A few articles that inspire me the most in 2022.
Decomplication: How to Find Simple Solutions to Hard Problems - Nat Eliason
This article is long and will make you think. I recommend saving it to pocket and reading it in a comfy chair with a cup of earl grey tea. How do you lose weight? If we were to plug that question into Google, we'd be barraged by millions of pages explaining tactics for weight loss.
Simple here means straightforward and containing few steps or moving pieces Easy here means requiring little effort or willpower to follow through on.The Law of Artificial Complexity: As the number of people experiencing a problem increases, so will the artificial complexity of the solution.The Law of Decomplication: The more people that are experiencing a problem, the simpler the solution should be.
Simple Made Easy
We should aim for simplicity because simplicity is a prerequisite for reliability. Simple is often erroneously mistaken for easy. "Easy" means "to be at hand", "to be approachable". "Simple" is the opposite of "complex" which means "being intertwined", "being tied together". Simple != easy.
We should aim for simplicity because simplicity is a prerequisite for reliability. Simple is often erroneously mistaken for easy. "Easy" means "to be at hand", "to be approachable". "Simple" is the opposite of "complex" which means "being intertwined", "being tied together". Simple != easy.Build simple systems by:
- Abstracting - design by answering questions related to what, who, when, where, why, and how.
- Choosing constructs that generate simple artifacts.
- Simplify by encapsulation.
How To Achieve Your 10-Year Plan In The Next 6 Months
How much time does something really take to accomplish? Before answering that question, a better question is: How much time do you actually have? Once you've answered that question, you'll then be able to ask: Where is all of your time going? Only then can you determine how long something really needs to take.
“How can you achieve your 10 year plan in the next 6 months?” — Peter Thiel “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” — Peter Drucker “Nothing will fill your heart with a greater sense of regret than lying on your deathbed knowing that you did not live your life and do your dreams.” — Robin Sharma When you start acting in accordance with your intuition, you develop confidence. Conversely, acting against your intuition can often produce short-term dopamine, and a long-term lack of confidence.
The Tail End - Wait But Why
In a post last year, we laid out the human lifespan visually. By years: By months: And by weeks: While working on that post, I also made a days chart, but it seemed a bit much, so I left it out. But fuck it. The days chart blows my mind as much as the weeks chart.
Living in the same place as the people you love matters. I probably have 10X the time left with the people who live in my city as I do with the people who live somewhere else. Priorities matter. Your remaining face time with any person depends largely on where that person falls on your list of life priorities. Make sure this list is set by you—not by unconscious inertia. Quality time matters. If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is: precious. It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.
Your Life in Weeks - Wait But Why
This is a long human life in years: And here's a human life in months: But today, we're going to look at a human life in weeks: Each row of weeks makes up one year. That's how many weeks it takes to turn a newborn into a 90-year-old.
差不多十年前我读到了 奶牛Denny的一篇文章 ，第一次认真地写下了自己的人生目标。我以为写完后我会变得目标清晰，斗志满满。可是并没有。大概一周后我就忘记了。 可是过了这么多年，我又觉得它挺有用的。时不时拿出来回顾，那两句简简单单的话就像一条暗线，能把我做过的对我有深远影响的事情都串联起来。 ...
根据我的个人经历，在自己三十六岁前后，经历了一次严重的精神危机。后来与其他人彼此印证，发觉 --几乎是所有人，概莫能外。有了此前的经验和大数据，再与这些三十多岁的同事探讨人生，我就有了充分的精神准备。至少通过相互比惨，让他们知道自己焦虑灰暗消沉绝望的状态并非孤例，起到安慰剂的作用也好。 三十五岁的死亡，有两层含义， ...
“二十五岁已死，七十五岁才埋” 这是常见的人生悲剧。 许多不高尚的痛苦，来自你的主角情结。你没那么重要，你的痛苦也没那么重要，“为什么没人搭理我？”这不是痛苦的原因，而是结果。一个多数人回答不上来的问题 这个问题就是：如果所需一切条件都予以满足，你最想做的事情是什么？ 什么是自己不想要的？什么是自己想要的？这完全是两个问题，难度系数有天壤之别。
How to Be Antifragile: Live Like a Hydra
If you're familiar with the idea of antifragility, skip to . I've been a fan of Nassim Nicholas Taleb since reading Fooled By Randomness 9 years ago. It's one of those books that you read and you can never look at the world the same way.
An antifragile way of life is all about finding a way to gain from the inevitable disorder of life. To not only bounce back when things don’t go as planned, but to get stronger, smarter, and better at continuing as a result of running into this disorder. Goals and habits, as they are represented in mainstream culture, are very fragile things. some principles that come from Antifragile:
- Stick to simple rules
- Build in redundancy and layers (no single point of failure)
- …Seven modes (for seven heads) Here are seven modes that I think capture a good chunk of my own day to day states.
- Recovery Mode …
- Novelty Mode …
- …If you’re feeling stuck, switch modes. Try another head. Being a Hydra is all about the long term The 1st day of every month is your chance to re-start, revise, and recommit to the things that are most important to you.
How To Be Successful
I've observed thousands of founders and thought a lot about what it takes to make a huge amount of money or to create something important. Usually, people start off wanting the former and end up wanting the latter. Here are 13 thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success.
But I always want it to be a project that, if successful, will make the rest of my career look like a footnote. One of the notable aspects of compound growth is that the furthest out years are the most important “I will fail many times, and I will be really right once” is the entrepreneurs’ way. You have to give yourself a lot of chances to get lucky. Look for small bets you can make where you lose 1x if you’re wrong but make 100x if it works. Then make a bigger bet in that direction. You can get to about the 90th percentile in your field by working either smart or hard, which is still a great accomplishment. But getting to the 99th percentile requires both.
Advice to my younger self
I had the privilege of speaking to some Berkeley students last week. Below is the talk reprinted in full: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you could call yourself 10 years ago and speak for a minute, what would you say? That's the thought that was going through my mind when I got asked
Unless you learn to face your fear you will never achieve anything. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of shame. These are the things that get in between us and our potential. Asking for help is a form of vulnerability. That's why people tend not to do it, they're afraid of displaying a lack of strength. But really, vulnerability is an incredible strength. Happiness conditional on external factors will always be unobtainable. The same thing goes for validation and safety. Money will not make you feel safe; nothing will. There is no safety in the face of your own mortality.
The Munger Operating System: A Life That Works
In 2007, Charlie Munger gave the commencement address at USC Law School, opening his speech by saying, "Well, no doubt many of you are wondering why the speaker is so old. Well, the answer is obvious: He hasn't died yet." Fortunately for us, Munger has kept on ticking.
To get what you want, deserve what you want. Trust, success, and admiration are earned. Learn to think through problems backwards as well as forward. Attain fluency on the big multidisciplinary ideas of the world and use them regularly. Use setbacks in life as an opportunity to become a bigger and better person. Don’t wallow.
How To Stop Procrastinating
Regardless of how many productivity books we've bought (and haven't read) or how many motivational videos we've watched (and never acted upon), we all struggle at some point during our lives with the productivity plague of the modern era - procrastination. In fact, procrastination is not new.
Motivation isn’t something you have, motivation is something you get, automatically, from feeling good about achieving small successes. In essence, discipline produces action which leads to a more sustainable form of motivation. When we're procrastinating we're in a state of rest - motivation doesn't start the ball rolling. Only action can act as the "external unbalanced force" to push us into a state of motion. Once moving, a feedback loop develops and it becomes harder to stop because the desire to complete tasks provides the drive necessary to continue moving forward.
How to Get Rich
A collection of all my interviews about my 'How to Get Rich' tweetstorm. Seek Wealth, Not Money or Status Wealth is assets that earn while you sleep You probably know Naval from his Twitter account. We're going to talk about his tweetstorm, "How To Get Rich (without getting lucky)." More
The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius
November 2019 Everyone knows that to do great work you need both natural ability and determination. But there's a third ingredient that's not as well understood: an obsessive interest in a particular topic. To explain this point I need to burn my reputation with some group of people, and I'm going to choose bus ticket collectors.
If I had to put the recipe for genius into one sentence, that might be it: to have a disinterested obsession with something that matters. An obsessive interest in a topic is both a proxy for ability and a substitute for determination. The disinterestedness of this kind of obsession is its most important feature. Not just because it's a filter for earnestness, but because it helps you discover new ideas.
Default Alive or Default Dead?
October 2015[[[[ When I talk to a startup that's been operating for more than 8 or 9 months, the first thing I want to know is almost always the same. Assuming their expenses remain constant and their revenue growth is what it has been over the last several months, do they make it to profitability on the money they have left?
If the company is default alive, we can talk about ambitious new things they could do. If it's default dead, we probably need to talk about how to save it.
Keep Your Identity Small
February 2009[[ I finally realized today why politics and religion yield such uniquely useless discussions. As a rule, any mention of religion on an online forum degenerates into a religious argument. Why?
I think what religion and politics have in common is that they become part of people's identity, and people can never have a fruitful argument about something that's part of their identity. The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you. If people can't think clearly about anything that has become part of their identity, then all other things being equal, the best plan is to let as few things into your identity as possible.
How to Be an Expert in a Changing World
December 2014[[[[ If the world were static, we could have monotonically increasing confidence in our beliefs. The more (and more varied) experience a belief survived, the less likely it would be false. Most people implicitly believe something like this about their opinions.
When experts are wrong, it's often because they're experts on an earlier version of the world. Most really good startup ideas look like bad ideas at first, and many of those look bad specifically because some change in the world just switched them from bad to good. The first step is to have an explicit belief in change. It seems to me that beliefs about the future are so rarely correct that they usually aren't worth the extra rigidity they impose, and that the best strategy is simply to be aggressively open-minded. Another trick I've found to protect myself against obsolete beliefs is to focus initially on people rather than ideas. Surround yourself with the sort of people new ideas come from. If you want to notice quickly when your beliefs become obsolete, you can't do better than to be friends with the people whose discoveries will make them so.