Books, Life, Etc.

The last year of my life has been dedicated to reading as much as I can and trying to distill the knowledge I gained into practical insights. It’s reading a diet book to learn what you should eat.

But my challenge was to learn how to “live.” This was an absurd goal, but I know I would only gain insight by trying. In the year before my son Max was born, I was able to finish close to 100 books. About 1/4 of the way through, I began to read exclusively on a Kindle, because I wanted to highlight the things I found important, and then export those things. At some point along the way, I realized that this would be a lifetime journey. That excited me more than it dissuaded me. I found that the more you learned, the more you truly realize you barely know a thing. This, to me, was immensely freeing.

I also find that I constantly change my perspective on things, but now, instead of blaming some emotional shift inside of me, I realize that I am likely doing this because of the mental models I (and all of us) have set up. (We’ll get into mental models shortly).

So far, the most important life lessons I have learned from reading are:

  1. Compound interest is the most powerful force in life.
  2. You have absolutely no control over why you think what you think, and because of this, you’ll likely make irrational decisions over and over again.
  3. Mitigate risk wherever and whenever you can. Try not to lose instead of trying to win.
  4. Study history to learn how people reacted to historical events, because they will inevitably happen again.
  5. Black Swan events will always happen, and people will always (incorrectly) say “I told you so.”
  6. Discipline equals Freedom.
  7. Get better at the things you’re good at. Stop focusing on improving weaknesses.
  8. Intelligence bests all. (Since the beginning of time)
  9. Get your point across in as few words as possible.
  10. There is no formula for success. Luck is responsible for more than you think.
  11. Loss aversion and sunk costs are what stops you from making changes.
  12. Storytelling will never be disrupted, and it will always make you buy things you don’t want or need.
  13. Time is likely not linear.
  14. Do not live each day like it was your last.
  15. No one can predict what the future will look like (The Greeks didn’t even try).
  16. Make yourself uncomfortable as often as possible (and be stoic about it).
  17. The World continues to get infinitely better, despite what you see/read.
  18. Empires/Companies, etc. usually die from within, as opposed to from an outside risk.
  19. Wealth does not bring happiness, but it brings optionality. It cannot buy time, but it can buy choice.
  20. Live well below your means.
  21. Surround yourself with people who you can learn and grow from.

I’m of course going to update these, and will write about each one. This is just the start.

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