On building wealth.
- Applied Scientists are the most powerful people in the world.
- The internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven’t figured this out yet.
- Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired.
- The way to get out of the competition trap is to be authentic, to find the thing you know how to do better than anybody.
On building judgement.
- If you want to get rich over your life in a deterministically predictable way, stay on the bleeding edge of trends and study technology, design, and art—become really good at something.
- My definition of wisdom is knowing the long-term consequences of your actions.
- If you can’t explain it to a child, then you don’t know it.
- The number one thing clouding us from being able to see reality is we have preconceived notions of the way it should be.
- It’s only after you’re bored you have the great ideas. It’s never going to be when you’re stressed, or busy, running around or rushed. Make the time.
- I would combine radical honesty with an old rule Warren Buffett has, which is praise specifically, criticize generally.
- Complexity Theory
- It’s worth reading a microeconomics textbook from start to finish.
- Reading science, math, and philosophy one hour per day will likely put you at the upper echelon of human success within seven years.
- “I don’t want to read everything. I just want to read the 100 great books over and over again.”
- Explain what you learned to someone else. Teaching forces learning.
- To think clearly, understand the basics. If you’re memorizing advanced concepts without being able to re-derive them as needed, you’re lost.
- When solving problems: the older the problem, the older the solution.
- Any book that survived for two thousand years has been filtered through many people. The general principles are more likely to be correct. I wanted to get back into reading these sorts of books.
On learning happiness.
- Maybe happiness is not something you inherit or even choose, but a highly personal skill that can be learned, like fitness or nutrition.
- A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.
- “All of man’s troubles arise because he cannot sit in a room quietly by himself.” ~ Blaise Pascal
- Today, the way we think you get peace is by resolving all your external problems. But there are unlimited external problems. The only way to actually get peace on the inside is by giving up this idea of problems.
- I was reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, which is a fantastic introduction to being present, for people who are not religious. He shows you the single-most important thing is to be present and hammers it home over and over again until you get it.
- Are you surrounding yourself with people who are generally positive and upbeat people? Are those relationships low-maintenance? Do you admire and respect but not envy them?
- The obvious one is meditation—insight meditation. Working toward a specific purpose on it, which is to try and understand how my mind works.
- Every time you catch yourself desiring something, say, “Is it so important to me I’ll be unhappy unless this goes my way?”
- Tell your friends you’re a happy person. Then, you’ll be forced to conform to it. You’ll have a consistency bias. You have to live up to it. Your friends will expect you to be a happy person.
- A personal metric: how much of the day is spent doing things out of obligation rather than out of interest?
- Changing habits: Pick one thing. Cultivate a desire. Visualize it. Plan a sustainable path. Identify needs, triggers, and substitutes. Tell your friends. Track meticulously. Self-discipline is a bridge to a new self-image. Bake in the new self-image. It’s who you are—now.
- It’s very hard to be in the present moment if you’re thinking, “I need to do this. I want that. This has got to change.”
- One hack is stepping back and looking at previous bits of suffering I’ve had in my life. I write them down. “Last time you broke up with somebody, last time you had a business failure, last time you had a health issue, what happened?”
- But I’ve learned to mentally ask myself, “What is the positive of this situation?”
- Death is the most important thing that is ever going to happen to you. When you look at your death and you acknowledge it, rather than running away from it, it’ll bring great meaning to your life.
On saving yourself
- To make an original contribution, you have to be irrationally obsessed with something.
- Life-hack: When in bed, meditate. Either you will have a deep meditation or fall asleep. Victory either way.
- I would recommend if you really want to try meditation, try sixty days of one hour a day, first thing in the morning. After about sixty days, you will be tired of listening to your own mind.
- The ability to singularly focus is related to the ability to lose yourself and be present, happy, and (ironically) more effective.
- Value your time. It is all you have. It’s more important than your money. It’s more important than your friends. It is more important than anything. Your time is all you have. Do not waste your time.
- The real truths are heresies. They cannot be spoken. Only discovered, whispered, and perhaps read.
- “To find a worthy mate, be worthy of a worthy mate.” ~ Charlie Munger
- Everyone starts out innocent. Everyone is corrupted. Wisdom is the discarding of vices and the return to virtue, by way of knowledge.
- “Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now, and we will never be here again.” —Homer, The Iliad