#Weekly experiments / Wise

Week 9 – Is this what I feared so much? (a.k.a. My Stoic week)

We have so many worries.

We are programmed to worry by our evolutionary history – we had to worry about predators, worry about food scarcity, worry about survival of our offspring. Many of are lucky enough and this type threats is not very real anymore.

But our worry-circuits need something to do. And if our senses don’t have a proper work with real inputs, they make things up.

Have you ever sat in a completely dark room? If yes you know after some time you start seeing some patterns, as your brain tries to cope with lack of visual inputs. And the same thing happens to our worry-circuits. If there’s no imminent danger, we worry about other things, just out of habit.

We worry about changing job or starting our own company. We worry about saying something because it might change our relationship. We worry about being embarrassed for expressing our thoughts. For not wearing the right clothes. Some of us even worry what will people say if they find out about pet project.

Of course, some of our fears are perfectly reasonable, but many of these worries are sitting in a haze of our mind, not very clear, and in that haze they can start looking like big scary monsters.

What do you fear?

One of my big worries is to lose job, to not be able to afford my comfortable life style. (Hashtag: fear)

I live in a nice condo, and I don’t have to think twice whether I can afford to buy organic food, have dinner in a nice restaurant, buy cool gadgets or gifts for my family. I probably get even more comfort from the fact that I save a lot for “the retirement” – which is good because I’m not part of any government Ponzi social scheme.

Another big worry is that I will be stuck in a job that brings no value to others, and no joy for me.

Combine these two. How do I know if I am keeping my job because I like it, or is it just because I’m afraid of consequences? And if it is so, how do I cross that barrier?

Tim suggest several things for facing our fears. One of them is “bad scenario microdosing”, based on stoic philosophy.

If you regularly subject yourself to things that you fear so much, you will know that the consequences are not that bad, because you’ve lived through them. By doing this you will not only understand this on rational level, but *know* on very deep level, how does it feel like if the “worst case scenario” becomes reality.

Therefore, this is my stoic week. I will be microdosing potential future where I might lose job, and live a more humble life.

  • My daily cash spending budget will drop to 10 SGD/day, which is something I could do very very long time from my savings.
  • I will not buy anything other than food.
  • I will eat very simple cheap foods (hawker fish soup for lunch, baked potatoes or vegetable for dinner)
    No fancy snacks. No nuts, and definitely no raw paleo blah blah bars.
  • I will fast twice this week
  • I will not drink anything than water, coffee made at home, and cheap tea at work.
  • I will simulate having cheaper phone by setting it to black & white colors.
  • I will not use internet on my phone outside of working and organizing purposes
  • I will wear the same clothes the whole week (2 tops, 1 skirt), keeping them clean by washing them in hands.
  • I will walk and take public transport. No Uber (except for work)
  • I will not use gadgets except for phone and Oura ring (my health tracker)

As I’m finishing this blogpost, I’m already in my second day of experiment, and I must say I’m enjoying the simplicity. Let’s see how I will feel after a week…

Titan Tim Ferriss
Who is he/she Human guinea pig
Name Is this what I feared? (Stoic week)
Category Wise
Duration 12.-18.6.2017
Claim Microdosing with worst-case scenarios.
“Suffer a little regularly and you often cease to suffer.”
Test For one week I will simulate having lost job. I will wear 2 sets of clothes, wash them with hands, eat cheap food, fast, not use mobile internet for private purposes, drink only water and cheap tea, walk or take public transport, etc.
Expected result I will be more comfortable with the idea of simple budget life.

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