A writing piece from Scott P. Scheper.
One American Plaza
Downtown San Diego, CA
Thursday, 2:24 pm
I have some bad news, and good news.
First, the bad news: after you've developed wise habits, you're only one critical action away from faltering and sliding back into an unwise habits. Why? Because change is the only constant.
Now, for the good news: the same is true for your unwise habits.
The habits you've built up are weaker than you probably imagine.
This is something to prepare for after you've successful adopted wise habits.
Doing something once can instantly change your life. You know this deep down; therefore, you ought to expect this is true with all of your actions. Even if you've adopted wise habits, that doesn't necessarily mean you're on the right path.
It's not about how consistent you've been in your life, because one major decision or action can change everything. The size of an effect is typically not proportional to its cause.
In life, your results are defined by one critical action. And, this is bad news...
Here's why: Your life is comprised of millions of actions; therefore, figuring out the one critical action becomes nearly impossible.
For example, take the NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter mission: The team was comprised of brilliant scientists and engineers. They're some of the most consistently rational and deliberate operators in the world.
Yet in an instant, the spacecraft was destroyed. It cost $327.6 million!
Here's how: Its altitude system used imperial units, while its navigation system used metric units.
Oops! One thing changes everything. The same is true for life.
Magic doesn't come from consistency, it comes from one event.
And what is one event shaped by?
One critical action.
Scott P. Scheper
P.S. Did you catch what I did here? Here's what I actually originally intended to begin today's piece with:
Today, I have decided to do something fun for me, and hopefully even valuable for you. I am going to invert The Scott Scheper Daily Issue No. 105.
Actually, even though I wrote this first, I'm going to move this section to the very end (in the P.S.)!
That way, it will be interesting for the reader who recently read No. 105. They may even experience the cognitive disorientation of trying to hold two seemingly contradictory beliefs in their head at the same time. One can only hope!
Why is this important? Because the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
Yes, dear reader. What you have just read is an inverted version of what I wrote in Issue No. 105. Try reading that now, and you'll begin experiencing what it's like to hold two opposing ideas in your mind at the same time. Much shall be written on this. Stay tuned!
P.P.S. Guess what? I made it barely past 3-days on my no alcohol challenge. This surprises even myself! For just a few months ago, I completed a 60-day dry streak. So what happened? Simple: I was working late last night, and felt like a nice crisp glass of chardonnay while working. I had about 3/4th's of a glass. It was enjoyable. And that's all I had for the night. I went back and forth as I knew I'd have to write about caving in. I knew I'd have to admit it! However, at the time of this writing, I still haven't publicly published The Scott Scheper Daily. Therefore, the public pressure isn't as strong as it would be. I'm going to not continue the challenge right now since I've failed so miserably so early! However, I do intend to do it at some point in the future, especially if I'm publishing publicly immediately at that point!
3(and shortly thereafter, failed!)
King, Lucy. “Who Said Change Is the Only Constant in Life?” Medium, April 4, 2019. https://medium.com/mindset-matters/who-said-the-only-constant-in-life-is-change-233fd9e27b87. ↩︎
Bevelin, Peter. Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger, 2018. ↩︎
Marks, Paul. “NASA Criticised for Sticking to Imperial Units.” New Scientist. Accessed May 6, 2021. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17350-nasa-criticised-for-sticking-to-imperial-units/. ↩︎
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, et al. The Crack-up: With Other Uncollected Pieces, Excerpts from Notebooks and Letters by F. Scott Fitzgerald, etc. New York: New Directions, 1993. ↩︎
Scott P. Scheper