Think About It

99% people in the world keep playing small games throughout their lives to satisfy their egos ,the ego that happens to be bigger than this universe.

14th May 2022

What the Best Presenters Do Differently

According to Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, villagers would come from far and wide to hear Abraham Lincoln, then a prairie lawyer with a gift for storytelling.

Lincoln didn’t have the benefit of modern technology. He stood on a tree stump instead of a TED stage, and PowerPoint wouldn’t be invented for another 130 years.

And yet Lincoln “could simultaneously educate, entertain, and move his audiences,” writes Goodwin.

While the tools of communication have changed since Lincoln regaled crowds with his storytelling techniques, the human brain has not. Our minds are wired for story. We think in narrative and enjoy consuming content in story form.

The Strength of Being Misunderstood

You should trade being short-term low-status for being long-term high-status, which most people seem unwilling to do.

A common way this happens is by eventually being right about an important but deeply non-consensus bet.

But there are lots of other ways–the key observation is that as long as you are right, being misunderstood by most people is a strength not a weakness.

You and a small group of rebels get the space to solve an important problem that might otherwise not get solved.

It seems like there are two degrees of freedom: you can choose the people whose opinions you care about (and on what subjects), and you can choose the timescale you care about them on. Most people figure out the former [1] but the latter doesn’t seem to get much attention.

China's DNA

A short report in Newsweek (High-Quality DNA) about a new Chinese initiative in genetic sequencing serves as a signal for several large global trends. First the opening sentences:

Lesson 1: Science will go where there is the least resistance to it. It is borderless, constantly seeking the fewest restrictions and the most investments.

Lesson 2: China still has a predominant copy-culture, preferring to copy ideas rather than invent their own. This was true of the US for its first 100 years.

Lesson 3: The shift we feel towards the east is just beginning. While China is aging and breeding below replacement level, their engineers are young and have decades of productivity ahead of them

Lesson 4: A reverse brain drain is operating. And not just from the US among overseas Chinese. Many capable non-Chinese researchers are taking positions in China.

Think About It

All the significant achievements of individuals are the result of many hours/days/weeks/months/years spent on working on something as an insignificant individual.

07th May 2022

How To Be Successful

Here are 13 thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success.

Everything here is easier to do once you’ve already reached a baseline degree of success (through privilege or effort) and want to put in the work to turn that into outlier success.

But much of it applies to anyone.

This is the outcome of observing 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.

  1. Compound yourself
  2. Have almost too much self-belief
  3. Learn to think independently
  4. Make it easy to take risks
  5. Be hard to compete with
  6. Be internally driven

103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known

Today is my birthday. I turn 70. I’ve learned a few things so far that might be helpful to others.

For the past few years, I’ve jotted down bits of unsolicited advice each year and much to my surprise I have more to add this year. So here is my birthday gift to you all: 103 bits of wisdom I wish I had known when I was young.

  • About 99% of the time, the right time is right now.
  • No one is as impressed with your possessions as you are.
  • Don't ever work for someone you don't want to become.
  • Don't keep making the same mistakes; try to make new mistakes.
  • If you stop to listen to a musician or street performer for more than a minute, you owe them a dollar.
  • Anything you say before the word "but" does not count.
  • Half the skill of being educated is learning what you can ignore.
  • The advantage of a ridiculously ambitious goal is that it sets the bar very high so even in failure it may be a success measured by the ordinary.
  • A great way to understand yourself is to seriously reflect on everything you find irritating in others.

Billionaire Confessional: David Rubenstein on Wealth and Privilege

Growing up in a family where your father’s pretty wealthy is much more complicated than growing up in a family where your father is not wealthy.

When your family is not wealthy, you’ve got to really achieve something or you’re not going to get anywhere.

You’re on your own.

Whereas my own children, and the children of families like mine, I think have a bit of a disadvantage.

As a general rule of thumb, the people running the world are people from blue-collar families who are lower middle class.

It’s rarely the case that somebody whose father was a billionaire turns out to be better than his father, becoming a multibillionaire or running the world.

Think About It

It is not a problem that you want too much, the problem is that you want too much, too fast.

30th April 2022

Impatience: The Pitfall Of Every Ambitious Person

One of my mentors is an art dealer. He specializes in art from the middle ages. Last time we met, he showed me a part of his personal collection. Impressed by the size of the collection, I asked how long it took to accumulate everything.

He said "45 years," and then he laughed when I looked surprised. He continued:

"This is not something you can buy in one go. It’s not like going to the IKEA. Accumulating anything worthwhile in life takes time. First, because you don't have the money to buy everything at once. Second, not everything is always available. You must wait for the right opportunity."

And waiting is one of the hardest things in life. But if you take a close look around you, you see many examples of people who waited for the right opportunity.

Take all the investors who bought stocks and real estate during the financial crisis that started in 2008. That recession lasted for several years. Recently, I spoke to someone who invested a big chunk of his assets in the stock market between 2009 and 2011.

He saved most of his money in the years that led to the crisis. Not because he predicted the global financial crisis that was sparked by subprime mortgages, but because he simply didn’t know what to do. So he spent his time learning about investing.

He also didn't follow the market. Instead, he saved his money — and wasn't tempted to invest it just because "the economy is great."

But that's not what most people do in prosperous times. When we see that the economy is growing, we think it's the right time to invest and spend.

We feel optimistic and we trust the market. So what do we do? We look for "good" investments. All of us turn into part-time investors.

Learning by Doing: When Does it Work? When Does it Fail?

How much do we learn simply by doing the things we’re trying to get good at?

My original intuition was that we get good at what we practice, and skills are often quite specific. This suggests doing the real thing—focusing precisely on what we want to get good at—is underrated.

I still think this view holds. But this simple statement belies a lot of complexity. There’s a lot of fascinating research showing which conditions lead us to get better through direct practice. These, in turn, have shaped my views about the best way to get good at complex skills.

My general advice remains: do the thing you're trying to get good at. But there are useful considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Instruction plus practice beats practice alone.
  2. If the task is too difficult, seek lots of examples and find simpler versions of the task to start.
  3. Broad background reading and study are helpful. But they can't replace doing the real thing.
  4. Isolated practice of component skills can be effective. But these skills are often subtly different when doing the real thing. Thus, a good habit is alternating between whole and part practice.
  5. Some skills may not be learnable through practice. In these cases, relying on tools that remove the need for direct improvement may beat extensive experience.

How to build confidence with 3 hacks (that aren't embarassing)

Can you build your confidence?

A lot of people reflexively say "No – you’re either confident or you're not." But in my experience, that's simply not true.

Confidence is a skill, and like any other skill, you can master it over time.

To show you what I mean, I want to show you one of the most dramatic changes I’ve ever seen. Here’s a student of mine, Chris, who went from awkward and hesitant to confident and natural.

As Chris learned how to build confidence, he’s gone from barely scraping by to now turning down multiple 6-figure job offers and building a lucrative business on the side.

I want to show you proof of his dramatic confidence transformation.

Think About It

Success = Ability x Will x Direction x Luck

23rd April 2022

Why Hard Work Beats Talent Every Time

Talent is the natural ability or capacity to perform a function.

When you possess talent in an area, you are gifted with the “knack” or “instinct” needed to perform a skill or display a specific quality.

But this only means you have the “raw mechanism.”

So, you have the equipment or tools needed to perform the skills. However, until you learn how to efficiently and effectively use, manage, and control these resources, you cannot perform or use your talents at the highest levels.

This is where “hard work” steps in. “Hard work” applied to your natural talents and instincts will take you to levels others may never attain.

There’s Now an Algorithm to Help Workers Avoid Losing Their Jobs to an Algorithm

As AI and robotics continue to advance, there are concerns that machines could soon replace humans in a wide range of occupations. Now there’s a new way to tell how likely your job is to be taken over by robots or AI, and what job to shift to if you are at risk.

Industrial robots have been a fixture on manufacturing lines for decades, but they have generally been dumb and dangerous, incapable of operating outside of highly controlled environments and liable to injure human workers unless safely caged.

Advances in AI are starting to change that though, with more nimble and aware robots starting to move from factories and warehouses into storefronts and restaurants. Social distancing requirements due to the Covid-19 pandemic have only accelerated this trend, fueling anxiety that an increasing number of human workers may end up getting displaced by robots.

While previous waves of automation primarily affected low-skill jobs, the rapidly improving capabilities of machines mean that medium and high-skill occupations are increasingly at risk. The pace of progress also means that jobs may change far faster than before, opening up the prospect that workers will have to retrain and acquire new skills multiple times throughout their lifetimes.

Story Of Hyundai

It is the story of Hyundai & its founder.

When Chung escaped home in 1933, he never thought he would build a $35,000,000,000 business – a story of grit, discipline, and dire need.

But a stolen cow and a rice shop lead him to Hyundai.

Chung ju-yung was born in a North Korean village in 1915.

His parents were poor farmers. While his dad cultivated rice while his mom managed the household and raised silkworms for extra money.

So Chung grew up poor but managed to graduate from 5th grade. You may be thinking… yea that isn’t hard. But this was an impressive accomplishment for his town and we are talking about 1920s!

Think About It

A simple fact of life: if you want to do something incredible, something that makes you stand out above the rest, then you have to become comfortable being different—that means being misunderstood, criticized, even hated.

16th April 2022

Doing Something Once Vs. Doing It Every Day

The older I get. The more I think about the following: It doesn’t matter what you have done. But what you keep doing consistently that counts.

This is easily sensible in all types of sports.

I mean, you can’t win an Olympic medal if you train once. You need to show up every day to have a chance at qualifying – winning is a whole other thing.

But this rule is equally true for everything else:

  • Doing one good thing doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good person.
  • Reading one book doesn’t make you a reader.
  • Writing a page doesn’t make you a writer.
  • Making a sale today won’t mean that you will stay in business if you don’t keep selling every day.

Therefore, the hard thing is not doing something once if you want to maintain good results.

Powerful Learning Techniques

If you want to learn something deeply and consistently improvise yours skills in certain domain, here are few powerful learning techniques:

  1. Deliberate Practice Vs. Regular Practice
  2. Spaced Repetition
  3. Chunking
  4. Learning By Teaching
  5. Question Yourself & Iterate
  6. The ADEPT Method

Knowing the most effective strategies for how to learn can help you get the most out of your time when you are trying to learn new things. If you are like many people, your time is limited so it is important to get the most educational value out of the time you have available.

Speed of learning is not the only important factor, however. It is important to be able to accurately remember the information that you learn, recall it at a later time, and utilize it effectively in a wide variety of situations.

Becoming an efficient learner is not something that happens overnight, but putting a few of these learning techniques into daily practice can help you get more out of your study time.

No yes. Either HELL YEAH! or no.

Use this rule if you’re often over-committed or too scattered.

If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say no.

When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then say no.

When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”

Every event you get invited to. Every request to start a new project. If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about it, say no.

Think About It

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. - J Miles

09th April 2022

Choose Your Status Game Wisely

No matter which environment you are in, you will notice that there is always a status game being played.

Status is relative to the context in which it is being evaluated.

Different communities value different things when it comes to conferring status. For example, if you are a competitive powerlifter, your status is determined by how much you can lift (strength) and how many competitions you have won (competitiveness).

I could go on, but you get my point. Status is relative to the context in which it is being evaluated.

This is why you have to choose your status game wisely. Because whatever status game you choose in life ultimately determines what you optimize for. Choose money and you’ll end up working all the time. Choose beauty and you’ll always want to look better. Choose fame and you’ll constantly be seeking attention.

Each of these choices has consequences too. Your pursuit of wealth could leave your personal relationships in shambles. Your pursuit of beauty could impact your mental and physical health. Your pursuit of fame could end up ruining your reputation.

Whatever status game you decide to play, you have to ask yourself: are the benefits worth the costs?

How Practical Wisdom Helps Us Cope with Radical Uncertainty

Psychological distress in the face of uncertainty is no accident—it’s human nature.

Jill Stoddard, a clinical psychologist and author of a book about managing anxiety, told us, “Our anxiety and discomfort are products of evolution. Anxious early humans who avoided uncertainty had a survival advantage.”

Modern life makes it even harder to tolerate anxiety, Stoddard added: “If you want the answer to any question, just ask your device. If you want to know whether a restaurant, product, or service will meet your expectations, just go to your favorite search engine. Because technology has deleted our ability to strengthen our tolerance of uncertainty muscles, we have become progressively more anxious when faced with the unknown.”

As one recent research study showed, problematic levels of technology use are associated with higher intolerance of uncertainty.

We are, more than ever, longing for certainty and an end to the maze of unanswerable questions.

Visualizing the World’s Gold Demand

Do you know that only 50% of world’s gold is used in making ornaments !

And 80 % of world’s gold ornaments are in India.

On an average, we import approximately 800 MT of gold every year. Sending precious foreign currency overseas to buy a non-productive asset!

Where the rest of the gold goes.

Well here is the break-up of the same :

  1. Jewelry: 2,107t (48.37% of demand)
  2. Investment (total bar & coin): 870.6t (19.99% of demand)
  3. Central banks & other institutions: 650.3t (14.93% of demand)
  4. Investment (ETFs & similar): 401.1t (9.21% of demand)
  5. Technology: 326.6t (7.5% of demand)

    1. Nearly half (48.37%) of the world’s annual demand of over 4,000 tons of gold goes to jewelry, a growth market which was estimated in 2018 at $278.5 billion.

      However, a recession may slow the growth of this market, as it did during the 2008 recession. While this category may drop in demand, that still leaves significant categories of demand in investing and financial institutions.

Think About It

Phase of boredom in the learning curve.

They’ll say it's boring, but what they really mean is that it's too hard, the ratio of work to pleasure is too high.

02nd April 2022

How Wanting Less Leads to Satisfaction

Even the most successful people suffer from the dissatisfaction problem. I remember once seeing LeBron James—the world’s greatest basketball player—with a look of abject despair on his face after his Cleveland Cavaliers lost the NBA championship to the Golden State Warriors. All of the world’s wealth and accolades were like straw in that moment of loss.

Abd al-Rahman III, the emir and caliph of Córdoba in 10th-century Spain, summed up a life of worldly success at about age 70: “I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call.”

And the payoff? “I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot,” he wrote. “They amount to 14.”

The Fortune 500 CEOs with the Best (and Worst) Headshots

Snappr provides on-demand photography services, from portraits for families to national campaigns for large brands.

Headshots are a specialty. Snappr has undertaken tens of thousands of portrait shoots, capturing hundreds of thousands of individuals. Many of these have been corporate headshots for business executives.

Snappr is also the maker of the Photo Analyser – a tool that uses AI to instantly rate the quality of a headshot – which has been used more than a million times.

Interestingly, Snapper found a relationship between CEO smiles and company performance.

Snappr looked to see if there is any relationship between company performance and the quality of the CEO headshot. Do quality headshots correlate with quality companies?

The average headshot quality of companies with positive revenue or profit growth for the year was virtually identical to that of companies with negative growth. We found little correlation between the quality of a CEO’s headshot and the performance of their company. But we did find that CEOs were more likely to have a better smile if their company was growing in revenue or profits!

CEOs with positive revenue growth year on year have smile scores 8% higher than those with negative or no revenue growth.

Similarly, CEOs with positive profit growth year on year had 6% higher smiles scores compared to their profit-shrinking counterparts. Perhaps investors should make more bets on CEOs with big smiles!

What happened to Starbucks? How a progressive company lost its way

In the 1990s, Starbucks began to position itself as “the third place,” a spot between home and work where customers could find comfort, community, and good coffee.

The notion had been inspired by longtime CEO Howard Schultz’s visit to Milan’s convivial espresso bars in the late 1980s, and Starbucks has exported the experience widely, operating 34,000 stores in 84 markets.

Along the way, Starbucks has gotten gargantuan. It is now the third-largest global restaurant chain, after Subway and McDonald’s, and it’s growing faster than either.

The company plans to add 2,000 stores this year, many of them in China, an explosive market—the company’s second largest—where, since 2020, it’s been opening a new store every 15 hours.

But even before the pandemic hit, the notion of creating a third place was slipping as a priority for the company.

To-go orders represented 80% of transactions in 2019.

One-fifth of orders were being placed through the mobile app. Cold beverages, inherently more portable than hot, were outselling hot drinks. The communal nature of the cafés was eroding, and with it Starbucks’s brand identity.

Think About It

You only need to know the direction, not the destination. The direction is enough to make the next choice.

26th March 2022

Low Expectations

Elon Musk said he had lunch with Charlie Munger in 2009. Munger allegedly told the whole table all the ways Tesla would fail.

It "made me quite sad," Musk tweeted last week. "But I told him I agreed with all those reasons & that we would probably die, but it was worth trying anyway."

It's both sad and inspiring.

It's also more complicated than it looks.

Munger was recently asked an unrelated question that adds a layer to Musk's point.

Asked, "You seem extremely happy and content. What's your secret to living a happy life?" 98-year-old Munger replied:

The first rule of a happy life is low expectations. If you have unrealistic expectations you're going to be miserable your whole life. You want to have reasonable expectations and take life's results good and bad as they happen with a certain amount of stoicism.

I think these guys are making the same point. And it's an important point.

Musk is right that some things that will probably fail are worth trying anyway. That's true for everyone in almost all areas of life, because we live in a tail-driven world where a few events drive the majority of outcomes.

It's a world that demands you become comfortable with a lot of things not working, lots of things failing, and constant disappointment, because "success" means you tried ten things and eight of them fail miserably but two change your life.

How Trust Runs the World

Trust is the base layer of all human relationships. Without trust, there can be no value exchange, no community, no intimacy.

If I don't trust my wife, then her affection will feel lifeless and empty. If I don't trust my business partner, then no amount of work will feel useful. If I don't trust my neighbors or society, then I will see no reason to go out and engage with the world.

Trust is the prerequisite to building anything good and meaningful in this world.

The problem is, humans do a lot of shit that makes them untrustworthy.

Our natural disposition is to be short-term, selfish actors. Research shows that most people will lie, cheat, or steal if put in a position where they believe they can get away with it. On top of that, we instinctively fall prey to "us versus them" thinking, which we then use to justify lying, cheating, or stealing.

Sadly, humans aren't really good at the whole "trustworthy behavior" thing. And when we are, it’s usually only when we're among close family or friends. Definitely not complete strangers.

So if everything good is built on the back of trust, but we generally aren't disposed to being trustworthy individuals, then how do we solve this problem?

Well, throughout human history, people solved this by building institutions.

How Learning Happens

Inspiration is the keystone of learning. It’s the engine behind a student’s motivation and the glue that makes ideas stick. But because our school system undervalues the necessity of inspiration, students don’t learn as much as they could.

Why do people learn things?

Usually, because they need to. They’re frustrated by something, either in themselves or the world. Maybe a loved one is sick. Maybe they’re not making enough money to support their family.

In both cases, they enter “Survival Mode” and are spurred to action. When the pain of the status quo hurts more than the pain of discipline, people are capable of extraordinary feats of learning.

Survival Mode learning is effective, but it’s not especially enjoyable. It can even cause people to resent the learning process because they associated it with fight-or-flight levels of stress.

Even if some of the best feats of learning happen in Survival Mode, it can create resentment if sustained for a long time.

School, for example, is built on Survival Mode. Fear is created with exams, essays, and the carrot of a college diploma at the end of it all.

Think About It

Any habit that is harmless is a good habit.

19th March 2022

Why Do You Continue Doing Something Even If It Gives Undesired Results?

Why do you continue eating the food that you ordered in a restaurant, even if it doesn’t taste good?

Why do some investors continue investing in a stock even though it’s falling?

We can see that our efforts are failing, but sometimes our behavior goes against rationality.

This is due to the behavioral fallacy known as the sunk cost effect.

What is the sunk cost effect?

The sunk cost effect is the ongoing investment of time, money and effort that an individual makes in any endeavor, even if rationally the results appear unpromising. Why don’t we just stop? Well, this is easier said than done.

When any individual has already made an investment of time, money or effort, it becomes difficult to withdraw from the task. Rationally, an earlier investment of anything is not necessarily a guarantee of a future return. An error of judgement occurs when we fail to cut our losses—the sunk cost.

How to Stop Overthinking and Start Trusting Your Gut

In the age of big data, trusting your gut often gets a bad rap. Intuition — the term used to refer to gut feelings in research — is frequently dismissed as mystical or unreliable.

While it’s true that intuition can be fallible, studies show that pairing gut feelings with analytical thinking helps you make better, faster, and more accurate decisions and gives you more confidence in your choices than relying on intellect alone.

This is especially true when you’re overthinking or when there is no single clear-cut, “correct” option.

In fact, surveys of top executives show that a majority of leaders leverage feelings and experience when handling crises.

Even the U.S. Navy has invested millions of dollars into helping sailors and Marines refine their sixth sense, precisely because intuition can supersede intellect in high-stakes situations like the battlefield.

How modern food can regain its nutrients

It looks like a carrot, it tastes like a carrot, but is it as good for us as it once was?

The nutritional values of some popular vegetables, from asparagus to spinach, have dropped significantly since 1950. A 2004 US study found important nutrients in some garden crops are up to 38% lower than there were at the middle of the 20th Century. On average, across the 43 vegetables analysed, calcium content declined 16%, iron by 15% and phosphorus by 9%. The vitamins riboflavin and ascorbic acid both dropped significantly, while there were slight declines in protein levels. Similar decreases have been observed in the nutrients present in wheat. What's happening?

Prompted by food shortages after World War Two, scientists developed new high-yield varieties of crops and breeds of livestock, alongside synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, to boost food production. Coupled with improvements in irrigation and the advent of affordable tractors, crop productivity increased dramatically. The average global cereal yield rose 175% between 1961 and 2014, with wheat, for example, rising from an average yield of 1.1 tonnes per hectare to 3.4 tonnes per hectare in around the same timeframe.

While yields went up, nutrient levels in some crops declined, bringing intensive farming techniques under scrutiny. Could it be, as some have claimed, the result of the increased use of artificial pesticides, fertilisers and other chemicals disrupting the fine balance of soil life, the health of crop plants, and therefore affecting the quality of the food we eat?

Think About It

Helpful people don't ask "how can I help?" They just help.

12th March 2022

Now You Get It

Every job looks easy when you're not the one doing it." – Jeff Immelt

Historian Stephen Ambrose writes about World War II soldiers who left basic training full of bravado and confidence, eager to fight when they join the frontline. Then they get shot at, and everything changes.

"There was no way training could prepare a man for combat," Ambrose writes. It could teach you how to fire a gun and follow orders. But "It could not teach men how to lie helpless under a shower of shrapnel in a field crisscrossed by machine-gun fire." No one could understand it until they experienced it.

A lot of things work like that.

Most actions have two sides: skill and behavior. What's true in theory vs. how it feels in the moment. The gap between the two can be a mile wide. No amount of empathy and open-mindedness can recreate emotions. Textbooks and classrooms can’t teach what genuine fear, adrenaline, and uncertainty feel like. So you think you understand how a field works until you experience a new part of it firsthand. Then you see it through a completely different lens.

AI Algorithms Are Slimming Down to Fit in Your Fridge

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE has made stunning strides, but it often needs absurd amounts of data and computer power to get there. Now some AI researchers are focused on making the technology as efficient as possible.

Last week researchers showed it is possible to squeeze a powerful AI vision algorithm onto a simple, low-power computer chip that can run for months on a battery. The trick could help bring more advanced AI capabilities, like image and voice recognition, to home appliances and wearable devices, along with medical gadgets and industrial sensors. It could also help keep data private and secure by reducing the need to send anything to the cloud.

"This result is quite exciting to us," says Song Han, an assistant professor at MIT leading the project. Although the work is a lab experiment for now, it "can quickly move to real-world devices," Han says.

Microcontrollers are relatively simple, low-cost, low-power computer chips found inside billions of products, including car engines, power tools, TV remotes, and medical implants.

Business is People

Yuval Harari, author of the wonderful book, 'Sapiens' makes a point that all organisations can be no more or less than the moving force of the mind, heart, and spirit of people, without which all assets are just so much inert mineral, chemical, or vegetable matter, by the law of entropy, steadily decaying to a stable state."

He uses the Peugeot Lion, the icon adorning the cars made by one of the oldest and largest of Europe's car makers, as an example.

Harari explains, 'Today Peugeot SA employs about 200,000 people worldwide, most of whom are complete strangers to each other. These strangers co-operate so effectively that in 2008 Peugeot produced more than 1.5m automobiles, earning revenues of about 55 billion euros.' Peugeot Lion

'In what sense can we say Peugeot SA (the company's official name) exists?, Harari asks. 'There are many Peugeot vehicles, but these are obviously not the company. Even if every Peugeot in the world were simultaneously junked and sold for scrap metal, Peugeot SA would not disappear. It would continue to manufacture new cars and issue its annual report. The company owns factories, machines and showrooms.' Peugeot is 'a figment of our collective imagination.'

Think About It

Most actions have two sides: skill and behavior.

What's true in theory vs. how it feels in the moment. The gap between the two can be a mile wide.

Some things that must be experienced before they can be understood.

05th March 2022

Heuristics That Almost Always Work

The Doctor

She is a primary care doctor. Every day, patients come to her and says "My back hurts" or "My stomach feels weird". She inspects, palpates, percusses and auscultates various body parts, does some tests, and says "It's nothing, take two aspirin and call me in a week if it doesn't improve". It always improves; no one ever calls her.

Eventually, she gets sloppy. She inspects but does not palpate. She does not do the tests. She just says "It's nothing, it'll get better on its own". And she is always right.

She will do this for her entire career. If she is very lucky, nothing bad will happen. More likely, two or three of her patients will have cancer or something else terrible, and she will miss it. But those people will die, and everyone else will remember that she was such a nice doctor, such a caring doctor. Always so reassuring, never poked and prodded them with needles like everyone else.

Her heuristic is right 99.9% of the time, but she provides literally no value. There is no point to her existence. She could be profitably replaced with a rock saying "IT'S NOTHING, TAKE TWO ASPIRIN AND WAIT FOR IT TO GO AWAY".

The Interviewer

He assesses candidates for a big company. He chooses whoever went to the best college and has the longest experience.

Other interviewers will sometimes choose a diamond in the rough, or take a chance on someone with a less-polished resume who seems like a good culture fit. Not him. Anyone who went to an Ivy is better than anyone who went to State U is better than anyone who went to community college. Anyone with ten years' experience is better than anyone with five is better than anyone with one. You can tell him about all your cool extracurricular projects and out-of-the-box accomplishments, and he will remain unswayed.

It cannot be denied that the employees he hires are very good. But when he dies, the coroner discovers that his head has a rock saying “HIRE PEOPLE FROM GOOD COLLEGES WITH LOTS OF EXPERIENCE” where his brain should be.

Why are polar bears migrating to Russia from Alaska?

It is reported that between 2001 and 2010, there was a 40 per cent drop in Alaska's polar bear population. This is of great concern to us humans as well because one of the many signs of global warming is the change in animal population and habitation.

This drop-in polar bear population is being credited to polar bears' migration to Russia from Alaska due to rising temperatures in Alaska. In the last 50 years, Alaska's annual average temperature rose by 4.8 degrees Celsius. This rise has resulted in the loss of sea ice that directly affects the bears by redistricting their hunting ground.

The migration has resulted in a booming increase in polar bear numbers in Russia's Wrangel Island.

This is not the first time polar bears were seen migrating to colder places. In 2019, around 60 polar bears were spotted in one of Russia's remotest regions of Ryrkaypiy. Polar bears rely on sea ice for hunting seals, their primary food source. But the spread of ice has been on the decline as climate change accelerates the rise in temperatures at the poles, keeping them on land where it's harder to catch seals.

While the bears can fast for months, their survival depends on how much energy they've managed to reserve through eating ahead of time, the energy they expend during the fast and how long a fasting period lasts.

New data shows Americans more miserable than we've been in half a century

The latest release from the General Social Survey shows the toll the pandemic has taken on our mental health

Since 1972, the survey has asked respondents the following question: "Taken all together, how would you say things are these days–would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?" Typically, the people who say they're very happy outnumber the not too happy crowd by about three-to-one. Indeed those numbers have been fairly constant for half a century.

But in 2021 that all changed. The very-happies plummeted from 31 percent of the population in 2018 down to 19, while the not-too-happies surged by a nearly identical amount, from 13 to 24 percent.

Think About It

Consistency finishes what intensity starts.

A consistent effort >Intensity of effort

26th February 2022

Stockdale Paradox: Why confronting reality is vital to success

The Stockdale Paradox- in the most simplest explanation of this paradox, it's the idea of hoping for the best, but acknowledging and preparing for the worst.

Balancing realism and optimism in a dire situation is a key to success.

It is a concept that author Jim Collins found a perfect example of in James Stockdale, former vice-presidential candidate, who, during the Vietnam War, was held captive as a prisoner of war for over seven years. He was one of the highest-ranking naval officers at the time.

During this horrific period, Stockdale was repeatedly tortured and had no reason to believe he'd make it out alive. Held in the clutches of the grim reality of his hell world, he found a way to stay alive by embracing both the harshness of his situation with a balance of healthy optimism.

Stockdale explained this idea as the following: "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

Why Peter Thiel Searches for Reality-Bending 'Secrets'

Every great business is built around a secret that's hidden from the outside. A great company is a conspiracy to change the world; when you share your secret, the recipient becomes a fellow conspirator.

There was a social theorist named Rene Girard who believed the world is filled with important but undiscovered truths, the secrets.

Girard was a Christian. His fascination with secrets thus originated with the New Testament.

Jesus Christ famously spoke in parables to undermine the orthodoxy of the time.

In scripture, Proverbs 25:2 says: "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

That search is defined by the quest for secrets.

Hope you would agree that every person has their own map of the way the world works.

Everybody's map is incomplete, either because they lack information or are blinded by dogma. The world is always changing faster than our ability to map its developments — just think of your family members who still don't understand Bitcoin.

Sometimes, our sense-making machinery has a glitch too.

Many years ago, a McKinsey study concluded that nobody in the developing world would buy smartphones because they were too expensive. Based on that study, Nokia held off on launching a smartphone for another three years.

Around that time, an anthropologist who had recently returned from Chinese refugee camps saw how people would sacrifice half their disposable income just to own an iPhone.

Though Nokia had an internet-enabled phone with a color touchscreen display and a high-resolution camera in 2004, the executives held off on launching a smartphone for another three years.

Between the peak of their mobile dominance and their sale of the mobile division in 2013, Nokia's value fell by almost $250 billion.

Though it's easy to laugh at Nokia, their decision aligned with common knowledge at the time. Most people didn't expect smartphones to become so popular. These society-wide distortions create opportunities though.

Just as Apple capitalized on the smartphone secret, the famous investor named Thiel ,capitalizes on secrets by investing in startups.

Trading in virtual water

We are exporting virtual water by exporting agriculture products.

A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India.

The recent trade war between the United States and China was, among other things, about virtual water - the hidden water in products.

Producing anything, whether it is soyabean or clothes, uses water, and has a water footprint.

Even after production, shipping and trading also have a hidden water cost. Virtual water trade refers to the import and export of hidden water in the form of products such as crops, textiles, machinery and livestock — all of which require water for their production.

The trade war between the US and China since July 2018 and the imposition of tariffs led to a change in the water balance between the two countries.

China continues high exports of hidden water in crops, textiles, machinery and livestock. China further stopped importing soyabean from the US in November 2018, leading to American farmers suffer in US$1.8 billion in losses. This also translated to 5.08 billion cubic metres of virtual water not received by China.

Think About It

"Reality will keep teaching you humility until you finally learn."

19th February 2022

Pursue Mastery, Not Status

Status games are fundamentally flawed.

One's position on the totem pole is always relative to someone else's, so if you're vying for status, you won't ever be able to truly create things for your own sake.

You will always look for someone else to elevate you up this pole, and will seek the admiration and approval of others to justify your position at all times.

If you're playing status game, the key to your happiness lies with others.

On the other hand, mastery is the quest to improve yourself as an end in itself. Comparisons are not made with other people, but only with prior versions of yourself.

You're not trying to become a better writer, musician, podcaster, etc. to improve your standing amongst others. Rather, you're doing it to prove to yourself that you can exercise your potential by contributing everything you can to actualize that untapped resource.

Status is obtained by collecting attention, whereas mastery is achieved by refining intuition.

Status is always relational, so external validation is a prerequisite to feeling secure.

Mastery, on the other hand, is gauged by your unique sense of progress, which can only be derived from within.

By pursuing mastery, you march to the beat of your own drum, while ensuring that the quality of that drum continues to improve over time.

Crazy How Good Life Becomes When You Focus on Being 1% Better Each Day

Have you read the story of Rich Roll.

If you read his story, you discover he became an alcoholic at 31. It ruined his life and he hit rock bottom.

His weight spiraled out of control, his career went down the shiter, and his friends stopped talking to him.

Apparently, one day, he tried to walk up the stairs to his home and "buckled over in pain."

Somehow he was able to foresee a heart attack was around the corner.

But he transformed himself.

He competed in marathons, became an author, started a podcast with a massive audience, and, frankly, achieved superhuman goals.

But it didn't happen overnight at all.

One event didn't define his transformation either. In fact, surprise surprise, he failed to successfully go to rehab and quit alcohol multiple times.

Rich eventually figured out how to get 1% better each day. Those tiny, daily wins added up to some huge victories later on.

But make no mistake, his focus on 1% daily wins is what got him there.

The 1% better each day mindset doesn't work if you have an enormous ego.

Egos tell us we can have 300% better days. Egos make us believe in fake progress. Egos make us take credit for progress someone else created.

The Underrated & the Underdogs

A research tells that the most successful companies are run by people unknown to the world.

They also possessed the underdog mentality. People who were ignored or overlooked for a long time.

It is not nice to be shunned at a cocktail party or get the door shut in your face once in a while.

But it is also nice at the same time.

It means you're continuing to push out of your comfort zone, continuing to reach further even as the resources available to you expand. And it's a great motivating reminder that you have to recreate yourself every day and that you certainly have not arrived.

Nothing is earned for good.

You see very rich people try to incubate new things with hundreds of millions or sometimes even billions and those usually don't end up anywhere.

Too much money, too many fancy people, no urgency, no grit, no burning desire to prove everyone wrong.

But you also have many examples of grittier, unknown people,less fancy teams starting off with a lot less funding and just making it work.

Being able to retain this underdog quality as you find success is invaluable. More resources can make you more powerful but more comfort will make you weak.

Everything has to be fought for day after the day, in the trenches, with your people.

Think About It

If you don't practice every day, you will think it is difficult.

12th February 2022

Why We Focus on Trivial Things: The Bikeshed Effect

Have you heard of famous Parkinson’s Law, which states that tasks expand to fill the amount of time allocated to them.

And there is a lesser-known Parkinson’s Law of Triviality, also coined by British naval historian and author Cyril Northcote Parkinson in the 1950s.

The Law of Triviality states that the amount of time spent discussing an issue in an organization is inversely correlated to its actual importance in the scheme of things. Major, complex issues get the least discussion while simple, minor ones get the most discussion.

Parkinson’s Law of Triviality is also known as “bike-shedding,”

Bikeshedding is a metaphor to illustrate the strange tendency we have to spend excessive time on trivial matters, often glossing over important ones.

How can we stop wasting time on unimportant details?

From meetings at work that drag on forever without achieving anything to weeks-long email chains that don’t solve the problem at hand, we seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on the inconsequential.

Then, when an important decision needs to be made, we hardly have any time to devote to it.

To answer this question, we first have to recognize why we get bogged down in the trivial.

Then we must look at strategies for changing our dynamics towards generating both useful input and time to consider it.

Here’s why we do it, and how to stop.

Do I Have Your Attention Now?

Every week you have roughly 10,000 minutes to live your life. If those 10,000 minutes represent 100% of your week, then each minute is 1 basis point (i.e. 0.01% of your week).

Therefore, if you sleep 6-8 hours a night, that’s 25%-33% of your week gone to rest. If you meditate for 15 minutes a day (~100 minutes a week), that’s 1% of your week for mental health.

If you work out for 30 minutes a day, that’s another 2% of your week, and so forth.

Based on above observations, people keep saying that time is your most important asset. But think deeply, you would come to more specific realization—it’s not just your time that matters, but your attention.

Just try to learn how other successful people guard their attention and it would have a profound impact on you.

Warren Buffet does not have mobile phone.

And Marc Andreessen has been known to block thousands of people on Twitter so that he doesn’t have to see opposing ideas in his newsfeed. He won’t even let his attention stray from his core beliefs for a fraction of a second.

And in his real life he is even more strict. As this New Yorker profile detailed: When he feels disrespected, Marc can cut you out of his life like a cancer.

Though Andreessen’s actions are extreme, I understand why. He realizes that attention is the last frontier, the last thing we have to ourselves. So he does everything he can to protect it.

The Time Trap of Productivity

Burnout is often associated with working too much, but the real reason it happens is because you have defined yourself by what you produce. It’s not just the exertion of energy spent during your working hours, but the exertion of thought spent during the time you’re not working.

It lives in the moment where you’re physically with your family, but mentally planning out what you need to do next. Or when you keep looking at the time when you should just be enjoying lunch.

One thing we often forget is that our measurement of time is a mere tool. We have minutes, hours, days, and so forth because they help us plan when to meet, work, and rest. We categorized time in this way to have it serve us.

But in a culture so focused on managing time, we have become subservient to it. By scheduling your day down to the last minute, you introduce an anxiety from managing your real-time progress to an imagined vision.

Each glance at the clock fires off a thought about whether your day is going like it’s supposed to, or if you’re falling behind.

This is a mind that always views the present through the lens of past and future, and can never be anchored in the “now.”

In Seneca’s opening letter to his friend Lucilius, he writes: Everything we have belongs to others; time alone is ours.

Think About It

The heart decides, the head rationalizes.

05th February 2022

Big Skills

One of the big leaps forward for humanity is when we mixed copper, which is soft, with tin, which is like paper, and created bronze, which is hard and made great tools and weapons. It was like two plus one equals ten.

A lot of things work like that. A couple ordinary things you don’t notice on their own create something spectacular when they mix together at the right time.

Scott Adams, the Dilbert creator, says he doesn’t have any extraordinary skills. He’s a pretty good artist. He’s kind of funny, an OK writer, and decent at business.

But multiply those mediocre skills together and you get one of the most successful cartoonists of all time.

It’s tempting to want to find the one big skill that will set you apart. But most incredible things come from compounding, and compounding isn’t intuitive because the incremental inputs are never exciting on their own.

Your attention didn’t collapse. It was stolen

When he was 9 years old, my godson Adam developed a brief but freakishly intense obsession with Elvis Presley. He took to singing Jailhouse Rock at the top of his voice with all the low crooning and pelvis-jiggling of the King himself.

One day, as I tucked him in, he looked at me very earnestly and asked: "Johann, will you take me to Graceland one day?" Without really thinking, I agreed. I never gave it another thought, until everything had gone wrong.

Ten years later, Adam was lost. He had dropped out of school when he was 15, and he spent almost all his waking hours alternating blankly between screens – a blur of YouTube, WhatsApp and porn. (I've changed his name and some minor details to preserve his privacy.)

He seemed to be whirring at the speed of Snapchat, and nothing still or serious could gain any traction in his mind. During the decade in which Adam had become a man, this fracturing seemed to be happening to many of us. Our ability to pay attention was cracking and breaking. I had just turned 40, and wherever my generation gathered, we would lament our lost capacity for concentration. I still read a lot of books, but with each year that passed, it felt more and more like running up a down escalator.

How to Stop Caring What Other People Think of You

A FRIEND OF MINE once shared what I considered a bit of unadulterated wisdom: "If I wouldn't invite someone into my house, I shouldn't let them into my head." But that's easier said than done.

Social media has opened up our heads so that just about any trespasser can wander in. If you tweet whatever crosses your mind about a celebrity, it could quite possibly reach the phone in her hand as she sits on her couch in her house.

The real problem isn/t technology—it/s human nature. We are wired to care about what others think of us. As the Roman Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius observed almost 2,000 years ago, "We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own," whether they are friends, strangers, or enemies.

This tendency may be natural, but it can drive us around the bend if we let it. If we were perfectly logical beings, we would understand that our fears about what other people think are overblown and rarely worth fretting over. But many of us have been indulging this bad habit for as long as we can remember, so we need to take deliberate steps to change our minds.

Think About It

There Are No Permanently Successful Adults.

No-one has sorted out their life completely – everyone is struggling in one area or the other.

Everyone's making it up as they go along.

Figure it out yourself, and do it.

29th January 2022

Anthro-Vision by Gillian Tett — soft insights on society

We've been sold the myth that with enough hard data, we can know everything.

But numbers can only show what is, they don't reveal why.

Soft data is what anthropology reveals: the meaning behind behaviours. In Japan, a KitKat isn't a relaxing snack ("Have a break"), it's a good-luck charm. In Malaysia and Singapore, a car isn't just a machine for travelling safely; it's also a haven of social safety that people treat quite a lot like home.

As a teenager, one of my most memorable education experiences was reading about a tribe in North America called the Nacirema. They resorted to odd oral rituals and their women baked their heads in ovens. Most students were appalled by such barbarity, only for our teacher to reveal that the tribal name spells American backwards.

Gillian Tett studied anthropology, The skills she acquired studying the marriage rituals of Tajikistan gave her a way of seeing — lateral vision, asking questions, assuming nothing — that notably yielded rewards when she predicted the financial crisis of 2007-08.

In her new book, Tett, an FT journalist, makes a compelling case that "anthro-vision" can help us understand ourselves, our tribes, companies and communities, and to reduce our wilful blindness.

Defining Success

What does success look like these days?

Is it obtaining a certain number of followers?

Getting a specific number of "impressions"?

Becoming a YouTube sensation?

Passing a piece of legislation purely along party lines?

Doubling or tripling your money on a meme stock or an NFT?

Generating first quartile (or better yet, first decile) performance for a trailing twelve-month period?

Before you answer that, let me tell you about three people who appear to have very little in common, but are all connected by achieving a unique type of success that is too often overlooked.

The common thread?

"Long lasting success that resulted from consistently showing up, adjusting to changing circumstances, and sustaining above average performance for long periods of time."

It seems that is a three legged tool :Showing Up, Being Flexible & Sustaining Performance

Why Your Brain Never Runs Out Of Problems To Find

Why do many problems in life seem to stubbornly stick around, no matter how hard people work to fix them?

It turns out that a quirk in the way human brains process information means that when something becomes rare, we sometimes see it in more places than ever.

Think of a "neighborhood group" made up of volunteers who call the police when they see anything suspicious. Imagine a new volunteer who joins the watch to help lower crime in the area. When they first start volunteering, they raise the alarm when they see signs of serious crimes, like assault or burglary.

Let's assume these efforts help and, over time, assaults and burglaries become rarer in the neighborhood.

What would the volunteer do next?

One possibility is that they would relax and stop calling the police. After all, the serious crimes they used to worry about are a thing of the past.

But you may share the intuition my research group had – that many volunteers in this situation wouldn't relax just because crime went down. Instead, they’d start calling things "suspicious" that they would never have cared about back when crime was high, like jaywalking or loitering at night.

You can probably think of many similar situations in which problems never seem to go away, because people keep changing how they define them. This is sometimes called "concept creep," or "moving the goalposts," and it can be a frustrating experience. How can you know if you're making progress solving a problem, when you keep redefining what it means to solve it?

Think About It

Growth is uncomfortable.

So be cautious when you feel too comfortable. It might mean that you are not growing.

22nd January 2022

Accelerated Learning: Learn Faster and Remember More

You can train your brain to retain knowledge and insight better by understanding how you learn. Once you understand the keys to learning, everything changes—from the way you ask questions to the way you consume information. People will think you have a superpower.

The greatest enemy of learning is what you think you know.

When you think you know something, learning something new means you might have to change your mind, so it’s easy to think there’s no room for new ideas.

But not wanting to change your mind will keep you stuck in the same place. Overcoming our egos can be one of the big challenges of learning.

Therefore, being willing to admit when you’re wrong and adjust your thinking is the thing that will help you learn the most. The first step to learning is recognizing your ignorance and deciding to do something about it.

One reason why we’re bad at learning is that we bring a lot of baggage to it—baggage we often pick up early in life and then struggle to let go of later. If you can let go of assumptions about what you should do, you can learn much more effectively.

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

Jony’s talent came through from an early age. His father encouraged him and was a great builder himself.

His talent was not only in the design, but in the ability to communicate the design to non-designers. He learned and worked with a wide variety of people and disciplines from an early age.

It is really rare to have the combination of design aesthetic and the ability to actually build it.

Jony loved the work, the process. He was relentless, meticulous – making hundreds of iterations to get the design right. Not only that, he had to physically make it to truly understand if each subtle change was right or not.

From early on, he came to love both the hardware and the software. He was able to zoom in and zoom out

How 12th-century Genoese merchants invented the idea of risk

We have all become used to the words like risk assessment and risk management.

It’s hard to imagine doing anything without thinking about the risk involved in any activity: the analytical instrument we use to calculate the advisability of undertakings that can result in gain or loss.

Yet when the word risk entered the languages of western Europe during the 12th century ,it took some time to catch on.

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) and Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540) – the two great writers of the Italian 15th and 16th centuries who wrote about contingency and power while everything was collapsing around them – did not use the Italian rischio in the works for which they are best remembered, even though the Italians were early adopters of the word and the speculative behaviours it names.

The first known usage of the Latin word resicum – cognate and distant ancestor of the English risk – occurs in a notary contract recorded in Genoa on 26 April 1156.

The captain of a ship contracts with an investor to travel to Valencia with the sum invested. The contract allocates the ‘resicum’ to the investor. In a typical arrangement, the captain received 25 per cent of the profit at the end of the journey. The investor or investors pocketed the resicum payout: the remaining 75 per cent.

Think About It

Relationships, People Management

The mind can be convinced, but the heart must be won.

15th January 2022

What Makes You You?

When you say the word “me,” you probably feel pretty clear about what that means.

It’s one of the things you’re clearest on in the whole world—something you’ve understood since you were a year old. You might be working on the question, “Who am I?” but what you’re figuring out is the who am part of the question—the I part is obvious.

It’s just you. Easy.

But when you stop and actually think about it for a minute—about what “me” really boils down to at its core—things start to get pretty weird.

Let’s give it a try.

The Body Theory

We’ll start with the first thing most people equate with what a person is—the physical body itself. The Body Theory says that that’s what makes you you.

And that would make sense. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in your life—if your body stops working, you die. I

The Brain Theory

The Brain Theory says that wherever the brain goes, you go—even if it goes into someone else’s skull.

The Data Theory

This suggests a new theory we’ll call The Data Theory, which says that you’re not your physical body at all.

Maybe what makes you you is your brain’s data—your memories and your personality.


Fantasy is easy and effort is punishing.

I think a lot of people want to be but they don’t want to do. They want to have written a book, but they don’t want to write the book. They want to be fit, but they don’t want the tedium of working out. They’re ashamed of rejection and they’re ashamed of imperfection

I think people make the best things when they love the process, when they willingly shoulder the inherent uncertainty and pain that comes with it. It’s almost like a form of prayer: you offer up what you can even though the reward is uncertain. You do it out of love.

Here’s what I know: if someone’s much better than you at something, they probably try much harder. You probably underestimate how much harder they try. I’m not saying that talent isn’t a meaningful differentiator, because it certainly is, but I think people generally underestimate how effort needs to be poured into talent in order to develop it.

So much of getting good at anything is just pure labor: figuring out how to try and then offering up the hours.

Our Brain Typically Overlooks This Brilliant Problem-Solving Strategy

Why we tend to not consider subtractive solutions as much as additive ones.

A series of problem-solving experiments reveal that people are more likely to consider solutions that add features than solutions that remove them, even when removing features is more efficient.

These findings, which were published today in Nature, suggest that “additive solutions have sort of a privileged status—they tend to come to mind quickly and easily,” says Benjamin Converse, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia and a co-author of the study.

“Subtractive solutions are not necessarily harder to consider, but they take more effort to find.”

Think About It

Our life is very much the result of where we pay our attention.

In today's age when multiple things are vying for our attention, knowing-what-to-ignore is a skill.

But if we don't know what we want in life then everything would attract our attention and it would just lead us where everyone else is going.

8th January 2022

The Thinking Ladder

Why do we believe what we believe?

Our beliefs make up our perception of reality, they drive our behaviour, and they shape our life stories.

History happened the way it did because of what people believed in the past, and what we believe today will write the story of our future.

So it seems like an important question to ask: Why do we actually come to believe the things we end up believing?

To figure that out, we have to get good at seeing human thinking in 3D.

But before going to 3rd, let’s understand and get used to seeing in 2D.

Seeing in 2D

The first dimension, as we’re defining dimensions, is the What of life.

It’s what we see around us, what goes on in society, what people say and do, what they believe.

Looking at everything in one dimension just shows us what’s on the surface of all these parts of reality.

But when we lift the covers off the What of life and look at what lies beneath, we’re reminded that there’s a second dimension to everything as well.

To see in 2D, we’re going to need x-ray goggles.

Domino Effect of Early Success

We all have observed that while few people struggle for success in early years whereas few other get a turbo-charged growth in their life at the very beginning of their career.

Let's dwell deep in the life of these ‘so-called -lucky’ people who happen to have a dream start.

Good One:

Early wins open many new doors and it results in perceived talent getting more opportunities to develop and improve upon his actual talent.

The best sportspersons get the best coaches; the best students get admitted to the best schools, they get the best teachers and the best performers in organizations are provided the best available training.

Bad One -Effects of early success

Success makes people think they’re smart. That’s fine as far as it goes, but there can also be negative ramifications.— Howard Marks

The seeds of failure are often planted during periods of early success, due to which our mentality changes to the extent that success makes us arrogant.

We think that we know more than others. More than the process, we start believing in our own smartness. We often get into trouble when we permit our healthy self-esteem to evolve into arrogance and hubris that allows no room for the possibility of being wrong.

Early Success has two sides: Good One & Bad One

What I Learned About People that Scale

Is this person going to scale?

Scaling means growing something beyond conventional rate of growth.

It can be someone’s growth in career, growing personal net worth, growing a business!


A better way to think about experience is not as how many times you’ve done a job before, but instead how many times you had to change yourself in order to be successful.

Everyone knows that experienced leaders make a big difference. But this small shift in definition ( how many times you had to change yourself) helps understand which types of experience are a good predictor of success.

Reinventing your core beliefs

If ability to change is what it takes to scale, a more interesting question, then, is why changing is hard

Reinventing your core beliefs is the silver bullet of scaling.

But it is hard, because the same core beliefs you’re trying to replace were also responsible for your success. The new manager was promoted because they were great at getting tasks done.

How could they possibly get rid of this belief?

They have to let go of a part of who they are.

Think About It

At the start of this new year, sorted out 3 of my own articles that can give a lot of insights if you’re contemplating a change in your life of you want start and learn something new.

1st January 2022

Want To Bring Change In Life ?

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits and your habits decide your future – F.M.Alexander

Most of the times our current habits happen to be the biggest obstacles for our dreams or for the life we want to live.

They not only happen to be a hurdle in our efforts to learn new skills or but they also act as our enemies if want to add a new healthy habit.


To learn certain new skills or to spare time for a new healthy habit, we need to have some extra time?


From where that extra time would come?

For that either we need to give-up few of our old habits or we need to cut down the time spent on them.

Depth vs. Width – A Life Lesson

Have you heard about Josh Waitzkin?

If not, google about him. He might be the most interesting person alive.

He doesn't have Twitter. And he barely uses the internet.

Here's a summary of his life so far :

1. Was a chess prodigy and a national champion.

2. Two-times world champion in Tai Chi push hands

3. The 1st black belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia ( A Brazilian, 5 times Jiu-Jitsu champion)

4. He's now in an unknown ocean town mastering surfing + advising elite investors

Here is an important lesson that I picked from his life and that can be used by each one of us if we really want to succeed at something.

Depth Vs. Width

Most of the average people or low-level achievers try to become experts in everything after getting average success in one field. You may find them interesting as they can talk about each and every subject & they have a point of view on almost everything.

My Guitar - A Short Story

I was 9 years old when I got my first guitar.

A cheap, mass-produced piece of wood with strings attached.

Every note struggled to be heard and the ugly buzzing echoed and covered the next one.

My teacher told me that guitars get better with time.

The wood matures.

"As you play more, the wood gets warm, it absorbs your sweat, and the quality of sound improves".

And I continued practicing and improvising.

Day in and day out spending hours handling my crappy guitar.

After about 100s of hours, it transformed.

It produced the elegant sound I always craved.

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