The point, then, isn’t that you should watch less CNBC and read more Ben Graham. It’s that if you read more Ben Graham you’ll have an easier time understanding what you should or shouldn’t pay attention to on CNBC. This applies to most fields.
I try to ask when I’m reading: Will I care about this a year from now? Ten years from now? Eighty years from now?
It’s fine if the answer is “no,” even a lot of the time. But if you’re honest with yourself you may begin to steer toward the enduring bits of knowledge.
Expiring vs. Long-Term Knowledge
A must read
Negative knowledge is highly underrated in my book. Some of the most important decisions you make in life will be the:
– investments you don’t make.
– people you refuse to work with.
– pundits you stop paying attention to.
– people you stop going to for advice.
– clients you don’t want to work with.
– types of investment products you won’t put your money in.
– filters and policies you put in place to guide your actions.
– Figuring out your own too hard pile is a decent way to go about this process.
the not-to-do list is in this category too.
My Too Hard Pile
Don’t die of consumption, Learn by Writing
makes a compelling case for over-consuption of useful information. In fact the tendency to consume more and more information brings the opposite effect. Instead of more clarity there is more confusion around what’s useful and what’s not. The constant chase for latest tips and hack hampers actual understanding of processes and basic principles.
Speedreading, skimming and other techniques for cobbling (can’t call this reading) books help show off the number of titles completed a week as if this really made the difference.
What is the alternative then as no doubt we live in golden era of freely available information of all kind. Stop reading completely? Read one book per year or month?
Firstly let it sink in. I still think reading a lot is good and beneficial. Yet rather than jumping from book to book and blog post to magazine article that makes it Let it sink in, take notes on it, write down your impressions and own observations.
Secondly Read broadly. Doing a deep dive into a topic can be great for a while but to keep your mind fresh and not filled with the same information venture into different topics. Check out what’s the latest in social science or medical research or biology or math. Opening to new topics not only increases general understanding but also helps building new connections, spot trends or gain completely new perspective.
Lastly diversify source. Personally I’ve been discovering time and again that great authors and their content is availalble on variety of platforms. Hence rathern than mindlessly jump between books and blogs, consider podcasts or raio or even TV. These mediums can be a fantastic alternative to stacks of books. Because of their different nature they will deliver the content in slightly different way again providing a different point of view.
Use a Short Knowledge Cycle to Keep Your Cool