Should you work hard or should you work smart?I think the answer is this: be very, very smart when you select work. Go for Big Wins and things that will keep you upwind in the long term. If you can't do that right now, then spend time investigating options: not all who wander are lost.But when you do work, then work very, very hard.
I'm going to start working out and eating right, I just need to read all these websites on training & nutrition first.
I'm going to work on my coding project, I just need to close down all these tabs first.
I'm going to call my dad more, I just need less stress in my life first.
I'm going to approach more women, I just need to read more about inner game first.
I'm going to study for my exam, I just need to reorganize my desk first.
Was reading this article and got inspired to formulate my own version.
The 3 Constants, in no particular order of importance, are:
1. Hard Work. Doing quality work greases the wheels of the universe and makes good things happen, dreams come true, and plans reach fruition. On a deeper level, it also helps you sidestep the perils of identity-based thinking as opposed to becoming by doing. Do something, do not be something. Tell a story with action. Stack up those accompliments and merits by working for them.
2. Exercise. The mind and the body are inextricably connected. Want to look good, feel good, and live longer? If you can do only one thing in a day, make it exercise.
3. Enjoy every moment of life. Something I am struggling to do, but a good signpost to follow. The reason being that if you don't enjoy your life, you tend to start overanalyzing and over-planning in order to finally crack the puzzle and get to Happiness. Enjoy life, have some plans but don't overcomplicate, and work hard. Without enjoyment of the now, you will not be able to work with focus because you will want to go and rehaul your plans all the time. Classic procrastiplanning pattern.
I posted this in a Mastermind I'm part of sometime ago. I guess it's useful here too. --
Let's say a friend comes to you and say: "Dude, there's this new restaurant in town, pretty sweet, you should check it out." Ok, cut. Flash forward. You visit the restaurant and it's the most awesome-cool-amazing thing that you are aware of in the past century. Nice, huh?
Another friend comes to you and say: "Hey, just found the most coolawesome theater that I've ever seen! It's comfortable, full of nice people, etc etc. Man, you must check it out, like, today. Are you going today? No? Go tomorrow. Please, you need to see that". Cut, flash forward. You visit the theather and it's just a slightly cool theather.
Hmm... there's a problem here.
If you haven’t been following basketball this season, you still might hear about how the Lakers have struggled. Laker management’s loss of composure reached its peak when they fired their head coach weeks ago.This is a recurring theme not only in sports, but in decision making as a whole.
As long as the team is winning, bad sportsmanship is tolerated, selfish shots are acceptable, and lack of dedication is overlooked; all sins are forgiven. Once the team hits a loosing streak however, fingers get pointed and owners go apeshit.Most of us think like this too. As long as our grades are decent, its no sweat, I’ll worry about it later. Then we get our test back to see that one F, and we freak out. We start pulling all nighters, we start bugging the TAs, taking Aderol, and scheming up ways to cheat.It is much better to do the opposite instead. When times are going well, we should be constantly reevaluating and looking for ways to improve our performance. When times are bad, we should take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and resist the urge to make drastic moves that could cost us in the near future.
This is one important concept I've learned from Sebastian. It used to be a central message on his "About" page.
I would like to unpack it a bit, though. I hope SM himself will chime in here.
What does it mean to demand to be treated well? What are the ramifications? What does it mandate that YOU do in return?
One obvious example would be Sebastian's going mano-a-mano with Cathay Pacific and coming out at least somewhat victorious.
One example from my own life: there is a chain of grocery stores in Sweden called ICA. I had been going to my local ICA regularly for, oh, 20 years or so. During the last few years or so I started noticing that the staff were being consistently rude/hostile to me. They would be gruff at the check-out and they would do little passive-aggressive things like just plonking the change down instead of handing it to me. They would treat the next customer in line differently: smile and hand the change in hand. Maybe I did something to deserve this. Beats me what it could be, though. I didn't really consider this of great import - after all, I try to be above petty shit like that - until I realized that I could leverage this for personal growth. So I made a decision that I will not shop there anymore. I rather spend an extra hour to go the supermarket, or I pay ridiculous prices at the gas station. Doesn't matter, it's the principle that counts. By so doing I am (hopefully) starting a pattern of ruthlessly culling things from my life that don't serve me, even if it's uncomfortable for me to do so. And I think THAT is a useful habit to develop.
This was originally an email reply to Sebastian's post on 'Starting Strength' by Mark Rippletoe. Sebastian invited me to post it up on the Community Site.
It was essentially a primer to the "auto-regulatory" style of weights training that is used by advanced lifters.
Despite the previous statement, auto-regulation can be used by anyone with a moderate level of experience in the gym (>6 months) to great effect.
So a summary:
This September I was a competitor in the Mental Calculation World Cup, and much of what I learnt there about the mind and skills may be interesting for a wide audience, including readers of Sebastian's blog.
To set the scene, it’s the world’s toughest arithmetic competition, held every 2 years. Around 30-40 people from all around the world qualify to compete, some of whom dedicate much of their lives to arithmetic, while others – such as myself – have careers in other fields, such as software or education.
Usually when people hear about mental gymnastics, such as arithmetic or memory, the story is about some particular savant with a single-minded obsession for numbers. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that many of the entrants were exactly the opposite, with many interests, almost treating life like one giant party.
About a year ago, I stumbled upon this competition – and some past scoreboards – after an idle Google search, and wondered whether I could train myself up to a similar standard. At first, it seemed unlikely – I was making too many mistakes. One of the tasks is to solve multiplications of the form: 84505395 x29817723, without writing down anything except for the answer. If you make an error in any of the one hundred and twenty-seven steps, then your answer will be wrong. Perhaps I needed to concentrate better?
After finishing Ikigai on Friday, I came across this article from The Atlantic today.
"In September 1942, Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist in Vienna, was arrested and transported to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and parents. Three years later, when his camp was liberated, most of his family, including his pregnant wife, had perished -- but he, prisoner number 119104, had lived. In his bestselling 1946 book, Man's Search for Meaning, which he wrote in nine days about his experiences in the camps, Frankl concluded that the difference between those who had lived and those who had died came down to one thing: Meaning, an insight he came to early in life. When he was a high school student, one of his science teachers declared to the class, "Life is nothing more than a combustion process, a process of oxidation." Frankl jumped out of his chair and responded, "Sir, if this is so, then what can be the meaning of life?""
More here: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/
In primitive economies, there is little or no specialization of the labor force. Everyone has to farm, raise kids, gather herbs, fight, heal wounds, entertain, carry & transmit knowledge, transport, do logistics, cook, make shelter, etc. This is necessary just to survive. There are essentially no silos in this economy; everyone is more or less on the same page, knowledge-wise.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have an extremely specialized society with lots of vertical occupations. Someone can make a living doing only one thing. Examples might be organic blueberry farmer, special needs kindergarten teacher, chemical researcher, Navy SEAL, hand surgeon, stand-up comedian, Phd, bike messenger, operations manager, sushi chef, architect, etc. Each one of these can trade their work for wealth that rivals that of the King of France in the 17th century (in some way).
This economy is extremely silofied - its drawback is that it becomes insular and cross-talk becomes more and more difficult. The reign of tunnel-sighted experts ensues.
This situation cries out for a return of generalists. People who can understand a little bit of everything and make new connections. People who can synthesize. People who grok enough of the entire tech stack to utilize experts like instruments and create a bigger picture.
How do we become Type 2 generalists?