How to be less mediocre

One of my favorite blog names is Less Wrong, because of its clear sense of the achievable.  It is also something I read regularly. It descends (as I remember) from another favorite blog with similar ambitions, Overcoming Bias.

We are wrong, and we are biased. Our mental tools are feeble and designed for different purposes than we are trying to use them for. Trying to think is like one of those puzzles where you have a burnt candlestick, a box of spaghetti, and a gossip magazine from 1953, and need to do something like resect a bowel or cool down a nuclear reactor.

My whole life is attempting to achieve things with inadequate tools. I'm not mentally organized, I'm easily distracted, I dislike sustained boring effort, and I often get discouraged. I have no particular talents, though I once thought I did, or hoped they would emerge as I matured.

That I get through even a day, ever cash a paycheck, and ever finish a book, or even a blog post, that I stay married and keep my children alive, is the result of deliberate conscious technique. Of ways of wrapping that magazine around that spaghetti to make a lever and then using the wax to absorb alpha particles...hey, look what that Dorothy Kilgallen has got up to.... 

Books and web sites are full of people who tell you that they were alcoholics, or sex addicts, or had a psychotic breakdown, and now have Pulitzer Prizes and run their own multimillion dollar motivational businesses.

I love some of those people.  For example, I love "Penelope Trunk". She has great workplace advice. But a hot Aspergerish serial entrepreneur who is a former professional volleyball player already has a charisma/status advantage most of us don't.  What about us regular shlubs?

All I can offer is information on my experiences in trying to be...less mediocre. About trying to feel less ashamed of myself when I look back over my day, my week, my life. About what has worked for me...until it stopped working for me.

Every day can't be a clean reboot, because then you have to look at that stupid hourglass for far too long.  But, everyone once in a while, you can do it.