What do I predict I will do today?
I predict that I will spend the day aimlessly and that I will end the day superficially pleased and ultimately dissatisfied—unless I consider my choices and make a plan that I predict will succeed. Even then, I might end up superficially pleased and ultimately dissatisfied, but I have a better chance of a better outcome if I make a plan.
I now predict that I will attempt to make a plan.
Before making the plan, I decided to predict its success. At this point I am not prepared to confidently predict that my plan will succeed in producing a different outcome than my earlier prediction.
I predict that I will now attempt to discover how I might arrive a plan for which I will predict success. I don’t predict that I will actually make the discovery, or create the plan. Bird by bird as Annie LaMott says.
I was unwilling to predict that the plan I would have created would have succeeded because my plans have rarely succeeded. They are more likely to succeed if the penalty for failure is great or (less often) the reward for success is substantial. So I see several ways to produce a plan that I will predict will succeed.
I can accept the motivational cost/benefit of failure/success as constraints. Then, as part of my plan, I can create circumstances that increase the penalty and the reward to the point that I can confidently predict success. I might make a plan, then share it with people who are likely to revise their opinion of me based on that one plan and its execution. But that probably won’t work. Their priors are too well established for one success or one failure to change it much. I might create an artificial inducement. I could use beeminder and pledge to donate money to Donald Trump’s campaign or some other execrable cause if I fail to follow my plan. That would certainly raise the penalty for failure. Even better, I could commit to donating money AND telling all my friends. That would motivate me—unless I was so paralyzed by fear that I couldn’t work.
Or might not accept the constraints, and revise my thinking so that the mere fact of arriving at what I consider to be “a good plan” will be enough for me to confidently predict success.
(Or I might revise my prediction criteria and confidently predict something that I am confident will not occur. This seems a bad idea.)
I predict that I will spend some more time thinking about this. And I predict I will go to the toilet while thinking.
What I didn’t predict was that I would check my email. And I didn’t predict that I would write an email in reply to my sister. If I had been asked to make a prediction I would have predicted replying.
But now that I’m in the business of making predictions of which I can be confident, I predict I will turn the content of my reply to her email into another post. I predict I will do it before 3PM.
I predict that taking time to think about my plans will increase the likelihood that I will predict their success.
I also predict that I’m going to write a post about an audiobook that I’m listening to, recommended by Mira. And I predict I’m going to spend most of the time between now and 3PM writing.
And now, I predict, with high confidence, that I am going to convert this post from Markdown to HTML and then post it.