We know that ‘developing greater control over your attention is perhaps the single most powerful way to reshape your brain and thus your mind’. We also know that ‘you pay attention by optimising some other process’. The process we need to optimise is that of the lexicographical inner-circle that already has the greatest control of your attention-grabbing machinery. We need to add to the ranks of words that make you stop in your tracks those that can most effectively enlighten your money mindset, so they can punctuate the flow of unthinking with moments of active, structured, purposeful, thought. This is how we get unstuck and break free of the circular troughs of self-deception.
If you want to make better decisions by default, the answer isn’t to pay greater attention to every decision. It’s not even to make your decision-making better, e.g. by carrying around a checklist that you crack out on special decision-making occasions. It’s to make your decision-making machinery better. To develop flexibility of attentional scaling, to zoom in and zoom out at the same time, to enable you to better remember what you actually care about and continually refresh your attention on it, and your intention to align your resources with it.