Thanks for sharing your experience! I’ll share mine. I attended the workshop in July 2019 in California.
Like you, I also came in with the hope of becoming a hyper efficient rationality machine, overcoming problems like procrastination that I struggled with all my life. I was hoping to be taught how to use my System 2 to fight my lazy, uncooperative System 1 that always stood in the way of achieving my goals.
My biggest surprise was that the workshop was much more about understanding, working with, and leveraging your System 1. I was unconvinced and confused for quite a while, but more recently I finally realized that my existing way of constantly trying to force myself to do things I wasn’t intrinsically excited about was not going to end well—it was already resulting in a significant amount of unhappiness (which did not set me up for a sustainable, successful and impactful career path) until I noticed.
There were a number of major positive changed in my life in the past 1+ years and it’s hard to say what role the CFAR workshop played, but I think it definitely played some role. For one thing, it made me aware for the first time of the possibility of working with, rather than against, my System 1, and even though I wasn’t convinced by it for quite a while, it definitely triggered some discussions and reflections that eventually led to very productive rethinking and ultimately a different outlook. (E.g. I realized I had to constantly battling myself to get things done because I was on a career path that wasn’t right for me. I’m not totally sure how my new career path would pan out but I think I’m definitely in a much better position to notice what I like and don’t like, and switch gears accordingly.)
So if you are like me back then—wanting to be super efficient and impactful but struggling with procrastinations and other barriers, and hoping to become a rational machine with no System 1 to distract oneself—you should consider attending a CFAR workshop :) . It will not give you what you wanted but there’s a good chance it will change your life in a positive way.
(I’d say overall it was a moderate positive effect, which was in line with what my friend told me the workshop did to them before I went. They also said one of the best things that came out of the workshop was that it caused them to get a therapist which turned out to be pretty useful. I also got a therapist after the workshop (prompted by factors other than the workshop) and I’d highly recommend considering therapy (and/or coaching) if you are struggling with issues in life you don’t know how to solve, even if you consider yourself generally “mentally healthy”.)