December 2021

“Expectation is the grandfather of disappointment. The world can never own a man who wants nothing.” — Aphorisms for Thirsty Fish

“The debate over labor and leisure is often fought between the Self-Helpers and the Socialists. The Self-Helpers say that individuals have agency to solve their problems and can reduce their anxiety through new habits and values. The Socialists say that this individualist ethos is a dangerous myth. Instead, they insist that almost all modern anxieties arise from structural inequalities that require structural solutions, like a dramatic reconfiguration of the economy and stronger labor laws to protect worker rights.”

Intensity is overrated. Consistency is underrated.

“The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, ‘Seek simplicity and distrust it.’” — Alfred North Whitehead

Discipline creates skill.

“It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves.” — Simone Weil

Focus on what you can control.

You control how you respond to things.

Ask yourself, “Is this essential?”

Meditate on your mortality every day.

Value time more than money and possessions.

You are the product of your habits.

Remember you have the power to have no opinion.

Own the morning.

Put yourself up for review. Interrogate yourself.

Don’t suffer imagined troubles.

Try to see the good in people.

Never be overheard complaining—even to yourself.

“You only need to know the direction, not the destination. The direction is enough to make the next choice.” — James Clear

A critical quality for success is the ability to change your mind. A lot of ideas are bad until they’re good. And a lot of ideas are good until they’re bad.

Before making a decision, ask yourself these two questions “Will it help you do what you already want to do? Will it help you feel successful? The answers to those questions are freeing because if the change program doesn’t satisfy these two requirements, it’s not worth your time. ”

“Metacognition is the capacity or skill to become aware of one’s own mental process. So on the one hand it seems kind of obvious, but if you say, today I’m going to try to notice and simply just notice a part of my mental process I had not yet been aware of. Now that’s interesting because what that is, it’s not just an observational thing. You’ll notice it opens doors to things you never thought of.”

“There’s a tradeoff between the energy put into explaining an idea, and the energy needed to understand it. On one extreme, the explainer can painstakingly craft a beautiful explanation, leading their audience to understanding without even realizing it could have been difficult. On the other extreme, the explainer can do the absolute minimum and abandon their audience to struggle”

“You can never tell what apparently small discovery will lead to. Somebody discovers something and immediately a host of experimenters and inventors are playing all the variations upon it.” — Edison

What looks like success is often just patience.

“Don’t face complex issues head-on; first understand simple ideas deeply. Clear the clutter and expose what is really important. Be brutally honest about what you know and don’t know. Then see what’s missing, identify the gaps, and fill them in. Let go of bias, prejudice, and preconceived notions. There are degrees to understanding (it’s not just a yes-or-no proposition) and you can always heighten yours. Rock-solid understanding is the foundation for success.”

‘There’s a reset button at every level. Meaning you can be the best in class. And when you go to the next level you’re then at the bottom. And the difference between amateurism and professionalism is you have people looking after you and holding your hand as an amateur. Professionally, no one does. … What matters is, what you do and how you apply yourself consistently.’

Too many people filter things out because they’re not true. A better question is: does it work?

“Groups of prosocial individuals will survive and reproduce better than groups of antisocial individuals, even if antisocial individuals have the advantage over prosocial individuals within groups.” —

The best decisions have little to no immediate payoff.

The best choices compound. Most of the benefits come at the end, not the beginning.

The more patient you are, the bigger the payoff.

“Today as always, men fall into two groups: slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.”

The average person is consuming way too much information. We’re being bombarded with news and different forms of advertising all the time. In fact, we’re so used to consuming content and news that it doesn’t even seem weird anymore. We feel like it’s normal and believe that we miss out on something if we spend more than a few minutes being offline. The truth, however, is that this massive information overload is ruining our peace of mind as well as our productivity.

A group will never admit they were wrong. A group will never admit, “We made a mistake,” because a group that tries to change its mind falls apart.