Can Elliot's Overreaching Advice Be Improved Upon?

According to my understanding of this article the philosopher Elliot thinks that the most important advice for a lay person is: stop overreaching. I think this too but I recently had a realization which makes me think that this advice can be improved. The realization is that (according to my understanding of overreachhing) overreaching tells you what not to do. The most important advice for a lay person can be improved if that advice also told that person what to do instead of just telling what not to do.

Have you read this?

It has practical advice:


The key to life is not to let error overwhelm your ability to deal with error. If that happens, you will lower your standards, compromise, and try to ignore error. That is hell. Never get far enough behind on dealing with errors that you are tempted to give up.

We can’t fully control how many errors we have to deal with. No matter what we do, we’ll have to deal with some errors. Problems are inevitable. However, we can estimate the difficulty (error rate, severity of errors, and variance) for activities, projects or commitments. Some activities are harder than others to succeed at (or more risky because of high variance of outcomes), and we know it, even if we can’t predict the future perfectly. We can estimate how good we are at dealing with error and which projects we can successfully handle.

If you have many failures or start getting overwhelmed, back off dramatically. Make choices so your life is a lot easier until you get things under control and succeed several times in a row. And be very careful with long-term commitments because if they’re too hard you’ll have trouble changing your life to be easier. Try to test things out and make sure you’re succeeding with a comfortable margin for error before organizing your life around them in a lasting way.

Yes but very poorly. I didn’t discuss it so I believe my understanding is weak.

I loved this.

Thanks for sharing this. This advice is indeed very practical.

I had this realization when I was having a conversation in discussion topic Tangent from Meditation with ingracke. I didn’t realize the importance of learning grammar and trees until I realized how many times I was failing in trying to say what I wanted. Maybe I am giving too much importance to this one event and I don’t even know if I will even do learning activities in an organized manner but I do feel this realization is true. The realization is that learning has to be problem motivated. Until the problem is not fully in your face you won’t know how and why you need to solve that problem. You won’t know how frequently that error occurs in your life.

(I have a feeling that I’m making some mistake here.)

One thing to mention, be careful with quotes. I’ve left this how it is so that it makes sense, but notice that I am quoted as saying “Never get … give up.”, but those are Elliot’s words, not mine.

Granted, I think that’s Discourse’s fault, but something to be careful about. I tried quoting a quote just now (using Discourse’s button that shows up when you select text) and it didn’t work right for the paragraphs I quoted from Elliot’s article. (my results were like yours.)

Thank you for mentioning. This was sloppy from me. It doesn’t make sense to put the responsibility on Discourse. It was my bad.