that it represents steps toward progress.
A takeaway from Ray Dalio’s fantastic book Principles was this simple formula: Pain + Reflection = Progress.
I’ve written before that reflection is an important part of explicit learning, but it often goes missed. In a world so focused on doing, we often forgo time to stop and reflect.
In a gym setting, you might hear the common expression “no pain, no gain”. What this expression really means is “no pain (+ recovery), no gain”. Recovery of the body after exercise is like reflection for the mind after a learning experience. Only with reflection can you reap the rewards of that experience.
So it pays to remind ourselves what Plato, Aristotle and Socrates knew well - to stop and think is to learn. Reflection is time well spent.
Other Thoughts
Building in Public alert - Almost 12 months since I finished a code Bootcamp and I get lots of questions about the best ones in London and how they are different.

I thought I'd create a small site to collect this information and wanted to share how I'm building it as I go.
Is homeschooling a thing in the UK? I don’t know anyone who has done it.
Really enjoyed this podcast with @csallen and @hnshah.

I’ve been mulling over Hiten’s distinction between time-management and energy-management: “I want to do things I have energy for and worry far less about the time I have for things...”
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