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How To Create Healthy Habits, Think Clearly & Effortlessly Achieve Your Goals with Shane Parrish

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  November 15, 2023

How would you like to think with greater clarity, feel confident in your choices, and finally be capable of sticking to good habits? Today’s guest might just show you how.

Shane Parrish is the entrepreneur and wisdom seeker behind Farnham Street and The Knowledge Project podcast, where he focuses on mastering the best of what other people have figured out. He is also the author of the wonderful new book, Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments Into Extraordinary Results, in which he shares timeless insights and actionable tips, to help us all make better decisions in every aspect of our lives. 

When we think about decision-making, we probably think of those big choices in life as the ones that matter: what subjects to study, which job to take, house to buy or partner to settle down with. But Shane asserts that it’s the smaller, everyday decisions that really shape our path. Choices like what to eat, how to respond to a tricky email or how to tackle a tricky conversation with your partner. And why these matter is because they become our customary, quick-fire responses – behaviours or habits, which we struggle to change because we don’t fully understand that we’re even doing them.

This doesn’t mean we have to take time to ruminate over every situation in life. Shane introduces the concept of personal rules as a powerful tool to override the ‘four defaults’ driving most human behaviour: emotions, ego, social pressure and plain inertia. 

Overcoming them usually means relying on willpower. But rules – such as bedtimes, food choices, or technology limits – help us easily align decisions with our values and goals.

Rules are just one of the super-useful hacks Shane shares. We discuss the difference between high-stakes decisions and quick-fire choices. He introduces the powerful notion of playing life on ‘easy mode’ to put us in the best position for success – like setting the difficulty level on a video game in your favour.

Shane also talks about the importance of separating problems from their solutions. And he advises appointing your own ‘board of directors’ – real, historical, famous or fictional people whose opinion you’d value. ‘Consulting’ them on dilemmas will give you new perspectives.

Shane’s ethos is all about finding the hidden opportunity in ordinary moments. In a world where our lives and minds feel increasingly cluttered, his advice can cut-through and help us find clarity.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of the conversation here:

Connect with Shane:

Farnham Street blog      The Knowledge Project podcast

Twitter      Instagram      Facebook     YouTube

Shane’s book:

Clear Thinking: Turning Ordinary Moments into Extraordinary Results

Related Feel Better Live More Episodes:

#183 How To Achieve Your Goals Effortlessly with Greg McKeown

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP