#176: The Memo Culture
writing down my decisions
Not being fully convinced is a primary reason why I fail at most plans. The ideator part of me generates “ideas” for what would be cool to do. Naturally, the other parts of me aren’t convinced. Therefore, I cannot recruit my full powers to execute this “idea”. Ideas are to be entertained and played with, not pursued. Unless I have an intelligent mechanism for transforming ideas into concrete action items, I will always fall prey to my impulsivity.
The memo culture is game-changing for mastering impulsivity. The practice comes from Jeff Bezos’ meetings style: instead of PowerPoints, executives prepare a six-page narratively-structured memo. Personal decision-making is no less complex than the one within a company. In both cases, everything is at stake, and the leader is responsible for ensuring rationality in the face of biases, distortions, and prejudices. Crafting an argumentative memo activates my rational self that methodically inspects perspectives instead of being distracted by flashy slides.
Should I quit caffeine, run 5km every day, start this business or move to this country? Failing at executing ideas leads to compounding disappointment. A compelling and credible meme de-risks failure. Although it’s seductive to commit to something that seems obvious, I must withstand that pressure and get into the habit of writing out my decisions. So I tell myself: