2020-07-10

Mental cockpits

Here I describe a new tool I have named the mental cockpit. I have not yet tried it, and so it may be useless. I will report back with results by July 18th.

Image courtesy of Matti Blume


Your mental cockpit is a hybrid of a memory palace and a smartphone’s home screen.

Your mental cockpit exists in your mind and requires you to imagine a physical space. In this space, you will place objects to remind you of your most valuable mental tools and techniques.

Whenever something is going wrong, particularly when you are caught up in the moment, you can close your eyes, visit your mental cockpit and be reminded of these tools and choose one to use.

Once your mental cockpit is ready, create a Trigger Action Plan similar to:
Notice I am caught up in the moment→ Close my eyes and visit my mental cockpit

Some examples of tools and silly object mnemonics

Processing emotions
Planning and decision making
Executing intentions
  • superCommit: a Superman action figure suspended from the ceiling
  • resolve cycle / Yoda timer: Yoda sitting on a sand timer


Your mental cockpit will probably take some effort to set-up, and this technique will only be useful if there is little resistance to accessing your mental cockpit. You want an environment you can readily picture without much effort. Choose a space you already know well, or find a good reference image. Maybe photoshopping your objects in an image will help.

Let me know if you give this a go. I’m very keen to hear if anyone gets any mileage out of it.

Apologies for anyone with aphantasia, I don’t think this will work for you.
5 Tristan Cook: Mental cockpits Here I describe a new tool I have named the mental cockpit. I have not yet tried it, and so it may be useless. I will report back with resul...
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