Before Long

Apr 14, 2020

I woke up this morning feeling introspective, so I decided to embrace the feeling and write. Here are some things that I’ve learned, either directly or from others:

  1. You’ll never be better than Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or anybody you look up to. But you’d be impressed if you had the chance to meet the best version of yourself. If you met them, you’d let go of emulating others and focus on being the best version yourself.
  2. In the medium term, a winner wins regardless of where they are and what game they’re playing.
  3. You’ll never lose anything by politely asking for what you want.
  4. Unhappy people re-live the same scripts and play the same games over and over again. Read books like Games People Play to understand the scripts you live and why you live them.
  5. Most people are firmly in an imperial mindset. Anything that furthers their interests is good; anything that challenges them is bad. And most people cannot handle two perspectives at the same time.
  6. Nobody really knows what they’re doing, but some people put in the work to figure it out.
  7. The Rule of 70. Exponential growth.
  8. Tinker. If you’re curious how something works, take it apart and don’t be afriad to break it. Even the most impressive things are created by people just like you. Read the source code.
  9. Make things and talk to users. Fall in love with problems, not solutions.
  10. You won’t generate wealth with a salary; you get wealthy by owning equity in things that are valuable.
  11. When I was young I remember opening up the Lego catalog and finding three different sets that I wanted. I added up the prices and that’s when I decided I wanted to make money. Now I own most of the lego sets that I want, but I’ve realized that freedom and time to pursue what I think is interesting is really what I was after.
  12. Gradatim Ferociter (Step by step, ferociously). You don’t have to have all the answers to do something amazing. Just focus on getting one step closer and make sure you don’t die along the way. This applies to almost anything, including courting people and relationships.
  13. How to draw an owl.
  14. The field is level, only in heaven.
  15. It’s not about what you deserve. It’s about what you can negotiate.
  16. How to deal with an insuperable problem: think about who you were 20 years ago. Ask that guy if he ever thought he’d be lucky enough to have to deal with the problems you’re dealing with.
  17. When you meet your heroes, you’ll be underwhelmed and disappointed. Don’t rely on any one person for everything.
  18. Putting someone on a pedestal ensures you’ll never get along with them.
  19. Don’t trust a man; trust his incentives. (This applies to almost everyone outside your direct family)
  20. It’s not what you say, it’s what the other person hears.
  21. If all the people you date end up being crazy, that’s more a reflection on you than it is them. The same thing applies to jobs: if every job you take end up in chaos, it might be you.
  22. A problem well stated is a problem half solved.
  23. Tom Wolfe, in The Bonfire of the Vanities: [Sherman] made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later… that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.
  24. There is no such thing as an inherently bad risk - risk is only bad if it’s mis-priced.
  25. Buckminster Fuller: Don’t fight forces - use them. If you’re feeling down, use that as motivation to go to the gym and get jacked. If you’re feeling angry, use that as a beacon to figure out what’s against the value you have not yet articulated.
  26. For most things, having a strong mental model > remembering every single detail.
  27. If you feel like every hand you’re getting is a 2-7 offsuit, your perspective might need some work. We’re generally dealt from the same deck of cards.
  28. Make tools that help you level up.
  29. The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. - Wittgenstein
  30. Experts don’t call themselves experts.
  31. People will judge you for speaking out and saying what you believe. All those jobs, relationships, promotions, opportunities you’ll miss out on because you’re being true to yourself and speaking your mind: you never really wanted them anyways.
  32. Before long, you’ll be waking up in the middle of the night, realizing you too are turning old. Instead of fighting it, choose to use the time you have now. Publish your book. Launch your product. Build your empire. Just do it now, because youth sure isn’t waiting on you.