Affirmations and North Stars

A list of timeless reminders about how l aim to be or just how life seems to work "I never want to be caught flat" A tongue-in-cheek comment by my trader friend Ollie which doubles as life advice
  • Everything that matters is simple but not easy
  • Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard: “I believe the way toward mastery of any endeavor is to work towards simplicity. Replace complex technology with knowledge, the more, you know, the less you need. From my feeble attempts at simplifying, my own life. I've learned enough to know that. Should we have to or choose to live more simply, it won't be an impoverished life but one richer in all the ways that really matter.”
  • Addition by subtraction
    • Asymmetry with respect to ruling out vs ruling in. It is easier to recognize potential pitfalls than potential windfalls. (Munger : "We basically have the attitude that you can’t make a good deal with a bad person. We don’t try to protect ourselves by contracts or all kinds of due diligence – we just forget about it. We can do fine over time dealing with people we like and admire and trust.")
    • Survive is easier than thrive. And a prerequisite. Avoid own-goals.
    • Frugality is not about self-denial. It is a virtue when you see it as a way to survive. Being “hard to kill” makes you less compromised.
  • Repetition
    • Think of events as repeated games. "Teach a man to fish" is let your kids figure it out. Chris Rock doesn't want his kids going to schools without bullies because that conflict is low stakes learning and artificially removing it doesn't do the kids favors since the adult world they are heading towards does have bullies.
    • “Reframing a decision as a bundle of future repeated actions gives a more accurate view. The goal is not to entirely avoid urges but to reframe them in a way that best accounts for their consequences.” - Gary Basin
    • repetition: “Repetition is persuasive” — David Senra (a key to branding)
Action as a filter, a signal, discovery, and catalyst
  • Actions express priority
    • Show don't tell; role models matter
    • Corollary: learn in public, the exhaust benefits everyone
    • Courage cannot be faked; the warrior bore the risk of his deserved glory in the service of his countryman. The 'primacy of the risk-taker' has been a feature of nearly all human civilization. When we reward leaders who did not bear commensurate risks we undermine virtue. Society frays as the truly virtuous/courageous bristles as they watch. (Moral hazard of private gains vs socialized losses)
  • Action precedes motivation
    • Motion creates information
    • Can't introspect your way to fulfillment
    • Inertia (1 pushup is harder than 50)
    • "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good"
    • “If you never fail, you’re only trying things that are too easy and playing far below your level."
    • “The general principle of antifragility, it is much better to do things you cannot explain than explain things you cannot do.” – Nassim Taleb
  • Convexity and wicked learning environments Systems that exhibit an asymmetry between gains and losses for a given level of stimulus are described as having a ‘convexity bias’. In math, this is curvature, in financial options it is known as gamma, and in physics, it is the second derivative or acceleration. Antifragile represents a class of phenomena that possess the ‘convexity bias’ property and therefore benefit from disorder or stressors. Fragile phenomenona hate disorder. A cup of coffee will not tolerate much disorder before spilling or breaking. In an antifragile system, we maximize the result via optionality and the value of the optionality increases with the volatility in the system since the upside expands while the downside remains fixed. Recognizing whether the system you are operating in is fragile or antifragile should guide your approach to maximizing results and/or minimizing risk.
    • Lowering your cost per trial allows you to stay in a game longer which can maximize your chance to be exposed to a convex outcome. Starting 5 low cost businesses will expose you to much greater upside than becoming even a highly paid hourly worker like a dentist.  The option to shed the businesses that fail and double down on the businesses that thrive derives its value from your worst case being a zero but unlimited upside. Likewise, a person with a highly marketable resume can derive more value from the fact that they can always ‘fall back’ on a job while they pursue a more speculative endeavor. The resume is valuable not because of the outcome of the job it maps to but because it has lowered the opportunity cost of taking a chance elsewhere.
No stress, no growth
  • Via Founder’s podcast on Yvon Chouinard: Stress (change) is required for evolution. Those who do not believe in evolution see change as a threat as opposed to an opportunity to grow.
  • How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top. You can solo climb Everest without using oxygen. Or you can pay guides and sherpas to carry your loads, put ladders across crevices, lay down 6 thousand feet of fixed rope, and have one Sherpa pulling you, and one pushing you. You just dial 10 thousand feet on your oxygen bottle. This is how your typical high-powered rich plastic surgeons and CEOs attempt to climb Everest. They are so fixated on the target, they compromise on the process. The goal of climbing, big dangerous mountains should be to attain some sort of spiritual and personal growth. But this won't happen if you compromise away the entire process.
  • Nature is constantly evolving and the ecosystem supports species that adapt either through catastrophic events are through natural selection. A healthy environment operates with the same need for diversity and variety evident in a successful business and that diversity evolves out of a commitment to constant change. Only on the fringes of an ecosystem, those outer rings, do evolution and adaptation occur at a furious pace. The inner center of the system is where the entrenched non-adapting species die off due to maintaining the status quo. Only those businesses operating with a sense of urgency, dancing on the fringe, constantly evolving open to diversity and a new way of doing things are going to be here 100 years from now.
  • Bob Dylan: “He not busy being born is busy dying”
  • My own belief is that any worldview that discourages our growth (growth is a culturally-loaded term, so be careful) is doomed because it is unnatural to our instincts.
  • Learning is the key to increasing agency. To being self-sufficient. To becoming a better version of yourself. But learning is often painful. If you are doing exercises and they are a breeze, you are reviewing. Learning often doesn’t look or feel like learning. Your brain hurts. And you want to give up. But when you come back to the task, it’s a touch easier. Like your brain actually absorbed or consolidated information when you slept. That’s because it did. Keep chipping away.
    Calibration Is Hard
    • People want to be safe more than right. The benefits of being right are not cut-and-dry, so it has a marketing problem.
      • Confirmation bias rules everything around me (C.R.E.A.M.)
        • People seek confirmation, not truth. We are ego protectors
        • Many calibration errors are not errors; they are motivated reasoning. Everyone's talking their own book. Especially on matters that definitely don’t have right answers that reasonable people disagree on.
        • SlatestarCodex: Of the fifty-odd biases discovered by Kahneman, Tversky, and their successors, forty-nine are cute quirks, and one is destroying civilization. This last one is confirmation bias - our tendency to interpret evidence as confirming our pre-existing beliefs instead of changing our minds. This is the bias that explains why your political opponents continue to be your political opponents, instead of converting to your obviously superior beliefs. And so on to religion, pseudoscience, and all the other scourges of the intellectual world.
        • Rohit Krishnan: “human ability is normally distributed but the outcomes are power law distributed”. What this means is that just because someone builds a company that produces extraordinary outcomes, 10000x the average, doesn’t mean that they were 10000x as capable. Achievements are created from multiplicative outcomes of many different variables. So if you’re investing in a “10x founder” it doesn’t mean that they themselves are 10x the capability of everyone else, but what it means is that their advantage, combined with everyone else’s advantage, can get you to a 10000x outcome. Which means the adulation we pour on top of some folks creates its own gravitational field, and makes others susceptible to falling in love.
    • A good filter reduces the chain of coin flips you must win before you reach your goal
    • No matter how much we say ‘correlation is not causation’ the admonition remains underrated. An example I see everywhere: Someone says “x makes us good at y” but usually what makes us good at x also makes us good at y.
    • Post-hoc fallacy: we don’t know the difference between “because of” and “in spite of”
    • Berksons Paradox and tail divergence are horribly underappreciated. Just listen to how anybody speaks about unconventional outliers.
    • Survivorship bias —> overfitting —> cargo-culting
    • The mark of smart is asking good questions. This is a good test for understanding.
    • Improving decisions requires:
      • better benchmarking and accounting for counterfactuals
      • Recruit others into your dilemmas
        • Daniel Kahneman from Thinking, Fast and Slow: “It is easier to recognize other people’s mistakes than our own.”
        • The best antidote to cognitive bias is getting perspective from others. We can’t see our own blindspots.
        • Julia Galef’s also believes “peer pressure” can combat bias if people prefer to flatter themselves as “scouts” rather than cling to something they want to believe but think is wrong. This makes sense to me because a culture of being well-calibrated will nudge you towards that goal (SIG, LessWrong community)
          • There’s also an argument I find unsatisfying in Slatestar’s review of The Scout Mindest
            It reminds me of C.S. Lewis - especially The Great Divorce, whose conceit was that the damned could leave Hell for Heaven at any time, but mostly didn’t, because it would require them to admit that they had been wrong. I think Julia thinks of rationality and goodness as two related skills: both involve using healthy long-term coping strategies instead of narcissistic short-term ones.
            I know some rationalists who aren’t very nice people (I also know others who are great). There are lots of other facets of nice-person-ness beyond just an ability to acknowledge your mistakes (for example, you have to start out thinking that being mean to other people is a mistake!) But all these skills about “what tests can you put your thoughts through to see things from the other person’s point of view?” or “how do you stay humble and open to correction?” are non-trivial parts of the decent-human-being package, and sometimes they carry over.
            In one sense, this is good: buy one “rationality training”, and we’ll throw in a “personal growth” absolutely free! In another sense, it’s discouraging. Personal growth is known to be hard. If it’s a precondition to successful rationality training, sounds like rationality training will also be hard. Scout Mindset kind of endorses this conclusion. Dan Ariely or whoever promised you that if you read a few papers on cognitive bias, you’d become a better thinker. Scout Mindset also wants you to read those papers, but you might also have to become a good personHere Scout Mindset reaches an impasse. It’s trying to train you in rationality. But it acknowledges that this is closely allied with making you a good person. And that can’t be trained
            (in case this is starting to sound too touchy-feely, Julia interrupts this section for a while to mercilessly debunk various studies claiming to show that “self-deluded people are happier) [Kris: that’s another argument for being well-calibrated!]
    Cooperation & Negotiation
    • We’re never in a situation where the person has to negotiate with you. They have some alternative, they can walk away, which means that the only reason anybody’s going to engage you in a negotiation is because by doing so they’re going to get a better outcome than by not doing so. If that’s the case, then every negotiation is collaborative. Having a favorable outcome for yourself means that you have to have a favorable outcome for them as well. Otherwise, they’re not gonna be part of this conversation, and definitely not future conversations. — Todd Simkin
    • One of the other teachers of the class at Susquehanna has such a lovely touch, he just says, “tell me more”, and tell me more doesn’t have any value laid in it, it doesn’t have any judgment in it. It’s just saying, go ahead and add more words to what you’ve already shared. You want to take this action against this type of order flow? Why? Tell me more. And effectively what my father was saying is the same as what as what Mike, my co- teacher says, when he’s talking to our students, which is just, I cannot reach a conclusion about what you’re saying, until I understand it better. So help me understand it better. Tell me more. ..This approach establishes very early, that we’re on the same side that we have, if not all of the same goals, we have alignment with our values and our goals, I want to support you says all I’m looking for is an excuse to make sure that you and I are facing the same direction and facing the world together. Help me get there bring me into alignment with you by by telling me more.— Todd Simkin What stands out for me is the magic that can happen when we combine the principles of charity with a demand for mental rigor and vulnerability.
    • "What can this person teach me" is a much more productive question than "How is this person wrong?"
    • "Don't get jealous of people you should be learning from" Ed Latimore
    • Kipling: "If you don't get what you want, you either didn't really want it, or you tried to negotiate over the price"
      • "You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate" - Carass
      • "Do not confuse contracts for power"
      • "When something becomes a commodity, there will be concentration. Hell, Samsung makes flat screens for Sony because the margins are so bad." - Lefetz People without agency commoditize themselves. The analogy is dark.
    • How you make people feel is often more important than the substance of what you are saying. A failure to understand this is a bottleneck on implementing intelligent ideas. Be careful; smart sociopaths know this too. They will hack you by flattering the self-image you cling to.
    • “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw
    It’s not “yes” or “no”. It’s “how much?”
    • The dose makes the poison (similar to sizing > timing)
      • “Every trader makes you richer or wiser but not both”
      • “There old traders. There's bold traders. But there are no old, bold traders.”
      • Rule #1 — survive
      • Dangerous things are not the biggest risks. Dangerous things that appear safe are.
      • Hormesis
    Be ok with loose ends
    • Coherence is the enemy: resist the urge to surrender to convenient answers to life's irreducible paradoxes.
    • Many copes are retreats from dissonance
      • Woo woo stuff: vague concepts are molds to accept vague feelings. Their evidence works by recruiting availability and confirmation bias. They are never predictive. If you took them seriously you'd rearrange your life the way a religious fundamentalist does. At best you are hacking the salutary effects of placebo at worse you are uncalibrating yourself leading to bad decisions not to mention wasting your time and attention of pseudoscience. Tetlock: vague wording is elastic, stretched to fit over one’s self-image.
      • "Mind is so powerful as evidenced by placebo effect. The link between expectations and beliefs is astounding"- Dan Ariely
      • Anti-nihilism: Good taste and values, If everything is good then nothing is good.
    • The practitioner’s knowledge seems to be happily incomplete, inchoate and often illegible, while producing better results than the more rigorous, complete and predictive theories of the theorists. — Rohit Krishnan
    Antidotes to Paradox
    • “name it to tame it” and move on
    • You can’t just tear down and destroy leaving a vacuum. You build scaffolding first, create a replacement, give something beautiful for everyone to behold. You won’t need to tear down the old. You can’t anyway. It just crumbles.
    • Recognize Nash Equilibriums (no better strategy even if you knew others changed their action). People focus on short-term incentives leading to multi-polar traps (Moloch). Suppose you live in a house with strangers. This is vulnerable to classic coordination problems like freeriding and tragedy of the commons. It’s typical to designate responsibility with a chore wheel. But what if we re-framed the responsibility as a “brag sheet”? This framing nudges the cultural values of the group towards more pro-social behavior. The approach is worth considering whenever trying to align a group. Perhaps such experiments do not make sense at scale but at local scales we should avoid lazily accepting large-scale models that are forced to make costlier compromises.
    The seduction of “why”
    Humans are pattern-matchers. The benefit is we are able to recognize patterns and form hypotheses. We can use the scientific method (an algorithm of inquiry) to reject patterns. What’s left over increases our understanding of how the world works. The importance of this is self-evident. This is why bridges can stand up.
    The cost is we are slaves to our pattern-matching minds are desperate for reason and causation. The desperation or need for closure means we accept untested, unverified chains of logic that sound coherent. But coherence is a function of our narrative minds. And our narrative minds are deeply biased (necessitating the scientific method algorithm — an underrated example of progress).
    The problem is speculation is cheap and rigor is expensive. So we get an abundance of the former relative to the latter. Most discourse is non-academic. In a global world, where your reputation is not seated in your local interactions, but the perception you project, persuasion and sales dominate honest incentives (honesty and persuasion can be aligned but incentives and multi-polar traps ensure it’s not the default — see Skin In The Game Notes).
    So when you hear a debate, it’s not comforting but more accurate to remember that you are listening to facets of a whole, and there is no absolute truth in most matters we care about. The persuasive strength of the claims will be measured in units of what is most convenient and expedient to whoever holds the power (in a democracy that can mean the majority, in a dictatorship, the authoritarian, and in a market to the marginal bid).
    “Whys” are McGuffin which give us purpose, not because of their existence but because of our need for them. The dark version of this is “everyone is just talking their own book” but Maria Popova’s detached interpretation of Steinbeck’s Log From The Sea of Cortez is less value-laden.
    She writes:
    • Few things are more seductive to us than a ready opinion, and we brandish few things more flagrantly as we move through the world, slicing through its fundamental uncertainty with our insecure certitudes. The trouble with opinion is that it instantly islands us in the stream of life, cutting off its subject — and us along with it — from the interconnected totality of deep truth.
    • At its heart is Steinbeck’s passionate refutation of the Western compulsion for teleological thinking — the tendency to explain things in terms of the purpose they serve, antithetical both to science and to the Eastern notion of being: the idea that everything just is and fragment of it, any one thing examined by itself, is simply because it is. Science — the supreme art of observation without interpretation, of meeting reality on its own acausal and impartial terms, free from the tyranny of why and its tendrils of blame — puts us a leap closer to understanding both particulate and pattern through non-teleological thinking
    • The moment we regard something simply as it is, because it is, we have understood it more fully, for we have shed the narratives layer of why
    • Steinbeck: The truest reason for anything’s being so is that it is. This is actually and truly a reason, more valid and clearer than all the other separate reasons, or than any group of them short of the whole. Anything less than the whole forms part of the picture only, and the infinite whole is unknowable except by being it, by living into it. A thing may be so “because” of a thousand and one reasons of greater or lesser importance… The separate reasons, no matter how valid, are only fragmentary parts of the picture….The whole is necessarily everything, the whole world of fact and fancy, body and psyche, physical fact and spiritual truth, individual and collective, life and death, macrocosm and microcosm (the greatest quanta here, the greatest synapse between these two), conscious and unconscious, subject and object.
    • He gets concrete here: Seeing a school of fish lying quietly in still water, all the heads pointing in one direction, one says, “It is unusual that this is so” — but it isn’t unusual at all. We begin at the wrong end. They simply lie that way, and it is remarkable only because with our blunt tool we cannot carve out a human reason…A man is potentially all things too, greedy and cruel, capable of great love or great hatred, of balanced or unbalanced so-called emotions. This is the way he is — one factor in a surge of striving. And he continues to ask “why” without first admitting to himself his cosmic identity.
    • The great naturalist John Muir’s observation that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe,”
    Think about myself less to be happier
    • Crichton essay: “if you want to be happy, forget yourself. Forget all of it—how you look, how you feel, how your career is going. Just drop the whole subject of you. People dedicated to something other than themselves are the happiest people in the world.”
      • CS Lewis: Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It's thinking of yourself less.
    • "Mom's job is never sacrifice. It's a duty done with love". — My mother’s gracious response when I tried to describe her parenting as 'sacrifice'
    • Business application of this idea:
      • From David Senra: Henry Ford: "I feel sorry for these soft and flabby men that can only do great work when they feel like it." Henry Ford's point was a business exists to serve other people. There's going to be days where you get out of bed and you cannot wait to get to work, and that's great. There's going to be days when you don't want to go to work, and that is irrelevant because the business is not about you. The business does not exist for your pleasure. The business exists to serve other people. [Kris: which is why you should probably care about the customers]
    Enterprise and Expression
    The World Is Malleable
    • "There are no 'Adults'
      • Everyone's making it up as they go along. Figure it out yourself, and do it." - Naval
      • “guard against the prestige of great names; never be surprised by the crumbling of an idol or the disclosure of a skeleton” - Lord Acton
    • Branson: A business is anything that makes people’s lives better. Simplifying people’s lives is a business.
    • Paul Millerd:
      • You're doing the thing everyone does at the beginning of a solo path — you're looking to be saved. No company, no other person's playbook, or metric of success will save you. The only thing that matters is coming back to the thing you are meant to do. You must do it on your terms. Men waste years trying to avoid this.
    Mind your inputs, outputs are less predictable
    • "The ratio of time you spend sweating to watching others sweat is a forward-looking indicator of your success." - Scott Galloway
    • “The score takes care of itself” - Bill Walsh
      • Focus on what you can control
    • The success paradox we must live with: We must act like we are in control even if we know it’s an illusion without letting the self-deception give in to either side decisively. It’s like watching your autonomy duel honesty on a platform over a lava pit. If your sense of agency wins you become insufferable and no honest people will have you. If honesty wins you are calibrated but paralyzed. Philosophy has wrestled with this forever because we are thirsty for meaning. Nobody would come to a play that was a 1 line soliloquy “Sorry, shit’s random”. Instead, we create art in an unconscious quest to reflect on the whims of atoms.
    • “Iron sharpens iron”
      • Environment (and habits) trump will This is also why you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Mind your inputs so they are congruent with the direction you want to move towards. You are going to be programmed so be deliberate.
      • “Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer
    • Requirments to get rich:
      • Ravikant: Get rich without getting lucky prereqs:
        • accountability (take a risk)
        • leverage
        • specific knowledge
      • My version:
        • work nobody wants to do because it’s hard or otherwise unattractive
        • leverage
        • scarce (accountability incorporated)
        • i’d like to say risk but experience has proven otherwise
          • Courage cannot be faked; the warrior bore the risk of his deserved glory in the service of his countryman. The 'primacy of the risk-taker' has been a feature of nearly all human civilization. When we reward leaders who did not bear commensurate risks we undermine virtue. Society frays as the truly virtuous/courageous bristles as they watch. (Moral hazard of private gains vs socialized losses)
    Permission to be obsessed
    • obsession: “If Anything Is Worth Doing, It's Worth Doing To Excess” – Edwin Land, Inventor
      • "Don't be the best be the only" Jerry Garcia
      • creativity in one mind "Originality are attributes of a single mind, not a group…there's no such thing as group originality or group creativity.” — Edwin Land
    • Obsession + repetition = long term durability
      • Costco “profits in pockets” idea. Surplus for the long term game. Surplus is slack against Moloch
        • Moloch discards all values in the name of the legible ones. Counter by having “slack”. Living below means, underemployment etc.
    On judgment and skepticism
    • “Skepticism enforces discipline” but it cannot exist on its own. It must be part of a team because it is fundamentally “non-generative”. It is a razor that reduces. It does not build.
    • Popova paraphrases Dostoyevsky: It is our responsibility as human beings, to peer past the surface insecurities that drive people to lash out and look for the deeper longings, holding up a mirror to one another’s highest ideals rather than pointing the self-righteous finger at each other’s lowest faults. We are inherently good despite the badness we sometimes put on like an ill-fitting suit to impress by imitating those we mistake for impressive. Dostoyevsky: “Judge [people] not by what they are, but by what they strive to become.”
    • Lord Acton: “judge talent at its best and character at its worst; suspect power more than vice”
    • Praise in public, criticize in private
    Our household “coat of arms”
    1. Kindness
    1. Gratitude
    1. Honesty
    Many other values we hold (ie curiosity, hard-working) are downstream of these 3. When lost your compass will point back to these 3 values.
    Henry James - Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
    Kindness as epistemic humility: You don’t know what people are going through.
    • Hanlon’s razor
    • Never forget we are multitudes (again, accept these tensions. The quest for coherence is more costly than the benefit). Turning this logic outwards is a form of charity. For example, I am both vain and can tolerate criticism of my appearance because I can use that as a catalyst. And yet I would not take the liberty to assume another would respond as I would. Criticizing others’ appearance is off limits to me unless I was thus invited earnestly.
    • Intention vs Impact
      • “There's a difference between someone actively trying to harm you and someone’s specific constellation of shortcomings being harmful to you” - Lucy Dancyger
        • Strength says: ”Let me be your punching bag. Let all the hate out on me. Be better to the next person.”
    Kindness as self-reliance
    (This idea is personal because of my own experiences.)
    “put your own mask first before you help others”
    I've dealt with people who decline help but really need it. They think you are doing you a favor but actually allowing themselves to be led to water would have been a kinder thing to do than pretend that their short-term impositions aren't just going to compound into a future debt that you will be liable for anyway.
    If you need help, seek it. If you are offered help sincerely, especially by someone who can see that you need it, accept it. And honor it by listening.
    Be self-reliant. Don't let life have its way with you. You always have a choice. The choices can be bad or hard but you have a choice. Waking up is a choice.
    By taking care of yourself you have the capacity to care for others and you are less likely to exhaust someone else’s capacity.
    Yinh likes to say it’s impossible to simultaneously be negative when you are holding a state of gratitude. There are always examples of people who have done more with less than what you ha
    Rules for Social Media
    1. Be kind
    2. Be useful
    3. Give people the benefit of the doubt
    Unlock Others: the cheapest source of capital is self-belief. Self-belief is precious and fragile.
    • “At critical moments in time, you can raise the aspirations of other people significantly, especially when they are relatively young, simply by suggesting they do something better or more ambitious than what they might have in mind...This is in fact one of the most valuable things you can do with your time and with your life.” - Tyler Cowen [Marginal Revolution - “The high-return activity of raising others’ aspirations”]
    • Give people credit. Give their aspirations room.
    • Agents of their own destiny are less scared and less insecure. More empowered. Better decision-making—> Better outcomes —> More agency —> Higher citizenry —> Incentive for honest and benevolent leadership and accountability Insecure people can be manipulated. Kill the -isms at their root. Help people learn so they can increase their agency.
    • Is my motivation for X from inspiration or insecurity?
      • Also https://medium.com/personal-growth/beyond-insecurity-the-positive-power-of-the-right-kind-of-ambition-f98504d6c0d7
        • There is a big but subtle difference between ambition driven by insecurity and ambition driven by the desire to self-actualize. The former is born out of not feeling enough — its source is either self-hate, or self-disrespect, or a combination. The latter, however, is simply an affirmation of life — it is an attempt to do the most that one can do with the body one has been given. It doesn’t compete with others but with itself. It doesn’t project its own hate and moralizing onto the world because it has already dealt with them internally.
    • Confidence is key. Narrative follows price
      • Reflexivity: a constant dialogue between your inputs and outputs. Confidence/optimism are critical because of this fact since it can cause you to succeed.

    Related Writing:

    Personal Heros

    • Macho Man Randy Savage
    • Mark Rober
    • Sal Khan
    • Elizabeth Shaughnessy