17th July 2021
Big Tech, Out-of-Control Capitalism and the End of Civilization
Hope you know that the market cap of Apple is now almost equal to GDP of India.
M-Cap of Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft put together is now more than the GDP of all every individual country except US and China.
In a sense, these tech companies have more financial power than most of the countries.
And more serious than that , they are reaching every house ,in every individual’s hands and ultimately affecting their brain.
Media diet > Food diet as ultimately the media diet informs the food diet after all.Now the war is not to control geographies in literal sense but to control individuals by influencing their brains.
Being a billionaire is a lot harder than it looks
“Just think about it,” the luminary told me. “It’s nearly impossible to spend a billion dollars.”
I laughed at the ridiculousness of this statement, but he went on, doing the math in front of me to make his point.
“The most expensive Gulfstream jet in the world is $65 million; a couple of very fancy houses will cost you $20 million, $30 million total; many of the highest-end cars are only a few hundred thousand dollars each. You’ve done all that and you’ve still got around $900 million or so left to spend.”
I responded, “Well, you could just give it away to people and organizations in need.” “Ahh, but you can’t,” the man said to me.
“Are you just going to hand it to someone and hope they do the right thing with it? You have to build entire infrastructures to give the money away.” He went on to explain that you need to hire legions of people, often hundreds, including teams of lawyers and tax lawyers, finance experts, project managers, communications staffers, and so on, to manage the distribution of the money.
Then, the man explained, there is the “problem” that your billions will only grow, often quicker than you can give them away, with interest and rising investments.
“Being a billionaire is a lot harder than it looks,” the man said.
Dopamine Is _________
Dopamine is the story behind every unsuccessful person, every failed venture, and every addiction.
And strangely opposite is also true. Dopamine is also the reason for every successful person, a person maintaining a good physique or a company getting more successful.
The devil is cheap dopamine whereas right dopamine can do wonders for you. But how much you know about the dopamine ?
Dopamine is a chemical in your body. That’s all.
But that doesn’t make it simple. What is dopamine? Dopamine is one of the chemical signals that pass information from one neuron to the next in the tiny spaces between them.
When it is released from the first neuron, it floats into the space (the synapse) between the two neurons, and it bumps against receptors for it on the other side that then send a signal down the receiving neuron.
That sounds very simple, but when you scale it up from a single pair of neurons to the vast networks in your brain, it quickly becomes complex.
10th July 2021
Foxes and Hedgehogs
In the 8th century BC, a Greek poet named Archilochus penned a line that has stood the test of time. "The fox knows many things; the hedgehog knows one big thing."
In a literal sense, it means that the fox has an array of tricks at her disposal, but is defeated by the hedgehog's singular, spiky defence.
In a figurative sense, Archilochus is highlighting the difference between those with singular vision and those with more scattered inspirations, difference between those who’re trying to master one thing vs. those who try to be master of all trades.
The Hedgehog Concept is a simple framework for identifying that unifying idea or vision. It is found at the centre of:
(1) What you are passionate about.
(2) What drives your daily living
(3) What you can be the best at
This idea was taken forward by a renowned author Jim Collins in his book named Good to Great,
This book explores why certain companies are able to achieve greatness after long periods of mediocrity.
In it, Collins referenced The Hedgehog and the Fox in building out what he referred to as The Hedgehog Concept.
It asserts that the leaders of the good-to-great companies were all hedgehogs - people with a singular, all-encompassing vision.
These leaders were uniquely capable of taking the complexity of their businesses and markets and simplifying it into a unifying idea.
Wanna know more ? Well there’re several articles on this topic on the internet but I treat this one as the best.
Casualties of Perfection
The key thing about evolution is that everything dies.
99% of species are already extinct; the rest will be eventually.
There is no perfect species, one adapted to everything at all times. The best any species can do is to be good at some things until the things it’s not good at suddenly matter more.
And then it dies.
A species that evolves to become very good at one thing tends to become vulnerable at another.
A bigger lion can kill more prey, but it’s also a larger target for hunters to shoot at.
A taller tree captures more sunlight but becomes vulnerable to wind damage. There is always some inefficiency.
Evolution has spent 3.5 billion years testing and proving the idea that some inefficiency is good.
But what can we learn from this ?
So many people strive for efficient lives, where no hour is wasted. But an overlooked skill that doesn’t get enough attention is the idea that wasting time can be a great thing.
A successful person purposely leaving gaps of free time on their schedule to do nothing in particular can feel inefficient. And it is, so not many people do it.
But if you study the lives few successful people, you would realize that most of them used to waste time and that too efficiently!
Albert Einstein put it this way:
I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.
Mozart had the same feelings:
When I am traveling in a carriage or walking after a good meal or during the night when I cannot sleep–it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.
Why ambitious people have (unrelated) hobbies
Winston Churchill was a mediocre painter and a worse bricklayer, but to these two hobbies, the world owes a great debt.
But his ambition was legendary. "It is a pushing age," Churchill wrote his mother as a young man, "and we must shove with the rest." Multiple times, he shoved his way to the top of British politics, when Britain was the world's dominant power.
While at the top , his schedule was too tight !
During war-time, it was not uncommon for him to work 110-hour weeks.
Between 1940 and 1943, he traveled something like 110,000 miles by air and sea and car. A bodyguard once said that Churchill kept "less schedule than a forest fire and had less peace than a hurricane."
So how did Churchill manage? How did he not burn out and die early?
He not only survived the workload of two wars, 5 kids, 10 million written words and live into his 80s, but do so without ever losing his sense of humor?
The answer is simple: The restorative power of a good hobby.
A few centuries before Churchill, Aristotle said that this was in fact the main question of life: What do we fill our non-working hours with? What do we do for leisure?
In one of his letters, Seneca — himself a busy political advisor and writer — spoke of how difficult it is for ambitious, career-focused people to take time off to pursue other interests because they are worried about falling behind in their world. The same people who are willing to take great risks to advance their careers will not risk anything for the sake of personal happiness or even mental balance. "You must dare something to gain leisure also," he said.
03rd July 2021
Dare to Be Great
If you’re an astute investor, you must have read Howard Marks memos. They’re always full of great insights on what is happening all around us as far as markets are concerned.
But you would also notice that apart from investment related insights, these memos also contain important insights about life in general also.
For example I find this memo full of wisdom and guidelines for those who aspire to achieve something great in life.
In this memo, he talks about success and whether someone has the required ingredients to achieve greatness.
Key points mentioned are as follows:
- Do you dare to be different : You can’t take same actions as everyone else is taking and expect for different results !
- It is not easy to be different
- Dare to be wrong : You have to give yourself a chance to fail.
- Dare to look wrong : that is the crux . This is different from dare to be different or dare to be wrong, the important point is can you stand for your convictions !
Overall great writing !
Now the question is whether you would dare to go through this long note and try to question yourself on key parameters of becoming great.
Follow the '70-20-10 Rule' to Produce Your Best Work
Most of us want to produce the best work possible.
How do you pursue that goal?
One approach is to aim for excellence.
You study everything you can about your area, read obsessively about top performers, and anxiously practice your craft with an eye toward perfection.
This is one common-sense way to pursue excellence, but there's another option as well.
You could just throw quality out the window and produce a lot of work without worrying if it's much good. Which path will get you closer to your personal best?
They say that Michael Jackson went through 800 songs to get the nine that appeared on Thriller (that's almost certainly exaggerated, but the point is clear). It means that the more songs you write, the more good songs you'll write.
Few thoughtful people have devised a formula after studying the works of several successful people. This is known as 70:20:10 rule.
It says that 70 percent of your attempts will be mediocre, 20 percent will suck, and 10 percent will be amazing.
These percentages hold steady no matter what level you're working at.
Chess Fans Booed This Year's World Championship, but Computers Cheered
Chess players are more precise than ever, probably thanks to practicing against computers.
The gap between the played move and the best possible move, measured in centipawns, has steadily shrunk.
We found that moves played in World Chess Championship games have become remarkably precise, and increasingly so. This trend is not new, but it has accelerated in the last decade. This acceleration is generally chalked up to improvements to chess engines (like the one used to complete this analysis), which allow top players to analyze new ideas and variations much faster during their training.
In this year's championship, we saw an average centipawn loss under 10 for the entire 12-game match.
While this level of precision made for boring chess in the eyes of some humans, the computers must have loved it.
26th June 2021
Painting the Bullseye: What Happens When We Lose Our Curiosity?
Most of us paint the bullseye (making a goal or a target) before the search for truth even begins.
This is when you already have a preferred target in mind, a conclusion that you want your inquiry to eventually reach.
If you are depending on “A” to be your answer, then that bright bullseye will be there to remind you of this every step of the way.
We paint our own personal bullseyes all the time, whether it’s in selectively reading books that support our beliefs, listening to podcasts that confirm our views, or by joining tribes that are united in certain unshakable values.
A lot of the time, we seem to follow a path that is not driven by an openness for the world, but by one that has been determined by an invisible force that is slowly guiding us to the big red dot.
But there are various problems with having a clear goal at the very beginning.
A clear goal, a clear bullseye prioritizes certainty over curiosity; places the destination over the journey.
If the conclusion is drawn before the search begins, it’s only inevitable that each step in the middle is guided toward that end.
There will perpetually be an invisible wind sending your arrow toward the bullseye; it may drift off-target every now and then, but you sure as hell want it to land properly when all is said and done.
The Religion of Problem Solving
The history of the electric rivalry between Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla is both fascinating and inspiring.
The two geniuses butted heads while trying to solve a problem - the generation, and more importantly, the distribution of electrical energy to American households; Edison with his vision of a direct current future and Tesla with his revolutionary ideas of alternating current. Irrespective of which of the two prevailed, the ubiquity of electricity meant human life would never be the same.
It was an age when the American society called problem solvers heroes and treated them as such.
This was true for India too in our golden centuries – years of Vedas, year of Aryabhattas and years of Kautilyas etc. etc.This was true for India too in our golden centuries – years of Vedas, year of Aryabhattas and years of Kautilyas etc. etc.
Problem solving is the only realm that takes an individual , a society and a country forward.
Today, the apex of our social pyramid has been hijacked by the magicians of social media - the status elites: celebrities and political operators.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two due to the overlap in their activities. That overlap is not by fluke.
It is rather by design and by careful intent. A silent yet thoughtful observer can break down their actions into the following: a) Rent seeking b) Status seeking and c) Virtue signalling. Yes, and as you guessed correctly: all of these are aimed at one common end-goal - gaining public’s mind share thereby consolidating their power.
We are more like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?
What is it like to be intelligent?
I find, personally, that writing is a powerful form of learning through synthesis. It’s easy to say you understand something until you have to explain it to someone else. It’s relatively easy to explain something in an elevator pitch format, but a lecture or blog post requires you to really think through structure, validity, and consistency. It forces you to find references to support your claims. Basically, it’s a great way to ensure you’re not fooling yourself through a series of simplifications and delusions. So I’m doing this more for me than you, but you can come along for the ride.
19th June 2021
Harder Than It Looks, Not As Fun as It Seems
There are no overnight successes.
You need to pay the price in terms of learning, patience, constantly living under the risk of failure or in any other form. This all happens behind the scenes.
Warren Buffett’s biography The Snowball revealed that the most admired person in this industry has at times had a miserable family life – part his own doing, the collateral damage of life where picking stocks was the highest priority. Same for Bill and Melinda Gates in the last month.
Elon Musk broke down in tears three years ago when asked about the mental toll of Tesla’s struggles. “This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”
Sometimes the behind-the-scenes isn’t tragic but is just as revealing.
The Chris Rock , the famous American comedian ,you see on Netflix is hilarious, flawless.
But the Chris Rock that performs in dozens of small clubs each year is just OK. No one is so good at comedy that every joke they write is funny.
So every big comedian tests their material in small clubs before using it in big venues. Rock explained:
When I start a tour, it’s not like I start out in arenas. Before this last tour I performed in this place in New Brunswick called the Stress Factory. I did about 40 or 50 shows getting ready for the tour!
The Art and Science of getting to the very top of Crowded Creator Markets
Have you known about lead metrics and lag metrics?
Well, you should know about these if you wanna study the secrets of success of other people and want to replicate that in your life.
So, what are Lag metrics? They are long-term goals.
Lead metrics are predictors for achieving long-term goals.
Here are few examples:Lag metric: John Grisham wanted to quit law and become a full-time author. Lead metric: Write a page a day, every day.
Lag metric: Brian Koppelman wanted to be a Hollywood screenwriter.Lead metric: He wrote for 2 hours with his writing partner every day before going to work.
Lag metric: Jerry Seinfeld wanted to be a famous comedian.
He needed better jokes.
Lead metric: Jerry wrote a new joke every day for years.
“Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.”
Keep in mind that only positive thinking is not going to take you far !
Gabriele Oettingen Ph.D. is a scientist and Professor of Psychology at NYU.
She has dedicated over 20 years of research into goals and positive thinking.
In 1991, Gabriele conducted a study of women who wanted to lose weight. Gabriele had the woman fantasising about losing weight, fitting into their favourite jeans, and wearing bikinis on the beach.
The results were astonishing:
"women who had strong positive fantasies about slimming down... lost twenty-four pounds LESS than those who pictured themselves more negatively.
Positive thinking actually stopped them from achieving their goal.
Gabriele has tested the theory with numerous different groups and all the results were the same.
Why does thinking positively alone impede and not promote success?
Perfectionism lead us nowhere - a warning to my fellow perfectionists
Are you a disciplined and hard-working LOSER?
Well you’re not alone, there is a whole crowd out there. These people worked hard, read everything that makes one successful, tried to do everything that makes one person successful, tried to achieve perfection but they still failed miserably!
Here’s is a small post, written by someone who has gone through this path –doing everything but still failing!
WE HAVEN'T MADE A SINGLE RUPEE IN OVER 3 YEARS OF HARD WORK. WE ALSO NEVER FEEL THAT WE ARE ''PERFECT ENOUGH'', SO NO ONE SEES OUR EFFORT.
Give your 5 minutes to read it , maybe there are few lessons for you to avoid this path.
12th June 2021
Four Keys to Changing Your Life That I Wish I Knew Before I Changed Mine
What I was really looking for was what everyone is looking for: a magical solution.
I wanted every author of every self-help book to tell me I didn’t have to change anything and I could keep right on doing what I was doing, but just add a little meditation or a spirit cleansing exercise.
And there’s an endless array of folks who will sell you that because we all want to buy it. They don’t even need to sell it because that shit sells itself.
Most of the books tell you lies that change is easy because if they tell the truth, no-one would buy their book.
But if you wanna really want to change your life , you should know these four things.
The first thing we should know is that the change is fucking hard.
It’s hard to let go of shitty life choices.
The second thing I wished I knew was that to change your life, you’ve got to destroy your old life.
The 3rd thing I wish I knew was that the enemy was inside me all along. You’re both the protagonist and the antagonist in your story.
You’re at war with yourself and most of the external barriers are just an illusion. The real bars are behind your eyes.
The 4th thing I wish I knew is that how we form beliefs is inherently broken.
Understanding that is the key to shedding broken beliefs that hold you back, limit you and destroy your life.
To change you’ve got to understand that your beliefs aren’t just good because you have them. Your head, my head, and everyone else’s head are stuffed with inherently broken and self-destructive beliefs that have no business being there.
How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your Goals
Each week, I hear from people who say things like, “I start with good intentions, but I can't seem to maintain my consistency for a long period of time.”
Or, they will say, “I struggle with mental endurance. I get started but I can’t seem to follow through and stay focused for very long.”
Don't worry. I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else.
This problem reminds me of a lesson I learned while working out one day…On this particular day in the gym, there was a coach visiting who had worked with thousands of athletes over his long career, including some nationally-ranked athletes and Olympians.
I introduced myself and we began talking about the process of improvement.
“What’s the difference between the best athletes and everyone else?” I asked. “What do the really successful people do that most don’t?”
He mentioned the factors you might expect: genetics, luck, talent. But then he said something I wasn’t expecting: “At some point it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day, doing the same lifts over and over and over.”
His answer surprised me because it’s a different way of thinking about work ethic. People talk about getting “amped up” to work on their goals. Whether it’s business or sports or art, you hear people say things like, “It all comes down to passion.” Or, “You have to really want it.”
As a result, many of us get depressed when we lose focus or motivation because we think that successful people have some bottomless reserve of passion. But this coach was saying that really successful people feel the same lack of motivation as everyone else. The difference is that they still find a way to show up despite the feelings of boredom.
How to Do Long Term
“Nothing will ever separate us. We will probably be married another ten years.” –Elizabeth Taylor, five days before filing for divorce.
Long-term thinking is easier to believe in than accomplish.
Most people know it’s the right strategy in investing, careers, relationships – anything that compounds.
But saying “I’m in it for the long run” is a bit like standing at the base of Mt. Everest, pointing to the top, and saying, “That’s where I’m heading.” Well, that’s nice. Now comes the test.
Long term is harder than most people imagine, which is why it’s more lucrative than many people assume.
Everything worthwhile has a price, and the prices aren’t always obvious.
The real price of long term – the skills required, the mentality needed – is easy to minimize, often summarized with simple phrases like “be more patient,” as if that explains why so many people can’t.
To do long term effectively you have to come to terms with a few points.
5th June 2021
How Fighter Pilots Make Fast and Accurate Decisions
When we want to learn how to make rational decisions under pressure, it can be helpful to look at the techniques people use in extreme situations.
If they work in the most drastic scenarios, they have a good chance of being effective in more typical ones. Because they’re developed and tested in the relentless laboratory of conflict- the military.
Military models of decision making have practical applications far beyond their original context.
If they didn’t work, they would be quickly replaced by alternatives.
Military leaders and strategists invest a great deal of time and resources into developing decision-making processes. One such military mental model is the OODA Loop.
The OODA Loop is a four-step process for making effective decisions in high-stakes situations. It involves collecting relevant information, recognizing potential biases, deciding, and acting, then repeating the process with new information.
Read on to learn how to use the OODA Loop.
The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and the Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long
Those who are wise won't be busy, and those who are too busy can't be wise.
“How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives” Despite a steadily improving human life expectancy, people keep complaining about shortness of time.
They keep complaining about being busy, having little or less time to get indulged in their hobbies or to meet their friends or even to pursue their dreams!
Is it a new problem to the human of modern science? Or it has been a consistent problem throughout the journey of human evolution.
2000 years back, a famous Roman philosopher wrote an essay on the same matter- Busyness and the Art of Living Wide rather than Living Long.
If you just go through the highlights of this essay , you would find that being busy and complaining about shortness of time is not a new problem. This is a challenge that we have been facing since the birth of the human race.
Seneca writes :
“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.
Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.
But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. “
So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
How Pfizer Makes Its Covid-19 Vaccine
All the vaccines are not same?
Different COVID-19 vaccines use different technologies, or “platforms”.
Type 1: The most conventional one is the inactivated vaccine.
It contains dead virus. Because the virus is still whole, it has all of the parts, in the correct shape, that can stimulate a response from the immune system – what we call the antigens.
The immune response can be against multiple antigens.
The Chinese vaccineS – from Sinovac and Sinopharm – are the main ones using this platform. It’s a great technology, it works for some human and veterinary vaccines. The same approach was used for seasonal flu vaccines some years ago.
Type 2 :These are the viral-vectored vaccines, such as the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia.
This is where you take a harmless virus, such as a virus that gives you a cold, and you alter it so that it can infect one cell, but can’t reproduce and go on to infect other cells.
You then get that virus to carry the gene for a protein of interest, such as the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, with the DNA sequence for the spike protein combined into the virus’s DNA.
The virus is thus a vehicle for bringing the genetic instructions on how to make the spike protein into the body.
When you vaccinate someone with this harmless virus, it infects cells. The cells then read the gene the virus is carrying and start producing the spike protein, and the immune system mounts a response against this. And because the body recognises that there’s a virus present, the response it mounts is very strong to the protein of interest and also to the viral vector.
Type 3 :The vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are the new kids on the block, the nucleic acid vaccines..
These are just a sequence of RNA wrapped up in a lipid droplet to stop it being degraded in the body and help it get inside a cell. RNA is a really sensitive little molecule and is chopped up very easily and quickly if not protected.
Once the RNA gets into a cell, again, it instructs the cell to make the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for the immune system to respond to.
But how these vaccines are made?
Click on this link and it would take you to the visual journey of the whole process of bringing Pfizer vaccine upto you –from start to end.
29th May 2021
The Optimal Amount of Hassle
You recognize that BullShit is ubiquitous, you see it all around – on roads, in office, on TV and many a times with-in the four walls of your own home.
Can you avoid it?
Well, that might be the wrong question!
The question is not “How can I avoid all of it?” but, “What is the optimal amount to put up with so I can still function in a messy and imperfect world?”
If your tolerance is zero – if you are allergic to differences in opinion, personal incentives, emotions, inefficiencies, miscommunication and such – your odds of succeeding in anything that requires other people rounds to zero.
You can’t function in the world!
The other end of the spectrum – fully accepting every incidence of nonsense and hassle – is just as bad.
The world will eat you alive.
Franklin Roosevelt – the most powerful man in the world ( ex -President of USA )whose paralysis meant the aides often had to carry him to the bathroom – once said, “If you can’t use your legs and they bring you milk when you wanted orange juice, you learn to say ‘that’s all right,’ and drink it.”
The Hidden World of Failure
Each year, US publishers release about 300,000 books.
But that is just from publishing houses; include self-published books and you can triple that number (900,000 total).
That is in the US; expand your geography to include the entire world and the number rises to 2.1 million books.
This is to say nothing of rejected manuscripts, unpublished works, and half-finished books that never see the light of day.
The probability that any attempt at writing a book that will make it to the best seller list is far more daunting than it appears.
One can do the same exercise for athletes, mutual funds, tech start ups, restaurants, apps, video games, unfinished movies, aspiring actors who failed to make it — anything that is created.
All successful products are built upon an unseen legacy of the competitive products that failed.
This hidden world of failure helps to create a deeply flawed understanding of the universe.
By not seeing failure, we misunderstand the elements of success.
Which brings us to our second idea, the other side of Survivorship Bias:
It is that success is a rare and delicate thing.
It is far rarer than most of us realize in our day to day lives. Not only that, our faulty mental models believe achieving it is faster, cheaper and easier than it really is.
What exactly is the Fibonacci Sequence?
Simply put, it’s a series of numbers.
It appears in geometry, algebra, number theory, in many other fields of mathematics and even in nature!
The Fibonacci Sequence has been nicknamed ‘nature’s code’, ‘the divine proportion’, ‘the golden ratio’, ‘Fibonacci’s Spiral’ amongst others.
A simple example in which it is possible to find the Fibonacci sequence in nature is given by the number of petals of flowers. Most have three (like lilies and irises), five (parnassia, rose hips) or eight (cosmea), 13 (some daisies), 21 (chicory), 34, 55 or 89 (asteraceae).
These numbers are part of the famous Fibonacci sequence
Fibbonaci first introduced the series of these numbers in his book Liver Abaci.
Fibonacci was a member of an important Italian trading family in the 12th and 13th century. Being part of a trading family, mathematics was an integral part of the business.
Fibonacci traveled throughout the Middle East and India and was captivated by the mathematical ideas from his travels. His book, Liver Abaci, was a discourse on the mathematical methods in commerce that Fibonacci observed during his travels.
22nd May 2021
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
“Everyone just likes to be accepted and liked.
Except for Tim !
Tim doesn’t give a fuck of what other people like or accept.
In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things.
And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.
Chances are you know somebody in your life who, at one time or another, did not give a fuck and went on to accomplish amazing feats.
People often say the key to confidence and success in life is to simply “not give a fuck.”
Indeed, we often refer to the strongest, most admirable people we know in terms of their lack of fucks given. Like “Oh, look at Mahesh , he left a lucrative job with-in 5 months and started working on his own, he doesn’t give a fuck.”
Or “Did you hear that Tom called the company president an asshole and still got a raise anyway? Holy shit, that dude does not give a fuck.”
Or “Jason calls out everyone who tries to indulge in spreading in surface-level thoughts. He said he does not like to listen to bullshit anymore. Man, that guy does not give a fuck.”
The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given.
We give a fuck when a show we liked was cancelled on TV. We give a fuck when our co-workers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend.
We give a fuck when it’s raining and we were supposed to go jogging in the morning.
Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking spring time. And for what purpose? For what reason?
Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe? This is the problem, my friend.
The Power of Intuition
Unlike the 5 senses, which allow us to take in observable, measurable data from our surroundings, intuition comes from within.
Your intuition is only available to you, and can only be interpreted by you. And, intuition is subjective.
In fact, intuition often flies in the face of observable facts.
Say you go out to lunch with a friend. He smiles when he greets you, shares information about his day, and laughs at the funny story you tell.
But you know this friend well, and you can see that something is “off.” His smile is a little too wide. He talked a little too quickly about his day. His laugh felt a little forced.
A casual observer would see a smiling, talking, laughing man spending time with a friend.
But your intuition tells you that that appearance of “normality” is deceiving. There’s evidence in front of you, but deep down, you don’t trust it.
You get serious, and ask your friend if something is wrong. He breaks down and out pours all the problems and negativity he’s been holding back.
You’ve seen your friend act that way before, and it turned out that he was having a hard time then.
Your brain learned from that experience, so that when the data presents itself again, it triggers your intuition alarm.
Intuition can be (and often is) subconsciously formed and shaped by past experiences.
Intuition is a sum of our collective experiences, melding together into a feeling that can, if we let it, guide us in one direction or another.
And sometimes, of course, those gut feelings seem to come out of nowhere, presenting us with options we may not have considered otherwise.
Letter #34: On wanting
In 1972, banners covered a USA town named Odessa.
Black and white signs painted MOJO WINS.
Neighbours held each other and cried. Fathers shook hands and slapped each other’s backs, grins spread wide.
Everyone was on the roads that night –drinking, dancing and celebrating like never before.
That year, their boys had done it: The Permian High School Panthers were state champions.
“We were hoarse from screaming and yelling. We didn’t want to leave the field,” quarterback Jerry Hix remembered years later, long after his high school football career had ended. “Nothing can compare. I miss it.”
It was a moment of indescribable pride for boys who spent the better part of their young lives cracking ribs, ripping tendons, and puking under the Texas sun, working toward a single goal: Excellence at the game of football. It was a moment of pride for the people of Odessa, the few thousand ranchers and oilmen and beauty clerks who scratched out lives in the arid desert, watching and praying over their team.
But it was also a moment from which many of those boys would never recover.
“My life’s never been the same since,” said Joe Bob Bizzell, a player who flamed out of college football and retreated to the dirt roads of Odessa. A decade later, he found himself still there, repairing pump jacks on an Amoco oil field.
“You live in a fairy tale for that one year of your life,” said a different player’s wife. “You’re worshipped, and that year is over and you’re like anyone else. We all feel our husbands have been unhappier with everything they got out of it.”
All those young kids had to pay a very high cost for the game they won at an early age –being unhappy in rest of their lives.
Getting distracted from their long term goals, too much of indulgence and too much of hero-worship led to a not-so-successful life !
Let’s name it “lingering cost of life lived on a pedestal”
Here’s a quote I love: “Most of us come to grief because we want too much.”
Wanting. It’s more addictive than nicotine.
Wanting emerges as a soft white fog, billowing over our thoughts. We love to rationalize it.
We frame it as goal setting, as ambitious career plans, as a good reason to spend 10 hours behind a laptop. Of course you want to play the game—that’s how you win. Who doesn’t want to win?
15th May 2021
Why the Best Things in Life Are All Backwards
There’s a part of USA’s Navy SEAL training called “drown-proofing” where they bind your hands behind your back, tie your feet together, and dump you into a 9-foot-deep pool.
Your job is to survive for 5 minutes.
Like most of SEAL training, the vast majority of cadets who attempt drown-proofing fail. Upon being tossed into the water, many of them panic and scream to be lifted back out. Some struggle until they slip underwater where they proceed to lose consciousness and have to be fished out and resuscitated. Over the years, a number of trainees have even died during the exercise.
But some people make it. And they do so because they understand two counterintuitive lessons.
The 1st lesson of drown-proofing is paradoxical:
The more you struggle to keep your head above water, the more likely you are to sink.
With your arms and legs bound, it’s impossible to maintain yourself at the surface for the full five minutes. Even worse, your limited attempts to keep your body afloat will only cause you to sink faster. The trick to drown-proofing is to actually let yourself sink to the bottom of the pool. From there, you lightly push yourself off the pool floor and let your momentum carry you back to the surface. Once there, you can grab a quick breath of air and start the whole process over again.
Strangely, surviving drown-proofing requires no superhuman strength or endurance. It doesn’t even require that you know how to swim. On the contrary, it requires the ability to not swim. Instead of resisting the physics that would normally kill you, you must surrender to them and use them to save your own life.
The 2nd lesson of drown-proofing is a bit more obvious, but also paradoxical:
The more you panic, the more oxygen you will burn and the more likely you are to fall unconscious and drown.
In a sick and twisted way, the exercise turns your survival instinct against you: the more intense your desire to breathe, the less you will be able to breathe. The more intense your will to live, the greater the chance you will die.
The Pygmalion Effect: Proving Them Right
The Pygmalion effect suggests our reality is negotiable and can be manipulated by others—on purpose or by accident.
What we achieve, how we think, how we act, and how we perceive our capabilities can be influenced by the expectations of those around us.
The term “Pygmalion effect” was coined in reference to studies done in the 1960s on the influence of teacher expectations on students’ IQs.
The studies asked if teachers had high expectations, would those expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies regardless of initial IQ?
In that particular case, years of debate and analysis have resulted in the conclusion that the effects were negligible.
Nonetheless, the concept of the Pygmalion effect—expectations influencing performance and becoming self-fulfilling prophecies—is widespread.
Many people have stories of achieving something just because someone had especially high expectations of them.
Covid accelerates India's millionaire exodus
Imagine the loss for India - if most of the rich leave the country and take their investments abroad as well as if most of the talented decide not to stay in India – what would be the impact?
Rahul (name changed) had almost everything in India, when he made the tough call to leave India six years ago.
He is the 2nd generation businessman of a well-heeled Delhi-based family. They have a flourishing exports business with a monopoly in what's typically called a 'sunrise sector'- an industry that has great future prospects.
But he left it all behind and moved to Dubai in 2015, to look after the company's overseas expansion.
He also got a citizenship by investment in one of the Caribbean nations. Harassment by tax authorities in India's Enforcement Directorate was a key reason, he says.
"I could see it becoming a problem for someone who had businesses spread across the world," he told the BBC. "With a foreign passport, the red-tape has reduced substantially. I am less worried about being slapped with a random tax demand."
But hounding by the taxman was just one reason for his move, says Rahul. His decision was also prompted by a growing trend of "divide and rule politics" in India, he told us. He didn't want his kids to grow up in India's increasingly polarised environment.
Many others in his circle of wealthy friends were also renouncing their citizenship or resident status, he added.
These claims are borne out by figures from the wall-street investment bank Morgan Stanley.
A 2018 bank report found that 23,000 Indian millionaires had left the country since 2014.
More recently, a Global Wealth Migration Review report revealed that nearly 5,000 millionaires, or 2% of the total number of high net-worth individuals in India left the country in 2020 alone.
And Indians topped a list compiled by the London-headquartered global citizenship and residence advisory Henley & Partners (H&P), of those seeking citizenship or residency in other countries in return for monetary investments.
Covid-19 has been a big driver of what was an ongoing trend of wealthy Indians seeking to "globalise their lives and assets" according to H&P. So much so that the firm set up its office in India in the middle of the lockdown last year to cater to growing demand.
8th May 2021
3 Reasons Why Self-Doubt Can Actually Be a Good Thing
You might think that the more ambitious you are, the less likely you are to struggle with self-doubt. In reality, the opposite is true.
Research has shown that up to 70 percent of the population experiences impostor syndrome—the feeling that their success may be accidental, coincidental or even fraudulent—at some point in their career. And further studies have shown that impostor syndrome tends to be more prevalent among high-achievers.
That’s right—people who are ambitious and competitive and who push the boundaries; people who are not satisfied with coasting through life; people who take risks and try new things. These people are more likely to wrestle with the feeling of being an impostor.
Those feelings of self-doubt can be debilitating if they’re allowed to dominate and limit you, but they’re not entirely bad if kept under control. In fact, the feeling of being an impostor might be a sign of good things that are happening.
Here are three reasons that experiencing impostor syndrome might actually be a good sign.
1. It means that you are pushing your boundaries.
2. It is a sign of a learning opportunity.
3. It keeps you humble.
How to Think: The Skill You’ve Never Been Taught
Brainstorm drunk, execute sober ! Most of the problems are the results of someone not thinking deep enough at the right time !
Thinking is one of the main traits that distinguish us humans from other animals.
The majority of people, however, don’t make use of their thinking capacity, mainly because of the conditioning done by the society.
Human society, fortunately or unfortunately, tends to provide a set framework to everyone, and it expects each of us to fit within that framework. This results in majority becoming followers of a set-pattern without questioning the relevance of those norms in changing times. And this discourages thinking.
When it comes to thinking the mind has an optimal way to be operated. When operated correctly you’ll find yourself with plenty of free time. When operated incorrectly, most of your time will be consumed correcting mistakes.
Good decisions create time, bad ones consume it.
Good initial decisions pay dividends for years, allowing abundant free time and low stress.
Poor decisions, on the other hand, consume time, increase anxiety, and drain us of energy.
But how can we learn how to think?
Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions—And Why It’s Hard to Learn From Our Mistakes
Wll Rogers once famously said, “Common sense ain’t common.”
Nobel Laureate psychologist Dr. Daniel Kahneman has proven that humans are not the rational beings we believe ourselves to be. But why?
With time and use, the brain develops preferential pathways for information processing, decision making and action. The more we do anything, we alter our brains to become better at it. This includes worry, irritability, impulsiveness and patterns of thought that contribute to poor decision making.
And do you know that our brain creates error-prone simplifications to achieve two key goals:
a) To save energy ( an evolutionary default in humans )
b) To process large amount of data in short period of time.
In order to manage all of the data it must process in a day, the brain creates information-processing short-cuts, or simplifications. An information-processing simplification (sometimes called bias) is a processing filter that results from being confronted with an incomplete or overwhelming amount of information.
Simplifications streamline or attempt to clarify large or incomplete data sets and allow us to reach decisions that would otherwise be daunting.
They also conserve precious “mental energy.”
As such, these simplifications are “default programs” for processing large amounts of data or for making decisions in stressful situations.
These simplifications do indeed simplify decision-making; most importantly, however, they often lead us to make mistakes.
1st May 2021
These are some superpowers that I’ve observed in business and investing over the years, in no particular order of importance.
They’re more important than intelligence, because at a certain level you become surrounded by people with intelligence. That becomes table stakes.
They’re all important. No one possesses them in equal measure but most successful people I’ve known possess a little bit of each of them:
Do you have some of these five traits?
Subtract: Why Getting to Less Can Mean Thinking More
In our striving to improve our lives, our work, and our society, we overwhelmingly add. We overlook the option to subtract from what is already there.
Subtraction is the act of getting to less, but it is not the same as doing less. In fact, getting to less often means doing, or at least thinking, more.
The problem is that we neglect subtraction. Compared to changes that add, those that subtract are harder to think of. Even when we do manage to think of it, subtracting can be harder to implement.
Envy Is the Cancer of the Soul
Envy is one of the great struggles plaguing humanity today, and it’s only getting worse.
The conditions that allow envy to thrive are being accentuated by technological progress, yet our norms have not updated to accommodate this reality.
It should be just as acceptable to talk about envy as it is anxiety, especially because the former often feeds into the latter.
Yet we keep our mouths shut in fear of being judged, and allow it to eat away at us over time.
I started this post with the intention of explaining what envy was, but am now realizing that the real message is about making it okay to admit when it’s a problem.
To make it clear that the only reason I’ve thought so much about envy is because I’m not immune to it either.
The world is connected in a manner that has no precedent, and perhaps it’s time we stop pretending that we’re equipped to handle that reality. In order to accept what we are up against, we must first admit the limits of our capabilities, because then we know what we need to bridge the gap.
24th April 2021
Is Longevity actually just Replacing Aging?
At the top of Maslow's Hierarchy, there's a hidden door on the roof which reveals a new level.
And that is “ Life extension”.
Life extension for yourself and everybody else.
The irony is that the hidden door at the top takes you back to the bottom of the pyramid – “survival i.e. fulfilling your basic needs”.
Whoever makes breakthroughs in the life extension space will be a trillionaire. Warren Buffett would give all his money for 10 more healthy years.
But the wins are greater than financial.
It's seeing loved ones live longer. The more interest there is in longevity, the faster progress will be made.
People don’t realize how close we are getting to succeeding in reversing aging. That's why we need to talk about it and make the longevity movement much bigger.
It’s this love of longevity that has led Hébert to write Replacing Aging, a book he says which is for “anyone and everyone who loves life and wants to live longer than their current life expectancy.”
Humans solve problems by adding complexity, even when it’s against our best interests
The researchers say that many experiments they published in a recent paper in the journal Nature, reveal something fundamental about the human psyche:
We tend to solve problems by adding things together rather than taking things away, even when doing so goes against our best interests.
It’s a tendency that may have especially wide-reaching implications for the realm of personal lives and public policy.
There are a variety of explanations for why we might favor addition over subtraction in problem solving, the authors write. “Numerical concepts of ‘more’ and ‘higher’ may map to evaluative concepts of ‘positive’ and ‘better,'” for instance.
In many fields it may be easier to gain recognition for creating something than for taking something away.
This Is the Sign of a Great Thinker, According to Jeff Bezos and Adam Grant
The smartest person I've known didn't, on the surface, appear to be that smart.
She used qualifiers like "I think." "Seems." "Suggests." "Indicates."
When asked for her opinion she could appear unsure, frequently asking for feedback and shifting the conversation to what other people thought.
To make perception matters worse, she was quick to change her positions. New facts? New decisions. New situations? New strategies. New agendas? New tactics. She changed her mind -- a lot.
In time, I realized those behaviors masked a staggering intellect. She wasn't just "book smart" -- although she definitely was -- but smart smart. Insightful. Perceptive. Clever. Smart about things. Smart about people.
In time, I realized those behaviors were the sign of a staggering intellect.
Great thinkers don't just harbor doubt. They embrace uncertainty--and how little they really know.High-ability individuals tend to underrate their relative competence, and at the same time assume that tasks that are easy for them are just as easy for other people.
The smarter you are, the less you think you know -- because you realize just how much there is to actually know.
17th April 2021
Too Much, Too Soon, Too Fast
Some things scale well.
Double their size and you get double the output (or more). Other things don’t, and my God is it important to know which is which.
Let me tell you about Robert Wadlow.
He was enormous, the largest human ever known.
He was six feet tall at age seven, seven feet tall by age 11, and when he died at age 22 stood an inch shy of nine feet tall, weighed 500 pounds, and wore size 37 shoes. His hand was a foot wide.
He was what fictional stories would portray as a superhuman athlete, capable of running faster, jumping higher, lifting more weight and crushing more bad guys than any normal person.
But that was not Wadlow’s life at all.
He required steel leg braces to stand and a cane to walk. His walk wasn’t much more than a limp, requiring tremendous effort.
He was rarely seen standing on his own, and is usually leaning on a wall for support. So much pressure was put on his legs that near the end of his life he had little feeling below his knees. Had Wadlow lived longer and kept growing, casual walking would have caused leg bones to break.
What actually killed him was nearly as grim: Wadlow had high blood pressure in his legs due to his heart’s strain to pump throughout his enormous body, which caused an ulcer, which led to a deadly infection.
You can’t triple the size of a human and expect triple the performance – the mechanics don’t work like that. Huge animals tend to have short, squatty legs (rhinos) or extremely long legs relative to their torso (giraffes). Wadlow grew too large given the structure of the human body.
There are limits to scaling.
A Short History of Advertising
In the 1830s, New York City’s most popular newspaper was just 4 pages and circulated to fewer than 3,000 people in a city with a population fast-approaching 300,000. News was a luxury item, costing 6 cents an issue, which was too expensive for most people at the time.
Then 20-something Benjamin Day had an idea.
He would sell his own newspaper for just a penny, undercutting the competition.
To make up for a lower price, he would sell advertisements.
The idea, which was novel at the time, was not just to sell newspapers to his readers, but to sell the attention of his readers.
Tim Wu wrote about how he did this in his book The Attention Merchants:
Day’s idea was not to offer such a notice board but rather to sell his readers’ attention en bloc to more substantial advertisers. But for such undifferentiated attention to be valuable to anyone, he would have to amass a giant readership.
"The object of this paper," he wrote, "is to lay before the public, at a price within the means of everyone, ALL THE NEWS OF THE DAY, and at the same time afford an advantageous medium for advertising."
His plan for delivering on the promise of such a broad readership was to feature stories from which no one could look away.
Day scoured the courts and police reports for wild stories that would get people to read and come back for more.
In essence, he understood clickbait nearly 180 years before internet was created.
Within a few months, he was selling thousands of copies a day. By 1870, there were nearly 600 newspapers with a circulation of almost 3 million people.
You ever notice?
"If you live with a cripple, you will learn to limp" : - Plutarch
I used to think negativity was a state of mind. Now, having watched for long enough, I come to realize it's not a state of mind.
Negativity is a character trait. All of us possess some quantum of it, but on a spectrum.
There are people at the far end of the spectrum who are so completely imbued with negativity, their personae so thoroughly animated by it, that not a day can go by without their expressing it. Infecting others with it. Spitting it up into the sky. Flinging it into your hair. Catching you in a web of it.
If you're not related to these people by blood, then you have a choice. You simply cannot have them in your life. You cannot invite their poison into your inbox or onto your timeline. Especially if you are trying to plan and save and invest for your future.
Surrounding yourself with the relentlessly negative, however, will nudge you too far along that spectrum. If you’re not careful, you won’t be able to make it back.
Opportunities will begin to look like crises rather than vice versa.
New ideas will look like disturbances.
Innovations will tend to annoy you rather than stoke your imagination.
And then you will be truly lost.
10th April 2021
Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?
Why is it that you are typically running out of time while your subordinates are typically running out of work?
Let’s handle this issue by going into depth.
If you’re in a job, your time goes into 3 types of jobs:
Boss-imposed time—used to accomplish those activities that the boss requires and that you cannot disregard without direct and swift penalty.
System-imposed time—there’re few things that your organisation wants you to do on regular intervals. Neglecting these requests will also result in penalties, though not always as direct or swift.
Self-imposed time—used to do those things that you yourself originate or agree to do.- a new plan, some kind of new analysis or voluntarily becoming part of some project. A certain portion of this kind of time, however, will be taken by subordinates and is called subordinate-imposed time.
Where Is the Monkey?
Let us imagine that you are walking down the hall and you notice that one of your subordinates, Jones, coming his way.
When you meet, Jones greets you with, “Good morning. By the way, we’ve got a problem. You see….”
You can respond in either of two ways “So glad you brought this up. I’m in a rush right now. Meanwhile, let me think about it, and I’ll let you know.” Then you and Jones part company.
Let us analyze what just happened. Before t two of you met, on whose back was the “monkey”?
After you parted, on whose back was it?
Subordinate-imposed time begins the moment a monkey successfully leaps from the back of a subordinate to the back of his or her superior and does not end until the monkey is returned to its proper owner for care and feeding.
What the Rich Won’t Tell You
A billionaire’s wife just confessed the other day that she took the price tags off her clothes so that her nanny would not see them. “I take the label off our six-dollar bread,” she said.
She did this, she explained, because she was uncomfortable with the inequality between herself and her nanny, a Latina immigrant. She had a household income of $250,000 and inherited wealth of several million dollars. Relative to the nanny, she told me, “The choices that I have are obscene. A 6 dollar bread is obscene.”
An interior designer I spoke with told me his wealthy clients also hid prices, saying that expensive furniture and other items arrive at their houses “with big price tags on them” that “have to be removed, so the housekeepers and staff don’t see them.”
We often imagine that the wealthy are unconflicted about their advantages and in fact eager to display them.
We tend to believe that wealthy people seek visibility because those we see are, by definition, visible.
In contrast, the people I spoke with expressed a deep ambivalence about identifying as affluent. Rather than brag about their money or show it off, they kept quiet about their advantages.
They described themselves as “normal” people who worked hard and spent prudently.
I don’t want to be a winner
Is there anything our society exalts more than The Winner?
That fiery someone who crushes all competition to stand alone and victorious at the end. A genetic predisposition, I’m sure.
The paradigm of competition is so ingrained as the basic business narrative that we usually don’t even recognize it, much less question it. Well, of course there are winners and losers!
I don’t like direct competition. I think that’s why I never really liked individual sports or games either.
Competition is the direct cultivation of stress and paranoia. Tapping fight-or-flight for game and gold. No thank you. Not for me, no siree!
The only competition I’ve come to love is the one against myself, and that’s not really a competition, now is it?
The progress of betterment.
Playing your part to the best of your abilities in a beautiful whole.
The world is better off when it’s not being held in the palm of a few dominating winners.
3rd April 2021
The world’s worst boss
That would be you.
Don’t look outside.
You’re your worst boss.
If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you’d quit.
If you had a boss that wasted as much of your time as you do, they’d fire him.
If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go bankrupt.
6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Persone
A long article but worth reading. Name five impressive things about yourself.
Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room.
But here's the catch -- you're not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I'm a nice guy, I'm honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best mutton –curry , I’ve developed more than 2 constant income streams).
If you found that difficult, well, this article is for you, and you are going to fucking hate hearing these 6 harsh truths. Here’s the list:
1. The World Only Cares About What It Can Get from You.
2. The Biggest Lie -You are not your job.
3. What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People.
4. You Hate Yourself Because You Don't Do Anything except following the script handed over to you to become an average-success, you’re just a clog in the machine.
5. What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do.
6. Everything Inside You Will Fight Improvement.
The human mind is a miracle, and you will never see it spring more beautifully into action than when it is fighting against evidence that it needs to change.
Don’t Kill Time
Time is scarce, life is short, and as the grains of sand slip through the hourglass, so does the precious gift of time.
Once gone, it disappears forever. We all know these things.
And yet, at work and at home, we’re so lost in a trance of distraction that killing time has become a chronic disease.
Much of modern luxuries and entertainment is slothful.
It’s spent in a state of passive, shoulders-slumped consumption where we inhale processed foods that make us fat, TV shows that numb instead of inspire, and advertisements that create anxieties that only shopping can relieve.
The lethargy of modern luxuries says that movement is tyranny, as if humans are batteries to be recharged by the electricity of mindless entertainment.
WORK, PLAY, RELAX—JUST DON’T KILL TIME
As we move through life, we should swing between the discipline of work and the fullness of leisure. But in both cases, we should remember the scarcity of time and never kill it.
27th March 2021
You Weren't Built For A Life Of Leisure
Humans are much like domesticated animals. Only we’ve domesticated ourselves.
Divorced from the harsh outdoors, we’ve convinced ourselves that round-the-clock comfort is what we need, and it’s our human right to get it.
Unlike my dog we do have to work to pay the bills of comfort, though most do so with the hope that one day they’ll be able to retire, forever, into a life of leisure.
Our brain is wired to seek leisure.Probably because when we decide to netflixandchill, our survival is not at stake. The brain equates leisure to a higher likelihood of survival. But does a life of leisure lead to the happiness and life satisfaction our brain suggests?
SOYA - Sit On Your Ass
Outperforming the market is hard. Over the last five years, it was easy. Easy if you owned just one stock. The world’s largest. You just had to buy Apple. And NOT sell it..
Over the past 5 years, with exceptions that you could probably count on two hands, Apple has outperformed the entire hedge fund industry, every one of the 10,000+ mutual funds, the passive funds at Vanguard and Blackrock, the most prestigious private equity funds, and the vast majority of venture capital funds in Silicon Valley. We’re talking about many trillions of dollars in all kinds of investment vehicles with all kinds of fees, managed by extremely smart people with unlimited research budgets and super smart employees, who all work extremely hard, and are all highly incentivized to produce great results. And Apple beat. nearly every last one of them.”
When it comes to investing mistakes, most people think in terms of what’s been bought, not sold. Yet, selling a stock can be the biggest mistake there is.“Of our most costly mistakes over the years, almost all have been sell decisions.” Chris Cerrone.
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2021
mRNA vaccines, are already changing our lives, while others are still a few years off.
The new covid vaccines are based on a technology never before used in therapeutics, and it could transform medicine, leading to vaccines against various infectious diseases, including malaria. And if this coronavirus keeps mutating, mRNA vaccines can be easily and quickly modified.
Since its launch in China in 2016, TikTok has become one of the world’s fastest-growing social networks. It’s been downloaded billions of times and attracted hundreds of millions of users. Why? Because the algorithms that power TikTok’s “For You” feed have changed the way people become famous online.
Lithium Metal Batteries
Electric vehicles come with a tough sales pitch; they’re relatively expensive, and you can drive them only a few hundred miles before they need to recharge—which takes far longer than stopping for gas.
All these drawbacks have to do with the limitations of lithium-ion batteries.
A well-funded Silicon Valley startup now says it has a battery that will make electric vehicles far more palatable for the mass consumer.
20th March 2021
Why Everybody Needs An Inner Citadel
By age 12, Theodore Roosevelt had spent almost every day of his short life struggling with asthma. Despite his privileged birth, his life hung precariously. But one day his father came into his room and delivered a message that would change his life.
"Theodore, you have the mind but haven't got the body. I'm giving you the tools to make your body. It's going to be hard drudgery and I think you have the determination to go through with it."
You'd think that would be lost on a child, especially a fragile one born into great wealth and status. But according to Roosevelt's younger sister, who witnessed the conversation, it wasn't.
His response, using what would become his trademark cheerful grit, was to look at his father and say with determination: "I'll make my body."
And for Roosevelt, life threw a lot at him: He lost a wife and his mother in rapid succession, he faced powerful, entrenched political enemies who despised his progressive agenda, was dealt defeat in elections, the nation was embroiled in foreign wars, and he survived nearly fatal assassination attempts.
But he was equipped for it all because of his early training and because he kept at it every single day.
So Much Time and So Little To Do
We live in a 24/7 world for better and for worse.
I'm embarrassed for what I'm about to share.
I hit mute on the TV before making a phone call. Then I scrolled through Twitter. Then I opened Linkedin. Checked FaceBook. I scrolled through Instagram.
I opened MoneyControl to check the market.
I don't spend much time thinking about the day-to-day of my life, but this hit me today when I realized the absurdity of it all.
I have mixed feelings about my addiction to everything. On the one hand, the internet takes away a lot of our time. On the other hand, it also gives a lot of it back.
We don't have to go to work to be at work. We don't have to go to the bank to balance our checkbook.
We don't have to go to the restaurant to pick up dinner. We don't have to fly across the country to get FaceTime with our loved ones.
The internet has taken away our ability to be bored. It's also made us all very busy.
Consciousness Is Just a Feeling
Feeling arises in a very ancient part of the brain, in the upper brainstem in structures we share with all vertebrates.
This part of the brain is over 500 million years old.
The very telling fact is that damage to those structures — tiny lesions as small as the size of a match head in parts of the reticular activating system — obliterates all consciousness.
Bad feelings mean you're doing badly — you're hungry, you're thirsty, you're sleepy, you're under threat of damage to life and limb.
Good feelings mean the opposite — this is good for your survival and reproductive success.
Survival is good and dying is bad. That's the basic value system of all living things.
13th March 2021
Absolute Success is Luck. Relative Success is Hard Work
In 1997, Warren Buffett, the famous investor and multi-billionaire, proposed a thought experiment.
“Imagine that it is 24 hours before you are going to be born,” he said, “and a genie comes to you.”
“The genie says you can determine the rules of the society you are about to enter and you can design anything you want. You get to design the social rules, the economic rules, the governmental rules. And those rules are going to prevail for your lifetime and your children's lifetime and your grandchildren's lifetime.” “But there is a catch,” he said.
“You don't know whether you're going to be born rich or poor, male or female, infirm or able-bodied, in the United States or Afghanistan. All you know is that you get to take one ball out of a barrel with 5.8 billion balls in it. And that's you.”
“In other words,” Buffett continues, “you're going to participate in what I call the Ovarian Lottery. And that is the most important thing that's ever going to happen to you in your life. It's going to determine way more than what school you go to, how hard you work, all kinds of things.”
Buffett has long been a proponent for the role of luck in success. In his 2014 Annual Letter, he wrote, “Through dumb luck, [my business partner] Charlie and I were born in the United States, and we are forever grateful for the staggering advantages this accident of birth has given us.”
When explained in this way, it seems hard to deny the importance of luck, randomness, and good fortune in life. And indeed, these factors play a critical role. But let's consider a second story.
The Story of Project 523
In 1969, during the fourteenth year of the Vietnam War, a Chinese scientist named Tu Youyou was appointed the head of a secret research group in Beijing. The unit was known only by its code name: Project 523.
China was an ally with Vietnam, and Project 523 had been created to develop antimalarial medications that could be administered to the soldiers. The disease had become a huge problem. Just as many Vietnamese soldiers were dying from malaria in the jungle as were dying in battle.
Tu began her work by looking for clues anywhere she could find them. She read manuals about old folk remedies. She searched through ancient texts that were hundreds or thousands of years old. She traveled to remote regions in search of plants that might contain a cure.
After months of work, her team had collected over 600 plants and created a list of almost 2,000 possible remedies.
Slowly and methodically, Tu narrowed the list of potential medications down to 380 and tested them one-by-one on lab mice.
“This was the most challenging stage of the project,” she said. “It was a very laborious and tedious job, in particular when you faced one failure after another.” Hundreds of tests were run. Most of them yielded nothing. But one test—an extract from the sweet wormwood plant known as qinghao—seemed promising. Tu was excited by the possibility, but despite her best efforts, the plant would only occasionally produce a powerful antimalarial medication. It wouldn’t always work.
Her team had already been at work for two years, but she decided they needed to start again from the beginning. Tu reviewed every test and re-read each book, searching for a clue about something she missed. Then, magically, she stumbled on a single sentence in The Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies, an ancient Chinese text written over 1,500 years ago.
The issue was heat. If the temperature was too high during the extraction process, the active ingredient in the sweet wormwood plant would be destroyed. Tu redesigned the experiment using solvents with a lower boiling point and, finally, she had an antimalarial medication that worked 100 percent of the time.
It was a huge breakthrough, but the real work was just beginning.
There’s only one way to truly understand another person’s mind
It’s often said that we should put ourselves in another person’s shoes in order to better understand their point of view.
But psychological research suggests this directive leaves something to be desired: When we imagine the inner lives of others, we don’t necessarily gain real insight into other people’s minds.
Data suggests that imagining another person’s perspective doesn’t actually improve our ability to judge how another person thinks or feels.
We assume that another person thinks or feels about things as we do, when in fact they often do not. So we often use our own perspective to understand other people, but our perspective is often very different from the other person’s perspective.
In order to understand what your spouse prefers—don’t try to guess, ask. Instead of imagining ourselves in another person’s position, we need to actually get their perspective.
Happiness is Somewhere Between Having Too Much and Having Too Little
The concept of “happiness” is a pretty vague one.
Happiness to one person could be misery to another.
But we can arrive at some reasonably consistent understandings when looking at modern human life within a monetary economy. For instance:
1. If you don’t have an income or any savings then life in a monetary economy is incredibly difficult because we all need a source of spending in order to obtain the bear minimum necessities in life.
2. This means that having some money or access to money is an essential component of achieving some degree of “happiness”. In other words, money has to be at least somewhat positively correlated with “happiness”.
It makes me wonder as I get older – is happiness really about “having it all”? It seems to be that “having it all” just brings more burdens in other strange ways. Instead, it seems that happiness really is somewhere between having too much and having too little.
And when you get that balance right you can start focusing on all those intangible things. And while you can’t show those intangibles off to your neighbors it’s really those intangibles that will bring more personal happiness in the long-run.
06th March 2021
The Master and the Fool
Tell me. How can I be a learner?"
My mind went absolutely blank, and I heard myself saying, "It's simple. To be a learner, you have got to be willing to be a fool.
These were my careless words to a man who asked me the question on learning. I tried to forget this episode, but my own words kept coming back, haunting me time to time.
I began to see more than a causal relationship between learning and the willingness to be foolish, between the master and the fool. By fool, to be clear, I do not mean a stupid, unthinking person.
It is like being empty, the fertile void from which all creation springs, the state of emptiness that allows new things to come into being.
The theme of emptiness as a precondition to significant learning shows up in the familiar tale of the wise man who comes to the Zen master, haughty in his great wisdom, asking how he can become even wiser.
The master simply pours tea into the wise man's cup and keeps pouring until the cup runs over and spills all over the wise man, letting him know without words that if one’s cup is already full there is no space in it for anything new.
Hope you know about the sport of Judo. A beginner starts with a white belt.
There's a very revealing story about the founder of Judo.
When Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, was quite old and close to death, the story goes, he called his students around him and told them he wanted to be buried in his white belt.
What a touching story; how humble of the world's highest-ranking judoist in his last days to ask for the emblem of the beginner!
But Kano's request, I eventually realized, was less humility than realism. At the moment of death, the ultimate transformation, we are all white belts.
And if death makes beginners of us, so does life—again and again.
A Simple Compliment Can Make a Big Difference
Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford, has been quoted as saying of his employees, "It's all about appreciating them, respecting them and thanking them at every step of the way."
Gratitude makes people feel valued, and positive feedback has been shown to mitigate the negative effects of stress on employee performance.
Neuroscientists have even shown that the brain processes verbal affirmations similarly to financial rewards.
There is ample evidence that giving someone else a boost, whether giving compliments or expressing gratitude, has a mood-lifting effect and contributes to well-being.
This means that everyone benefits — givers and receivers alike.
From the outside, it seems obvious that receiving a compliment would make someone feel better.
Who does not like when someone praises their way of handling a tense situation at work, their choice of attire, or their presentation skills?
Indeed, when asked, nearly 90% of people believe that they should compliment each other more often. And yet we tend not to give them in practice.
Persuading the Unpersuadable
The legend of Steve Jobs is that he transformed our lives with the strength of his convictions.
The key to his greatness, the story goes, was his ability to bend the world to his vision.
The reality is that much of Apple's success came from his team’s pushing him to rethink his positions.
If Jobs hadn't surrounded himself with people who knew how to change his mind, he might not have changed the world.
27th February 2021
Vanity metrics—or how to stop wasting time
If you replay your life and try to judge what actions led to whatever success you have today, you’d see what an absurd amount of time was spent on the wrong things.
It happens to all of us.
Many a times we spend a lot of time that may not add value to the goals that we want to pursue. It is true to the day-to-day work we are doing as well as to the larger goals in our life.
Some say this is unavoidable—that you need a lot of exploring to find yourself.
But this isn’t the full story.
You can train yourself to identify when you’re working on the wrong thing, whether we’re wasting our time on wrong thing , whether we’re focusing on right metrices to assess our progress. And you can do it in real time as it’s happening.
One can learn this ability comes from start-ups.
Start-up founders have a term for the wrong metric to focus on: a vanity metric. For example, how many people visit your product-selling website is a vanity metric. There may be thousands of visitors.
Question arises whether all the visitors are important! Whether you should be counting all the traffic or you should track the more rewarding metric and that may be how many buy from you or how many are returning again as they might be buying from you in near future. Just counting the total visitors to your product-selling website might be a wrong metric to focus -also known as a vanity metric.
Bold people look inward to identify their personal vanity metrics: they assess the metrics they live by.
Take two examples:
Reading many books is a popular vanity metric for adults. Adults act as if there is a reward for reading 50 books per year. No, rewards are found in learning efficiently and making interesting things. Reading plays a role, but do not maximize the time spent reading. Maximize the ability it grants you.
Having many friends is another feel-good metric. The problem: Most friends are not friends. They are acquaintances. Friends phone you out-of-the-blue because they want to hear your voice. Friends drive you to the emergency room at 3 am.
There is a way to never again obsess over the wrong metric.
That is what this article introduces—so you make better use of your remaining years.
The Algebra of Wealth
Intelligence and talent are correlated with success, but the strongest signal of future success is your perseverance and resilience: you’ve a word in the dictionary for the same and it is known as “grit.”.
Many people would tell you that to be successful you should focus on your passion.
That’s a wrong advice, a wrong advice that’s coming from wrong people. People who tell you to ‘follow your passion’ are already rich, rather ‘follow your talent’ might be the right advice. But there’re few other elements too if someone wants to be wealthy and successful.
(Keep in mind that there’s a difference between being rich and being wealthy. Similarly, there’s a difference between being successful and being wealthy.) To become successful and wealthy ,this article emphasises on 4 important ingredients :
1. Focus on what matters. Don’t become a master in a domain that has a limited appeal and earning potential e.g. walking on a rope.
2. Be a Stoic in the face of temptation. Avoid short-cuts. Avoid getting into something that may reward in the short run but may be harmful on a longer horizon.
3.Use Time to your advantage. Very few people think in terms of years or decades. Most of the people want everything today or tomorrow. There is no competition on long paths to success but the road to immediate success is overcrowded.
4. Diversify your investments.
Why You Need a ‘Challenge Network’
“We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions.”
In 2000 Pixar was on fire, the company that is the reason behind animation-film industry earning billions every year.
Their teams had used computers to rethink animation in their first blockbuster, Toy Story, and they were fresh off of two more smash hits. Yet the company’s founders weren’t content to rest on their laurels.
They recruited an outside director named Brad Bird to shake things up. Brad had just released his debut film, which was well-reviewed but flopped in the box office, so he was itching to do something big and bold. When he pitched his vision, the technical leadership at Pixar said it was impossible: They would need a decade and $500 million to make it.
Brad wasn’t ready to give up. He sought out the biggest misfits at Pixar for his project — people who were disagreeable, disgruntled, and dissatisfied. Some called them black sheep. Others called them pirates. When Brad rounded them up, he warned them that no one believed they could pull off the project. Just four years later, his team didn’t just succeed in releasing Pixar’s most complex film ever; they actually managed to lower the cost of production per minute. The Incredibles went on to gross upwards of $631 million worldwide and won the Oscar for best animated feature.
Notice what Brad didn’t do.
He didn’t stock his team with agreeable people — who tend to be supportive and polite.
Agreeable people make for a great support network: They’re excited to encourage us and cheerlead for us. Rethinking depends on a different kind of network: a challenge network, a group of people we trust to point out our blind spots and help us overcome our weaknesses. Their role is to push us to be humble about our expertise, doubt our knowledge, and be curious about what knowledge we don’t have.
Too many leaders shield themselves from dissent.
As they gain power, they tune out boat-rockers and listen to bootlickers. They surround themselves with agreeable yes-men and become more susceptible to seduction by sycophants.
Research reveals that when their firms perform poorly, CEOs who indulge flattery and conformity become overconfident. They stick to their existing strategic plans instead of changing course — it leads companies to failures or poor performance.
Some organizations and occupations counter those tendencies by building challenge networks into their cultures. From time to time the Pentagon and the White House have used aptly named “murder boards,” enlisting tough-minded committees to shoot down plans and candidates.
20th February 2021
Don’t Listen To Society’s Soundtracks
There’re several lessons from life of Beethoven, the great musician. This article talks about one of them.
At the age of 30, Ludwig van Beethoven complained about his diminishing hearing: “from a distance, I do not hear the high notes of the instruments and the singers’ voices.”
By the age 45, he was completely deaf. He considered suicide, one friend reported, but somehow held back.
It’s only after this that Beethoven’s story veers toward legend.
Cut off from the world of sound around him, working only with musical structures dancing through his imagination, at times holding a pencil in his mouth against his piano’s soundboard to feel the consonance of his chords, Beethoven produced the best music of his career, culminating in his incomparable Ninth Symphony, a composition so daringly new that it reinvented classical musical altogether.
“It seems a mystery that Beethoven became more original and brilliant as a composer in inverse proportion to his ability to hear. But maybe it isn’t so surprising.”
Beethoven’s diminished hearing limited the influence of “prevailing compositional fashions.”
Whereas his earlier work was “pleasantly reminiscent” of his instructor, Josef Haydn, his later work was spectacularly innovative.
“Deafness freed Beethoven as a composer because he no longer had society’s soundtrack in his ears.”
What struck me, however, was the degree to which silence paradoxically allowed Beethoven to hear something new.
Much of the world’s deepest work came from periods of relative disconnection.
How Does It Feel To Get Eveything You Ever Wanted?
So how does that feel? How does it feel to have everything you ever wanted in life?
To have it earlier than you ever could have realistically expected?
I can tell you: It feels like nothing.
Mastering few things that look magical to others!
Looking at a comfortable bank balance?
Sitting across the table from some powerful person as they hang on your every word?
In the new Taylor Swift documentary, she talks about that moment where 1989 came out and utterly dominated the music industry.
“Oh god that was all you wanted,” was the only thought in her head as she won Album of the Year for the second time. “That was all you wanted. That was all you focused on….
You get to the mountaintop and you look around and you’re like, ‘Oh God, what now?’
Theodore Roosevelt was a published author by age 23. He had wealth, fame, medals, and power. But eventually, he realized that “far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
What if we told you that water costs 65 lakh?
It’s an example of an article that goes with society’s soundtrack !
It is an example of an article that would engage you, you can use this knowledge to talk in your cocktail-parties, it can give you respect in front of others but in the end it won’t help you in your evolution, it won’t help you in anyway in making this world better ,it won’t help you to improvise any of your skills.
This article is an example about how people spend time on reading, gathering knowledge and talking of few trivial things in cocktail parties.
It is a kind of ladies’ kitty party talks, people may not like this comparison but most of the books, newspapers provide this kind of knowledge – engaging, good for show-off but lacking any substance. If you like this kind of stuff, keep on reading.
Is water the new wine?
Here are some of the most expensive bottles of water in the world?
Beverly Hills 9OH2O hailed as the champagne of water is sourced from the Sierra Nevada mountains and instilled with minerals, potassium, and calcium to enhance its taste and nutrients.
Designed by renowned jeweler Mario Padilla each exquisite bottle comes with a white gold cap encrusted with 14-karat gold and diamonds.
No wonder it's priced at a whopping $100,000 a bottle!
Kona Nigari from Japan priced at $402 is collected from a spring around 2,000 metres under the sea off the coast of Hawaii and is said to have health benefits.
Does Luxury Water Taste Different?
“Water can have various tastes ranging from sweet, bitter, salty, umami, fatty, metallic—depending on the TDS level (Total Dissolved Solids) of the water.
13th February 2021
The 10 Biggest Money Mistakes
Maybe you're feeling that you have never made any money mistakes.
You worked hard, saved consistently, and invested in income-producing assets.
What mistakes you could have made?
Well! You need to think again.
May be your traditional understanding of a mistake needs to change.
Mistakes are not only the foolish things that we do, but also the reasonable things that we do not do.
As the saying goes, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Therefore, sins of ignorance can be just as damaging to your finances as making bad choices
Here is one classical mistake that most of the people make – cutting spending, always looking for some deals for everything they want to spend money!
You would get this advice from all average people around you - when it comes to building wealth is to cut your spending.
But is a lie !
Why? Because cutting spending has its limits. You do have to eat after all.
On the other hand, there is no upper limit when it comes to raising your income.
Therefore, focusing on income growth is far more important than spending cuts when it comes to building long-term wealth.
The time you spend for saving pennies can be saved and the same can be utilized to learn something that can give you better understanding of how to make money.
For most of the people 'how to make more money' can be more rewarding than 'how to save money'!
Storytellers rule the world!
This truth that applies to most of the fields.
This may be frustrating, but the truth is that the person who tells the most compelling story wins.
Not who has the best idea, or the right answer.
Just whoever tells a story that catches people's attention and gets them to nod their heads.
This might drive you crazy if you assume the world is swayed by facts and objectivity – if you assume best idea wins.
It is because we live in a world where people are bored, impatient, emotional, and need complicated things distilled into easy-to-grasp scenes.
If you look, you will find that wherever information is exchanged – wherever there are products, companies, careers, politics, knowledge, education, and culture – you will find that the best story wins.
Great ideas explained poorly can go nowhere while old or wrong ideas told compellingly can ignite a revolution.
Lionel Messi Is Impossible
It's not possible to shoot more efficiently from outside the penalty area than many players shoot inside it.
It's not possible to lead the world in weak-kick goals and long-range goals.
It's not possible to score on unassisted plays as well as the best players in the world score on assisted ones.
It's not possible to lead the world’s forwards both in taking on defenders and in dishing the ball to others.
And it's certainly not possible to do most of these things by insanely wide margins.
But Messi does all of this and more.
But how he does that?
Well magicians in any field are not born overnight , there's years of discipline, consistent efforts and constant improvisation in whatever they do.
When his mother sent him off to do some work, Leo always took his football with him," his brother Matias once said. "And if he didn't have one, he would make one out of plastic bags or socks."
Even from the age of 3, Messi and the ball were best friends. "I got given my first football when I was very young: three, maybe, or four," Messi said a few years ago. "It was a present and from then on it was the only present I ever wanted, Christmas, birthday or whatever: a ball."
6th February 2021
The Goldilocks Rule: How to Stay Motivated in Life and Business
In 1955, Disneyland had just opened in Anaheim, California, when a ten-year-old boy walked in and asked for a job. Labor laws were loose back then and the boy managed to land a position selling guidebooks for $0.50 apiece.
Within a year, he had transitioned to Disney’s magic shop, where he learned tricks from the older employees. He experimented with jokes and tried out simple routines on visitors. Soon he discovered that what he loved was not performing magic but performing in general. He set his sights on becoming a comedian.
Beginning in his teenage years, he started performing in little clubs around Los Angeles. The crowds were small and his act was short. He was rarely on stage for more than five minutes. Most of the people in the crowd were too busy drinking or talking with friends to pay attention. One night, he literally delivered his stand-up routine to an empty club.
It wasn’t glamorous work, but there was no doubt he was getting better. His first routines would only last one or two minutes. By high school, his material had expanded to include a five-minute act and, a few years later, a ten-minute show. At nineteen, he was performing weekly for twenty minutes at a time. He had to read three poems during the show just to make the routine long enough, but his skills continued to progress.
He spent another decade experimenting, adjusting, and practicing. He took a job as a television writer and, gradually, he was able to land his own appearances on talk shows. By the mid-1970s, he had worked his way into being a regular guest on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live.
Finally, after nearly fifteen years of work, the young man rose to fame. He toured sixty cities in sixty-three days. Then seventy-two cities in eighty days. Then eighty-five cities in ninety days. He had 18,695 people attend one show in Ohio. Another 45,000 tickets were sold for his three-day show in New York.
His name is Steve Martin. He catapulted to the top of his genre and became one of the most successful comedians of his time.
How People Learn to Become Resilient
Norman Garmezy, a developmental psychologist and clinician , met thousands of children in his 40 years of research.
But one boy in particular stuck with him.
He was nine years old, with an alcoholic mother and an absent father.
Each day, he would arrive at school with the exact same sandwich: two slices of bread with nothing in between. At home, there was no other food available, and no one to make any.
Even so, Garmezy would later recall, the boy wanted to make sure that “no one would feel pity for him and no one would know the ineptitude of his mother.”
Each day, without fail, he would walk in with a smile on his face and a “bread sandwich” tucked into his bag.
The boy with the bread sandwich was part of a special group of children. He belonged to a cohort of kids—the first of many—whom Garmezy would go on to identify as succeeding, even excelling, despite incredibly difficult circumstances.
These were the children who exhibited a trait Garmezy would later identify as “resilience.”
.Whether you can be said to have it or not largely depends not on any particular psychological test but on the way your life unfolds.
If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to never experience any sort of adversity, we won’t know how resilient you are.
It’s only when you’re faced with obstacles, stress, and other environmental threats that resilience, or the lack of it, emerges: Do you succumb or do you surmount?
The Science of Reasoning With Unreasonable People
Don’t try to change someone else’s mind. Instead, help them find their own motivation to change.
When someone seems closed-minded, my instinct was to argue the polar opposite of their position.
But when I go on the attack, my opponents either shut down or fight back harder. On more than one occasion, I’ve been called a “logic bully.”
When we try to change a person’s mind, our first impulse is to preach about why we’re right and prosecute them for being wrong.
Yet experiments show that preaching and prosecuting typically backfire — and what doesn’t sway people may strengthen their beliefs.
Much as a vaccine inoculates the physical immune system against a virus, the act of resistance fortifies the psychological immune system.
Refuting a point of view produces antibodies against future attempts at influence, making people more certain of their own opinions and more ready to rebut alternatives.
30th January 2021
Life is Short
Don't waste your time on bullshit and bullshitting people
Life is short, as everyone knows.
When I was a kid I used to wonder about this. Is life actually short, or are we really complaining about its finiteness? Would we be just as likely to feel life was short if we lived 10 times as long?
Since there didn't seem any way to answer this question, I stopped wondering about it.
Then I had kids. That gave me a way to answer the question, and the answer is that life actually is short.
You only get 52 weekends with your 2 year old. Kids considering the magic as real lasts from say ages 3 to 10, you only get to watch your child experience it 8 times.
Ok so life actually is short. Does it make any difference to know that?
If you ask yourself what you spend your time on unnecessary things out of this short-life, you probably already know the answer.
Unnecessary meetings, pointless disputes, bureaucracy, watching people ranting on TV, dealing with other people's mistakes, traffic jams, addictive but unrewarding pastimes.
There are 2 ways this kind of thing gets into your life: it's either forced on you, or it tricks you.
To some extent you have to put up with the bullshit forced on you by circumstances.
But while some amount of bullshit is inevitably forced on you, the bullshit that sneaks into your life by tricking you is no one's fault but your own.
And yet the bullshit you choose may be harder to eliminate than the bullshit that's forced on you.
An example that will be familiar to a lot of people is arguing online.
The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works
How to Live a Life That Really Works
- To get what you want, deserve what you want.
- Trust, success, and admiration are earned.
- Learn to love and admire the right people, alive or dead.
- Be reliable. Unreliability can cancel out the other virtues.
- You've 3 government agents working at your home –your TV,your newspaper and your social media groups. They tend to make you develop intense ideologies, to become a fanatic. Avoid these ideologies. Always consider the other side as carefully as your own.
- Get rid of self-serving bias, envy, resentment, and self-pity.
- Work with and under people you admire, and avoid the inverse when at all possible.
- Concentrate experience and power into the hands of the right people – the wise learning machines
- You'll be most successful where you’re most intensely interested.
The Mind-Expanding Power of Complementarity
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
"Complementarity is Mind-Expanding."
Understanding others point of view is very important for human’s progress. A society fixated on one kind of thoughts, one kind of narrative loses in the longer run.We all know how the old civilizations lost relevance and became extinct as they always had one side of view.
How and why to understand other person point of view –complementary as a guiding rule can help a lot to every individual.
Complementarity is the realization that a single thing, when considered from different perspectives, can appear to have different, or even contradictory, properties.
Complementarity alerts us that answering different kinds of questions can require radically different approaches.
Complementarity is an attitude toward life that I’ve found eye-opening and extremely helpful. It has, literally, changed my mind. Through it, I’ve become larger: more open to imagination, and more tolerant.
23rd January 2021
Why Do Some People Succeed after Failing, While Others Continue to Flounder?
Would you succeed or you would end up as a failure!
Many notable success stories began in failure: Henry Ford went bankrupt before starting the Ford Motor Company; Thomas Edison and his colleagues tested thousands of material before creating the carbon-filament lightbulb; J.K.Rowling received 12 rejections, before the first Harry Potter book was published.
These are inspiring examples but a researcher named Datsun Wang does not think that we know the full story.
Why did these individuals ultimately succeed while many others never mange to get past their failing phase or why people give up after their first failure or why majority of people are happy as soon as they get some average success!
"You don't just fail once," Wang says. "You fail over and over." And while that litany of failures may make the Edisons of the world better off, it seems to thwart many other people.
"If we understand that process, could we anticipate whether you will become a winner, even when you're still a loser?
Modesty Kills Excellence
Be modest, be considerate!
Such an acceptable but such a wrong belief !
If we dig deep in above concept, we would find that this concept has been one of the biggest enemy of the human progress.
This does not mean you should be a complete asshole to everyone, but it means you should pursue what you think is right without being dismayed by everyone's criticism or insult
Extremely smart people should be encouraged to put all of their best ideas forward, and explain why all the other ideas are stupid.
They should not have to pretend that other opinions are valid when they are not. There may be no stupid questions, but there are stupid opinions, and we should try to get rid of them as fast a possible.
We cannot pretend that they are equally valuable.
So, by all means, be modest if you don’t know what is going on (probably most of the time) but when you believe you are right, stay away from modesty, and be excellent—you owe it not only to yourself but also to society.
Boosting our sense of meaning in life is an often overlooked longevity ingredient
Everyone want to live longer and want a better health.
We diet, count steps, pop supplements and hope for miracle immortality treatments.
Yet although diet and exercise are certainly vital for health (some supplements may actually harm your centenarian potential), science shows there is another longevity ingredient we often overlook: finding purpose.
Research reveals that people who believe their existence has meaning have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and more favourable gene expression related to inflammation.
The explanation may lie in part in how having purpose in life affects our stress response.
In lab experiments, when volunteers are made anxious (because they are told to give a public speech, for instance), stress markers, such as the hormone cortisol, tend to spike. But those who report high levels of purpose "calm down more quickly," says Eric Kim, psychologist at the University of British Columbia.
16th January 2021
You only live once!
A job is a modern day version of slavery!
An employee is a modern day version of a slave – cubicle or meeting room is the prison, the boss & the employer is the master.
There is no control over the destiny.
The office decides the schedule. The job profile is just a cog in the wheel, rather than the wheel; this gives little sense of accomplishment.
This gives way to a sense of nihilism…imagine what it does to your self-esteem.
Just look around you…you, your boss, his boss, his boss’s boss. What is everyone chasing! If you ask them, chances are they will make some motherhood statements like:
- You need a challenge in your life
- I'm career minded
- I love getting things done by leading a team
If you deep, you’ll probably conclude that it’s about a mad chase of money. So much money that they’re never going to use it in their life. One who has Rs.1Cr thinks, it will be nice to have Rs.5 Crs, one who has 5, thinks 20 will be nice. One who has 20 is gunning for 100!
People are chasing money because they don’t know anything else !If you put bananas and money in front of monkeys, monkeys will choose bananas because monkeys do not know that money can buy a lot of bananas.
Video Games are the Future of Education
"Something I didn't realize as a kid: If you learn something that matters a lot to you, you'll surprisingly often have to teach yourself. I had to teach myself Lisp, how to write essays, and how to start a startup. I had examples to work from, but no teachers or classes." – Paul Graham
But why video games are going to be the tools future of education.
It is because the things you learn by yourself stick; the things that are "taught" to you do not stick.
And there comes the role of video games.They provide a much deeper understanding of most subjects than classical education does.
Schooling mostly fails at giving you this deep understanding.
It is currently too hard to make video games. Making it easier to create video games will massively increase the supply of good video games and cause a gradual revolution in education.
If you want to be massively successful, do NOT set ambitious goals, according to studies
This is why Steve Jobs said "You can't connect the dots looking forward"…
The conventional and the most popular model to having great success in your career is setting and ardently pursuing big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs), even if you have no idea how you’re going to achieve them when you start.
This goals model is so obvious in our culture, it goes without saying.
It's central to our collective success recipe.Our society,every organisation , all self-help books and even our parents emphasis on it.
Goals give motivation, meaning, and focus when we feel lazy or distracted.
We can't accomplish big things without them — at least so we're told.
However, recent research is finding the exact opposite to be true. When it comes to BHAGs, goals are often OBSTACLES to LARGE feats of innovation rather than enablers. Furthermore, goals can sap motivation.
9th January 2021
Anti-Aging: State of the Art
Imagine a world where you would never age , and you would never die.
You would live for 200 or 300 years and beyond and you would look no different than your sons and grandsons.
How it would affect the world?
It would affect marriages as very few would like to live with the same partner for 100 of years!
It would affect on how you think about money,place of residence, social status , geographies of the countries and much beyond.It would also affect how you think about your parents, your kids, your jobs, your money etc etc –almost everything!
And imagine that most intelligent people would keep living forever and with so much knowlege,wealth and resources they would keep changing the world on much faster rate than today.
And please be aware that is not a dream ! Serious work is going on in this field for last few decades.
Today, there are over 130 longevity biotechnology companies and over 50 anti-aging drugs in clinical trials in humans The evidence is promising that in the next 5-10 years, we will start seeing robust evidence that aging can be therapeutically slowed or reversed in humans.
Stockdale Paradox: Why confronting reality is vital to success
Stockdale Paradox:- it's the idea of hoping for the best, but acknowledging and preparing for the worst.
It is named after James Stockdale, former vice-presidential candidate,
He was held captive as a prisoner of war for over seven years during the Vietnam War.
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."
This concept has been popularized by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great.
As mentioned at the beginning, the main gist of the idea is that you need to balance realism with optimism.
The Way We Talk To Ourselves Tells Us More Than We Realise
Self-talk can be useful, or it can be detrimental.
All of us, no matter who we are, talk to ourselves. We may not physically talk to ourselves, but there is a constant chatter inside our heads that rarely subsides.
That little voice in our head will always be there. It will be with us through thick and thin, a constant companion on the journey of life.
That’s why it’s imperative that we talk to ourselves with respect and affection, and don’t put ourselves down.
You don’t want to end up in a scenario where your inner voice is constantly sniping at you. There is no way we would let anyone else talk to us like this, so why she should we talk to ourselves like this?
2nd January 2021
How To Understand Things
The smartest person I've ever known had a habit that, as a teenager, I found striking. After he'd prove a theorem, or solve a problem, he'd go back and continue thinking about the problem and try to figure out different proofs of the same thing. Sometimes he'd spend hours on a problem he'd already solved.
I had the opposite tendency: as soon as I'd reached the end of the proof, I'd stop since I'd "gotten the answer".
Afterwards, he'd come out with three or four proofs of the same thing, plus some explanation of why each proof is connected somehow. In this way, he got a much deeper understanding of things than I did.
Intelligent people simply aren't willing to accept answers that they don't understand — no matter how many other people try to convince them of it, or how many other people believe it, if they aren't able to convince themselves of it, they won't accept it.
Why So Many Smart People Are Successful in School But ‘Fail’ in Real Life
I've had many conversations with people my age who feel duped that they went through so much effort to do well in school, only to be lumped into a homogenous group of people in a homogenous company living a homogenous life.
Sometimes at a salary that doesn't even mathematically justify them having gone to school in the first place.
"Elite students climb confidently until they reach a level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them. Higher education is the place where people who had big plans in high school get stuck in fierce rivalries with equally smart peers over conventional careers like management consulting and investment banking. For the privilege of being turned into conformists, students (or their families) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in skyrocketing tuition that continues to outpace inflation. Why are we doing this to ourselves?" – Peter Theil
One of my friends was in this class and enjoyed the non-structured structure just like me. He was the type who always had random ideas about things he wanted to do in the future, but, like me, had trouble being 'disciplined' and 'focused' when it came to traditional academic tasks.
Fast forward a decade. He owns his own video production company and has done shoots for verified influencers on Instagram. I’m a three-time published author, run two YouTube channels, and own my own creator-based business full-time.
What are some of our classmates doing?
Many of them have a bunch of different sounding titles that basically describe the same job "Business Analyst" "Account Executive" "Customer Success Manager"
Are they failures? I don’t know, you’d have to ask them how they feel about their careers.
I will say that a portion of those people probably feel like failures because they did all that work only to earn a meager reward for it.
Do the Real Thing
Real things require real difficulty. Fake stuff never does.
-Business owners who spend more time printing business cards (easy) than finding clients (difficult).
-Students who create elaborate multicolored folders for their classes (easy) instead of sitting down and studying (hard).
People trying to get in shape who buy fancy workout gear (easy) instead of exercising (hard).
Pretend activity instead of the real thing.
This doesn't mean fake work is effortless. Instead, pretend activity always has just enough difficulty to allow you to trick yourself into thinking you're doing something that matters.
But, conveniently, it avoids any of the truly difficult things the real situation would create.
But doing the real things seems to be the only successful strategy!
When you examine case studies of people who have had major accomplishments, you expect there to be some trick or shortcut. Some amazing technique they used that others weren't clever enough to recognize.
More often, however, the strategy used is dead simple: doing the real thing.
Tristan de Montebello went from near-zero speaking experience to a finalist for the World Championship of Public Speaking in seven months. How? By getting on stage and speaking constantly, sometimes as often as twice in a day.