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Producing is a Million Times Better Than Consuming

If I ate the finest cuisine every meal, every day, for 10 years straight - it still wouldn't be as satisfying as the joy that comes from creating something worthwhile.

Building things that matter. Doing things that matter. This is so much more satisfying than consuming.

I eat plain oatmeal, brown rice with tunafish on it, drink black coffee, eat some fruits and vegetables, and try to eat light. Nutrition, not pleasure. But still - there is quite a lot of pleasure in a simple bit of tuna on rice or pasta. That right there is pretty enjoyable - it gives me fuel, keeps me going, gives me life.

How much better is the finest chef's meal than plain tuna on brown rice? Somewhat better, I guess. I've eaten really, really nice food. My favorite is chutoro nigiri, the slightly fatty part of the tuna. It's a delicacy. I had a $15 piece of chutoro once. It was great.

But was it much better than plain tuna on brown rice? Not so much. Creating, producing, building - that gives so much more satisfaction.

Book: Gateless

On Mental Models

Great book by Marshall and Zau. In fact, this book is really, really good. It is both deep and broad, and it mostly aligns with my personal thoughts, then extends them in ways I hadn't considered yet. It's like paying somebody else to finish my thoughts for me!

I also really like that the book both presents a framework for basically leading a meaningful, healthy, and productive life, and comes with a bunch of practical tips and concepts that you don't necessarily need to dwell on to use.

By the way, bravo to the authors for standing up for "thinking" in an age where everyone seems to require the "18 actionable life hacks to reach heaven today". Actionable is for robots and slaves. Big ideas have a much bigger and longer-term impact than "hacks". I don't know how the word "hack" came to mean something positive ("You're such a hack!", clearly negative IMO). And I don't know why so many people eschew frameworks, abstract thoughts, philosophy, and anything else above 140 characters.

Marshall calls himself a "strategist" sometimes, and I used to roll my eyes when reading it. What does that even mean? But after reading Gateless, I'm hooked. I don't think there's much to learn from history (it's just a bunch of anecdotes), but the use of long-term, strategic thinking vs. short-term tactics has become clearer and clearer to me in the last years, and this book hits right home in that regard.

Just buy it, I'm not going to bore you by repeating everything in it. Also, there's too much in it to repeat everything. I'll have to re-read it in a few months, only about 1/3 seemed relevant to me now, and I'm sure more will become relevant later.

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