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  • The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals
    Why is it that some people seem to be hugely successful and do so much, while the vast majority of us struggle to tread water? The answer is complicated and likely multifaceted. One aspect is mindset—specifically, the difference between amateurs and professionals. Most of us are just amateurs. What’s the difference? Actually, there are many differences: Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is ...
  • The Butterfly Effect: Everything You Need to Know About this Powerful Mental Model
    "You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby ... changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole.” — Fichte, The Vocation of Man (1800) *** The Basics In one of Stephen King’s greatest works, 11/22/63, a young man named Jake discovers a portal in a diner’s pantry which leads back to 1958. After a few visits and some experiments, Jake deduces that ...
  • Ed Latimore on The Secret to a Happy Life
    Ed Latimore (@EdLatimore) might be the most interesting person you'll ever meet. Ed is a professional heavyweight boxer, physics major, and philosopher. He's the author of the cult-hit Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower. This interview looks at the physics of boxing, the value of a coach, and a lot of philosophy. AFter listening to Ed, you won't see life the same way again. This ...
  • Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform
    “Experience is what you got when you didn’t get what you wanted.” — Howard Marks *** Successful decision making requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects. Decision making is as much art as science. The goal, if we have one, is not to make perfect decisions but rather to make better than average decisions and get better over time. Doing this requires better insight or making fewer errors. One ...
  • Habits vs. Goals: A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life
    “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice.” — Octavia Butler *** Nothing will change your future trajectory like habits. We all have goals, big or small, things we want to achieve within a certain time frame. Some people want to make a million dollars by the time they turn 30. Some people want to lose 20 pounds before ...
  • The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything
    There are four simple steps to the Feynman Technique, which I'll explain below: Choose a Concept Teach it to a Toddler Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material Review and Simplify (optional) *** If you're not learning you're standing still. So what's the best way to learn new subjects and identify gaps in our existing knowledge? Two Types of Knowledge There are two types of knowledge and most ...
  • Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Honesty and More
    Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. He’s invested in more than 100 companies, including Uber, Twitter, Yammer, and many others. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about early stage investing. Naval’s an incredibly deep thinker who challenges the status quo on so many things. In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about reading, habits, decision-making, mental models, and life. Just a heads up, this is the longest ...
  • How Filter Bubbles Distort Reality: Everything You Need to Know
    The Basics Read the headline, tap, scroll, tap, tap, scroll. It is a typical day and you are browsing your usual news site. The New Yorker, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, BBC, The Globe and Mail, take your pick. As you skim through articles, you share the best ones with like-minded friends and followers. Perhaps you add a comment. Few of us sit down and decide to inform ...
  • Warren Buffett: The Three Things I Look For in a Person
    Students often go to visit Warren Buffett. And when they do, he often plays a little game on them. He asks each student to pick a classmate. Not just any classmate, but the classmate you would choose if you could have 10% of their earnings for the rest of their life. Which classmate would you pick and why? “Are you going to pick the one with the ...
  • Batesian Mimicry: Why Copycats are Successful
    One of our first interview guests for The Knowledge Project was the former NFL executive Michael Lombardi. In our interview, we discussed topics ranging from the nature of leadership to decision making in a football context. Mike is one of the wisest thinkers associated with the game. We heard Mike on an NFL podcast recently, and in a brief clip you can listen to here, Mike ...
  • The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals
    Why is it that some people seem to be hugely successful and do so much, while the vast majority of us struggle to tread water? The answer is complicated and likely multifaceted. One aspect is mindset—specifically, the difference between amateurs and professionals. Most of us are just amateurs. What’s the difference? Actually, there are many differences: Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is ...
  • The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything
    There are four simple steps to the Feynman Technique, which I'll explain below: Choose a Concept Teach it to a Toddler Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material Review and Simplify (optional) *** If you're not learning you're standing still. So what's the best way to learn new subjects and identify gaps in our existing knowledge? Two Types of Knowledge There are two types of knowledge and most ...
  • How Filter Bubbles Distort Reality: Everything You Need to Know
    The Basics Read the headline, tap, scroll, tap, tap, scroll. It is a typical day and you are browsing your usual news site. The New Yorker, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, BBC, The Globe and Mail, take your pick. As you skim through articles, you share the best ones with like-minded friends and followers. Perhaps you add a comment. Few of us sit down and decide to inform ...
  • A Primer on Critical Mass: Identifying Inflection Points
    The Basics Sometimes it can seem as if drastic changes happen at random. One moment a country is stable; the next, a revolution begins and the government is overthrown. One day a new piece of technology is a novelty; the next, everyone has it and we cannot imagine life without it. Or an idea lingers at the fringes of society before it suddenly becomes mainstream. As erratic and ...
  • Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone
    **Warning - the content in this post is so effective that I encourage you to think carefully how it is used. I do not endorse or condone the use of these skills in malicious or deceptive ways** I'm not quite sure how I came across Robin Dreeke's It's Not All About Me: Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport With Anyone but I'm glad I did. Robin is the ...
  • Habits vs. Goals: A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life
    “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice.” — Octavia Butler *** Nothing will change your future trajectory like habits. We all have goals, big or small, things we want to achieve within a certain time frame. Some people want to make a million dollars by the time they turn 30. Some people want to lose 20 pounds before ...
  • Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform
    “Experience is what you got when you didn’t get what you wanted.” — Howard Marks *** Successful decision making requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects. Decision making is as much art as science. The goal, if we have one, is not to make perfect decisions but rather to make better than average decisions and get better over time. Doing this requires better insight or making fewer errors. One ...
  • Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Honesty and More
    Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. He’s invested in more than 100 companies, including Uber, Twitter, Yammer, and many others. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about early stage investing. Naval’s an incredibly deep thinker who challenges the status quo on so many things. In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about reading, habits, decision-making, mental models, and life. Just a heads up, this is the longest ...
  • Hunter S. Thompson’s Letter on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life
    In April of 1958, Hunter S. Thompson was 22 years old when he wrote this letter to his friend Hume Logan in response to a request for life advice. Thompson's letter, found in Letters of Note, offers some of the most thoughtful and profound advice I've ever come across. April 22, 1958 57 Perry Street New York City Dear Hume, You ask advice: ah, what a very human and very dangerous ...
  • Attrition Warfare: When Even Winners Lose
    When warring opponents use similar approaches and possess similar weapons, trench warfare becomes inevitable. The winning side usually has a slight advantage in production capability or resources. It's hard to see when you're in it, but most people and businesses are in some form of attrition warfare. The best way out is to use a different approach — through tactics, strategy, or weaponry. The International Encyclopedia of ...
  • The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything
    There are four simple steps to the Feynman Technique, which I'll explain below: Choose a Concept Teach it to a Toddler Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material Review and Simplify (optional) *** If you're not learning you're standing still. So what's the best way to learn new subjects and identify gaps in our existing knowledge? Two Types of Knowledge There are two types of knowledge and most ...
  • Hunter S. Thompson’s Letter on Finding Your Purpose and Living a Meaningful Life
    In April of 1958, Hunter S. Thompson was 22 years old when he wrote this letter to his friend Hume Logan in response to a request for life advice. Thompson's letter, found in Letters of Note, offers some of the most thoughtful and profound advice I've ever come across. April 22, 1958 57 Perry Street New York City Dear Hume, You ask advice: ah, what a very human and very dangerous ...
  • The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works
    In 2007, Charlie Munger gave the commencement address at USC Law School, opening his speech by saying, "Well, no doubt many of you are wondering why the speaker is so old. Well, the answer is obvious: He hasn’t died yet." Fortunately for us, Munger has kept on ticking. The commencement speech is an excellent response to the Big Question: How do we live a life that really works? It has so many of Munger's ...
  • The Buffett Formula: How to Get Smarter by Reading
    "The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more." —Charlie Munger "Go to bed smarter than when you woke up." —Charlie Munger Most people go through life not really getting any smarter. Why? They simply won't do the work required. It's easy to come home, sit on the couch, watch TV, and zone out until bedtime rolls around. But that's not going to ...
  • Warren Buffett: The Three Things I Look For in a Person
    Students often go to visit Warren Buffett. And when they do, he often plays a little game on them. He asks each student to pick a classmate. Not just any classmate, but the classmate you would choose if you could have 10% of their earnings for the rest of their life. Which classmate would you pick and why? “Are you going to pick the one with the ...
  • What Books Would You Recommend Someone Read to Improve their General Knowledge of the World?
    Inspired by a reader's question to me, I thought I'd ask our followers on Facebook and Twitter for an answer to the question: What books would you recommend someone read to improve their general knowledge of the world. I must say the number and quality of the responses overwhelmed me. The box Amazon just delivered reminds me that I ordered 9 books off this list. Here is ...
  • Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits, Honesty and More
    Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and co-founder of AngelList. He’s invested in more than 100 companies, including Uber, Twitter, Yammer, and many others. Don’t worry, we’re not going to talk about early stage investing. Naval’s an incredibly deep thinker who challenges the status quo on so many things. In this wide-ranging interview, we talk about reading, habits, decision-making, mental models, and life. Just a heads up, this is the longest ...
  • Charlie Munger on Getting Rich, Wisdom, Focus, Fake Knowledge and More
    "In the chronicles of American financial history," writes David Clark in The Tao of Charlie Munger: A Compilation of Quotes from Berkshire Hathaway's Vice Chairman on Life, Business, and the Pursuit of Wealth, "Charlie Munger will be seen as the proverbial enigma wrapped in a paradox—he is both a mystery and a contradiction at the same time." On one hand, Munger received an elite education and it ...
  • The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals
    Why is it that some people seem to be hugely successful and do so much, while the vast majority of us struggle to tread water? The answer is complicated and likely multifaceted. One aspect is mindset—specifically, the difference between amateurs and professionals. Most of us are just amateurs. What’s the difference? Actually, there are many differences: Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is ...
  • The Top 3 Most Effective Ways to Take Notes While Reading
    *** Before you get started: Filter the book by reading the preface, index, table of contents, and inside jacket. This tells you where the author is going to take you and, importantly, the vocabulary they will use. There are three steps to effectively taking notes while reading: At the end of each chapter write a few bullet points that summarize what you've read and make it personal ...