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