One of the most important things for your entire life is choosing what projects you work on.
If you choose your projects right, life will be very satisfying, full of achievements, every year will be a little easier and better than the last one.
If you choose your projects wrong, you'll get stagnation, be forced to re-start from scratch when things fail or get abandoned, and otherwise have a rather frustrating life.
And yet, it's rather hard for most people to choose what to work on. There's potentially... well, infinite things.
I'd like to recommend a guideline to you: only do 10-year projects or short projects, and almost nothing in between. Since switching to this view of the world, life's gotten immensely easier and better for me, I've been able to have a lot more successes, and deliver a lot more value to the world.
We're doing the Ultraworking Pentathlon again, from 7 January to 22 January.
The first Pentathlon was a really big success. We've incorporated feedback and the next one is going to even better.
The Big Idea
The big idea is very simple: there's hundreds of "known best practices" and 1% edges in the world that most people aren't doing them. There's also dozens to hundreds of little techniques, tricks, and advantages you can stack up to make your life run better.
Super jazzed the GiveGetWin Tour IV videos are up.
Tons of love and huge respect to Angela Cheung, the master videographer who traveled with us for the first 80% of the Tour. She did amazing work at lightning speed. It was really such an honor and privilege to work with her.
Here was the trailer from NYU --
TSR is approaching the one-year mark.
As most of you probably already know, I write one long-form actionable historical essay every Thursday the The Strategic Review. I'm closing in on the one-year date of restarting TSR (last December), and there's been a really marvelous reception to TSR.
In fact, I've done almost no promotion, and TSR has net-gained in subscribers (more new people joining than unsubscribing) in 46 out of the 49 weeks TSR has been out there. That's nearly 100% word of mouth. I'm very, very grateful that everyone recommends TSR.
Some reader feedback to Dubious Battle #1: Faith vs Works
It's really a privilege to get unsolicited reader feedback like this --
Hello old friends!
I'm updating Facebook and my newsletter more than my blog these days, but figured I ought to update you here too; a few cool things are going on.
1. GiveGetWin Tour IV is happening now.
As always, tickets are entirely free.
I'm posting stuff like this on Facebook these days, but I think this came out really well so I'm putting it here too. Follow me on Facebook (or follow on Twitter) if you want to read more stuff like this.
"How do you decide what conferences are worth going to?"
Lawrence He just asked. Great question.
1) What's your objectives?
These days, I don't blog much. I write and a release a major essay via email only every Thursday at The Strategic Review.
There's a whole lot of little things I learn that are useful to share, but I don't really have anywhere to put them now that I don't blog as much (book reviews and excerpts, quick thoughts, recommendations).
I'm putting them on Facebook now, and enabled following --
So, if you're on Facebook and want those type of observations, head over there and click follow. Cheers.
I'm probably more excited about this than I ought to be, but since I use paper heavily for notes, I'm smiling ear to ear.
August 6th, 2016: The day I finally figured out how to manage paper, permanently.
1. Every piece of paper, write the date at the top. Ruthlessly throw out paper more than a day old.
Last week's piece in TSR was about intersubjectivity and Mustafa Kemal's building of modern Turkey. It was popular; I got more reader replies than I've gotten in a couple months.
A terrific long-time TSR reader wrote in and asked,
Curious to hear when you began understanding intersubjectivity, which objective stuff you took care of first, and which intersubjective paradigms you stripped away.
When I first thought about intersubjectivity (although I didn't have a word for it), I tried to manipulate my reality through perspective a lot, and for the past two years learned to mellow myself out and take care of objective things, and be pragmatic. So curious to hear what those things were for you."
Perhaps I'm tipping my hand a little too much since we're still taking applications for GiveGetWin Summer Camp... nevertheless, I think the following could be really useful for young recent graduates applying for jobs, or really, anyone applying for anything.
Before you describe yourself as "passionate," strongly consider describing yourself as "dedicated" instead.
You see, if you told someone that you were dedicated to Chess and played 20 hours per week, studied classic games and puzzles for 5 hours per week, and was competing in tournaments at least once a month... then you wouldn't need to say you're passionate.
If you wanted to ensure people really understood how much you enjoyed Chess, you could say "I love Chess" in addition to all of the above... but really, it wouldn't be necessary. We'd get it!
Now here's the thing: if you feel like you can't honestly describe yourself as dedicated to a profession, hobby, or cause... that supposedly you care a lot about... then maybe that's something that you should introspect on?