Mindfulness, one of the qualities developed in meditation, begins to shift the balance back, effectively lengthening our lives by deepening our days and years. The more life is weighted towards attending to present moment experience, the more abundant time seems.
Reducing your desires has the same effect as leveraging your assets, but with no downside risk.
Ramit Sethi has called this the “Briefcase Technique,”saying that the best job applicants wait for a moment right after the pleasantries have ended and the basic information about the position has been explained. It is here, after they have answered just enough questions to establish comfort and trust, that they reveal how much research they have done prior to showing up, by explaining all the things they’ve learned about the business, how they intend to improve it and exactly why they’re the right person for the job. This move, done politely but confidently, immediately separates them from all the other potential hires.
COWEN: Based on your own upbringing as a boy, if you were giving advice to someone raising a child through the age of 18, what would be the takeaway you would offer from your own life experience up to that age?
TALEB: Get a degree from school, but become an autodidact. Don’t waste time trying to get an A because you’re not going — we’re gonna talk about it with Bryan — you’re not going to remember all that shit. You always remember what you try to read by yourself.
Read as much as you can, and try to get the lowest possible passing grades you can at school.
I remember the stuff I read by myself, that I was driven. I don’t remember stuff that was given to me at school. It’s an allocation of time.
I discovered that I wanted to be a writer as a kid. I realized to have an edge as a writer, you can’t really know what people know. You’ve got to know a lot of stuff that they don’t know.
I started reading books voraciously, and also read books that, with some instinct, that would be helpful 20 years from now. Therefore, it’s not the latest nonfiction best seller.
So I read a lot of stuff. And I think that I would recommend doing the same. Read as much as you can, and try to get the lowest possible passing grades you can at school. Don’t study stuff like history because it’s going to be revised.
Geography, history, all these. For instance, chemistry or stuff like that. Math is, I think, probably the only thing you can pick up at school that’s useful.
Noted for when my dauther is in school and I’m getting too much wrapped around grades – provided she still reads a lot.
One is the false sense of accomplishment that games give you. Zelda does this very well. You have your main quests, but also a lengthy list of side quests you can tackle. It’s very goal oriented and each time you sit down to play, there is a sense of satisfaction at completing a portion of the game when you’re finished.
I want my children to understand that this is a false illusion. You have accomplished nothing beyond entertaining yourself. In a culture where entertaining oneself is a primary form of idolatry, I want to be very careful with the example I set and how we communicate about it to our children. Entertainment is serving yourself. Which is fine and good, but in a proportionate amount compared to how we spend our time overall.
A truly good man does nothing,
Yet nothing is left undone.
A foolish man is always doing,
Yet much remains to be done
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 38
A lot to ponder there. Time to get of the life’s treadmill.
You don’t need a life plan. You don’t need motivation, self-confidence, peer support or even luck. All you need is the willingness to take the next most obvious step – then repeat the process again and again, regardless of how you feel. Try it. Happiness comes from seeing the results of your efforts. You don’t need it before you start. – Adrian Savage
here are some principles that come from Antifragile:
- Stick to simple rules
- Build in redundancy and layers (no single point of failure)
- Resist the urge to suppress randomness
- Make sure that you have your soul in the game
- Experiment and tinker — take lots of small risks
- Avoid risks that, if lost, would wipe you out completely
- Don’t get consumed by data
- Keep your options open
- Focus more on avoiding things that don’t work than trying to find out what does work
- Respect the old — look for habits and rules that have been around for a long time
An unwelcome consequence of living in a world where everything is “easy” is that the only skill that matters is the ability to multitask. At the extreme, we don’t actually do anything; we only arrange what will be done, which is a flimsy basis for a life.
We need to consciously embrace the inconvenient — not always, but more of the time. Nowadays individuality has come to reside in making at least some inconvenient choices. You need not churn your own butter or hunt your own meat, but if you want to be someone, you cannot allow convenience to be the value that transcends all others. Struggle is not always a problem. Sometimes struggle is a solution. It can be the solution to the question of who you are.
A good life is not always an easy life.
In short, stop optimizing for today or tomorrow and start playing the long game. That means being less efficient in the short term but more effective in the long term.
[…] if you play the long game you stop optimizing and start thinking ahead to the second order consequences of your decisions.
Two quotes I’ve been pondering for a last while:
I think the correct path for everybody else is to specialize and get very good at something that society rewards, and then to get very efficient at doing it. But even if you do that, I think you should spend 10 to 20% of your time [on] trying to know all the big ideas in all the other disciplines. Otherwise … you’re like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. It’s not going to work very well. You have to know the big ideas in all the disciplines to be safe if you have a life lived outside a cave. But no, I think you don’t want to neglect your business as a dentist to think great thoughts about Proust.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”?
“Don’t be intimated by anything. In the vast majority of the professions and vocations, the people who succeed are not any cleverer than you. The adult world is not full of gods, just people who have acquired skills and habits that work for them. And specialize – the great human achievement is to specialize as a producer of goods or services so that you can diversify as a consumer. Self-sufficiency is another word for poverty.
Matt Ridley – Tribe of Mentors