Happy New Year!
I have been conducting my annual review for 2022 and annual plan for 2023 during the last couple of days. I thought it will be cool to share my lessons to help you improve your life in whatever way.
This is an almost direct copy & paste from my note-taking app (Notion + the inbuilt Apple Notes app for note-taking) so some points might be brief & confusing. I'll try to link the original sources where I got the lessons from.
Quotes will be sprinkled here and there because they're relevant to the lessons I was writing about or... just because they're some of my favorite quotes this year.
Grab a drink and here we go! ☕️👊🏼
- we are better at linear work in the morning, creative work at night (Huberman Lab Podcast #8)
- Sunlight exposure in the first 30 minutes of waking helps combat grogginess & helps you wake up early naturally the next day (same source as above)
- deep work (the act of working intensely, uninterrupted, for 60-90 minutes) is both valuable (high demand) and rare (low supply). But we can only do 3/4 hours of deep work each day (Deep Work)
- Utilize a simple deep work tally to keep score. Easy but works well (same source as above)
fulfillment & happiness
- credit goes to the man in the arena. Give credit to brave effort and attempt, not only for a positive outcome. Those with no skin in the game, outside of the ring don't matter. Ignore the noise. An amazing quote by the late Teddy Roosevelt.
it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
- We are lazy by default. Embrace it, lean into it, and create a sustainable system that will work consistently.
- It is better to be told you are ‘hard working’ or ‘you improved’ than ‘you are smart’. The former encourages a growth mindset, the latter a fixed mindset. I suspect telling someone they're mmart gives the person a feeling they cannot fail or else they are not smart anymore and thus worthless. (Mindset)
- think of career as something you do rather than something you are. Do not claim them as identities. This helps with playing status games and forces you to improve & think about other aspects of your life. (Think Again)
- Speeding up and becoming more efficient only speeds up the tasks & its volume in order to fill the void. Learn to slow down and cut out non-important tasks. (4000 Weeks)
- Life is full of ‘last times’. So value each moment as it is, a unique moment in life. (same source as above)
We cannot put off living until we are ready … Life is fired at us point-blank. – Johann Hari
- do more things for their own sake, not as a means to an end for some external benefits. but a true ‘hobby’, one that you being bad at does not matter but you simply enjoy the act of doing it. Schopenhauer argues how human desire functions means we are constantly between the suffering caused by 1). the pain of not achieving our goals yet, and 2). boredom caused by already achieving your goals. Potential Solution? —> do more things for their own sake. (same source as above)
The purpose of flow is to keep on flowing, not looking for a peak or utopia but staying in the flow. – Johann Hari
- ask yourself ‘what will be my next thought?’
- This year I learned to observe my mind, instead of just focusing on breathing when meditating.
- Do not run away from your fear, your negative thoughts. Instead be curious, ask questions, and by doing so you’ll learn more about yourself.
- Introspective, deep, uninterrupted journaling is very benefitial in helping you unclutter your mind, understand yourself more and wrestle with difficult/complex ideas. (This Youtube video. Do not recommend this channel's newer stuff but some of his old content can be decent)
- Thinking through a problem is like attempting to de-tangle a bunch of cables from start to finish simply by looking at it. Talking or writing it out feels like actually de-tangling it with your hands, through trial and error.
Bit off more than you can chew. You can figure out how to chew later. – Elliot Bisnow
- Plateau of latent potential. Powerful results are unlocked when you cross a threshold. But before that, you must sustain through a period of disappointments & lack of results. Once you crossed that threshold, compound interest does its work. Results are delayed. (Atomic Habits)
- consistency really is key. If you do the right thing (which is simpler than most people but most just will not accept it as an answer) for long enough, you basically win by default by staying in the game the longest.
- Build identity capital intentionally by doing interesting things that set you apart.
- fail intentionally to magnify the power of failure in a more controlled setting.
A genius is a person who can do the average thing when everyone around him is losing his mind. – Napoleon
- margin of safety is powerful & underrated. It increases the odds of your success by decreasing the edge you need to succeed & giving you a higher chance of surviving. (The Psychology of Money)
- Tail drives everything. 80/20 rule at an extreme. (same source as above)
- End of history illusion. Solution? —> aim to be balanced, to have moderate income/freetime/commute/time with family, friends, hobby etc. Never chase the extreme as you then leave no backup if the future you changes. Don’t be afraid of sunk costs.
I have no sunk costs. – Daniel Kahneman
- Take calculated small bets/risks. Use your privilege as an advantage and use it to take more risky actions.
- Inversion thinking by Charlie Munger. Solve Problems by thinking in reverse. It is easier to avoid stupidity than to accomplish excellence. ($100m Offer)
You can be risk loving and yet completely averse to ruin. — Nassim Taleb
- 80/20 applies in the gym. While 20 sets per week per muscle group gives 100% of the gains, 1-4 sets a week already give you ~60% of the gains. (This Youtube video. Great fitness channel backed by science)
- NREM sleep (earlier in the night) helps with clearing out useless old connections & strengthen useful new information. REM sleep (later at night, when we dream) helps make new connections between the information we gathered, new and old. Sleeping late & waking up early causes you to lose NREM and REM sleep respectively. (Why We Sleep)
- coffee doesn’t make you more awake, it stops you from receiving signals of sleepiness/tired by blocking adenosine receptors. (same source as above)
- take vitamin D when you don’t have sufficient sunlight in the UK. Take vitamin C regularly.
- compound interest is much more powerful if used with a big starting volume. Focus on getting that large initial sum early on rather than using compound interest. Yet, when used appropriately, compound interest is still extremely powerful
More than 97% of Warren Buffett's wealth has been accumulated after the age of 65. – Morgan Housel
Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn't, pays it. – Albert Einstein
- When the goal is getting rich, it is more important to increase your upside (making more) than to limit your downside (spending less)
- when you look at supercars, you don’t actually care about the driver. If anything you usually think negatively about them —> luxuries do not make people love us. It only puts a bandage over our insecurities. (Psychology of Money as referenced above)
- money’s greatest power is the freedom it gives you. Location, time freedom.
Growth is driven by compounding… destruction is driven by single points of failure.
- long-lasting, deep relationships are one of the top keys to a happy life. Never cheap out on it. (Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | TED)
- Give more without expecting anything in return. It makes you happier and the relationship will get better.
- Praise specifically, criticize generally.
- Don’t always give advice. Ask questions, show empathy, listens.
- When you get into a romantic relationship you choose a person who is your therapist, your advisor, your greatest supporter and your closest friend.
- The Friendship matrix: Healthy & Enjoyable. A good friendship should have both. If one is lacking then assess whether the friendship is really one that you want/are good for you. If both is lacking then cut it off. (10 Types of Odd Friendships You’re Probably Part Of)
- Learned more about Southern Europe, middle east history. Enough to sustain me through a (hopefully at least…) 2 minutes conversation so I don’t sound stupid.
- We have probably created a society that rewards those good at instrumentalizing time. Time is no longer valued as it is but valued at how well we can ‘use’ it.
- Read more fiction. Makes you more empathetic & understand others better.
- Mind wandering and going on walks are super underrated. Gives you more creativity, helps your mind dissect, consolidate ideas & makes new connections. Gives your mind breathing room.
- Guinness can taste pretty good in specific settings.
- Learned more about Red Wine tasting. Had some pretty good ones. I like Argentinian Malbec.
That's it and I hope you find some gems there. Have a great 2023 and talk to you soon x