80% of people recommend

If 80% of people recommend something, does that mean only 20% recommend the other thing?

Not necessarily.

Ask 100 dentists to write down their favourite toothpaste brands.

80 of them write down Colgate.

So you could say 80% recommend Colgate.

But there’s information being left out.

What if 87 of them wrote down Oral-B?

'87% of dentists recommend Oral-B.'

And 68 of them wrote down Crest.

'68% of dentists recommend Crest.'

All of the metrics are telling the truth.

You don't see many ads saying, 'We asked 100 dentists what their favourite toothpastes were, 80% of them said Colgate, 87% of them said Oral-B and 68% of them said Crest.'

Instead they say, '80% of dentists recommend Colgate.' A true statement.

After all, the dentists did write down their favourite brands. And 80% of them did write down Colgate.

But by leaving information out, it paints a different story.

Even the truth can be misleading. Especially when it's partial.

Your follow up question should be, 'what else do they recommend?'

Sticks and stones

You remember the saying.

‘Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.’

Bull.

Take two letters. Address them both to your mum.

In one, write how much you love her and how you’re so grateful she raised you the way she did.

In the other write how you wish you were never born and how you spend each moment of your life wondering how you ended up with such a terrible mother.

How do you think your mother would react to each?

If she got the first one, she’d smile and give you a big hug when you next saw her.

The second one may result in breaking your mums heart and her never thinking of you the same again.

The only difference?

Words on the page. 

They don’t even have to be true. If she read them the feelings would still kick in.

And it’s likely the negative letter would have a much longer lasting effect on your mum.

Why?

Negativity bias. Or, given equal amounts of things of positive or negative nature, the negative have a much greater effect on our psychological state.

It’s the reason you remember that person who sad the bad thing about you 10-years ago.

I still remember being called fat in high school every time I look in the mirror.

There was an article I read once said you needed to win $600 to overcome the adverse effect of losing $100. In other words, you’d need 6 equally weighted positive events to counter balance a single negative event. But don’t go sending letters to your mum with this ratio.

A scratch from a stick will heal in a week. But words can last a lifetime.

Words have magic powers. That’s why they call it spelling.

They won’t break bone like stone but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful where you point your wand.

The anti-role model

Role models are great to have.

Someone you can think about when you’re unsure about an action.

‘What would Jack do?’

But anti-role models can be just as powerful.

The other day I saw a gentleman attempt to run at the airport.

‘I can’t run Sandra!’ he shouted out to his wife. 

Other than being severely overweight, the man seemed healthy. But his weight caused him not to be able to run.

I’ve been in a similar situation before. My weight used to prevent me from doing certain activities.

Not anymore.

So there’s two anti-role models for my future actions. My past self and the man at the airport.

The idea of the anti-role-model is similar to a Charlie Munger quote.

‘All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there.’

Makes sense. You can live a good life simply by avoiding the things you know to be negative.

Finding the perfect role model is tough. Really tough. Because there isn’t one.

But you can find plenty of anti-role models to fill in the gaps.

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5-minutes is enough

Close your eyes.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

The mind can get congested sometimes. Thoughts of the day clogged in grid lock.

But you can clear it out, like rebooting your computer when it isn’t playing along.

Sit down for a moment and do nothing.

It doesn’t even have to be in a quiet place. Just focus on nothing but your breath for 5-minutes.

You’ve got time.

Try it.

How are things now?

A little clearer?

If not, you can always go again. 

How the richest man in the world spends his mornings

So you can spend $10,000,000 a day for the next 40-years and still have change left over — how would you spend your mornings?

How about waking up early after 8-hours of sleep, doing some reading (newspapers included) and then having breakfast with you kids before your first meeting no earlier than 10 o’clock?

Well, that’s exactly what you would do if you were Amazon Founder & CEO Jeff Bezos.

‘I like to putter in the mornings, it’s important to me.’

You’d think being in control of a 500,000+ people company, mornings would be a little more hectic.

Alright. Alright. So what can we learn from the $147 Billion USD (at time of writing) man?

 

Sleep

‘I get 8-hours of sleep, I prioritise it.’

This one might seem surprising. Sleep deprivation has been worn as a badge of honour in the past.

We’ve all heard that person say they can function off less than ideal sleep.

They may be right too. Functioning, sure, but how well?

‘I need 8-hours of sleep, I think better, I have more energy, my mood is better.’

Sure, there will be times when ideal sleep isn’t a possibility, with things like timezone changes and deadlines. But for the majority of cases, best to take on your biggest challenges well rested.


Nutrition

‘I like to have breakfast with my kids before taking them to school.’

Bezos doesn’t mention what he eats of a morning but after Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, you can probably guess what kind of meal it is.

If you’re going to eat in the morning, especially if it’s with your kids, start the day off right with some quality food. And if you don’t know where to start, remind yourself of the company Amazon recently bought. You don’t have to shop there but eating whole foods (fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts) is your best option.

 

What matters

If you’ve heard Bezos speak in the past, you’ve probably heard of his regret minimisation framework.

If not, its another of saying, choose your actions by imagining yourself 20-years in the future with no regrets about the past.

Back to the breakfast quote.

‘I like to have breakfast with my kids before they go to school.’

Can you imagine a 20-year future Bezos saying to himself, ‘I wish I spent more time responding to those emails instead having breakfast with my kids so often.’

I can’t.

Of course, I’m using an extreme example. But that’s where the most value is.

Create your own regret minimisation framework and stick to it. Your future self will thank you.


Future focused

‘None of the people who report to me should really be focused on the current quarter.’

Bezos continues on discussing how Wall Street loves the results of the current quarter, ‘those results actually came from the preparation done years ago.’

‘Right now, I’m working on a quarter that’s going to reveal itself in 2021 sometime.’

Amazon are focused on the future.

They’re in the business of putting themselves out of business. Why? Because if they don’t someone else will.

The best step you took this year isn’t your most important. It’s your next. Where do you want to be 2-3 years from now? Work towards that.

 

Decision-making

‘I like to do my high-IQ meetings before lunch,’ Bezos says, ‘anything that’s going to be really intellectually challenging, that’s a 10 o’clock meeting.’

If you wake up close to sunrise, your brain is most active a couple of hours after. And brain activity slowly tapers off towards the end of the day.

So it makes sense when Jeff says, ‘By 5 o’clock, I’m like, “I can’t think about that today.”’

If you have a list of things to do for the day. Do the hardest one first.

What would Bezos do? 

It’s clear much of Bezos’ effort is directed towards making better decisions.

‘If I make 3 good decisions a day, that’s enough.’

Of course, there will be times when more is inevitable, like when you’re in startup mode and your company of 4 employees is trying to grow.

But ideally, the shift should be towards less.

Less but better.

Bezos is setting an example we can all learn from. Looking after his health, spending time with family and attempting to build a brighter future.

So the next time someone tells you to sacrifice sleep or your health to work more, remember to ask yourself, ‘what would Bezos do?’

 You won’t ever look this cool without working hard AND taking of your health. 

You won’t ever look this cool without working hard AND taking of your health. 

PS you can watch the video that inspired this article here

A life long game of hide and seek

Little Timmy looks around the tree.

Sally isn’t there.

She’s in a good spot.

Timmy keeps going to the bush. No Sally.

He keeps going.

He looks behind the fence, not there.

Under the slide? Nope.

If Timmy was and adult he’d be thinking, ‘Okay, this is bullshit, where could she be?’

But Timmy isn’t an adult. He’s a child. Doing what they do best. Exploring.

Eventually he finds her.

Then they start to play again. Its Timmy’s turn to hide.

Hours go by.

Years go by.

Now Timmy is an adult. And he’s still playing hide and seek. This time with himself.

The person he wants to be isn’t the person he is in reality.

Timmy is depressed. Life sucks. He’s a shell of a human.

What happened?

Timmy went to school. He got told how to act. He listened.

Timmy went to college. ‘Better study hard and get good grades, otherwise no one will hire you!’. Timmy topped his class.

Timmy got a good job. ‘Now Tim, we need this from you by next week. You’re going to have to come in on the weekend.’ Sunday was his birthday. He went in anyway. That was 7-years ago.

He’s earning good cash. Got the house. A nice car. Even one of those new TV’s. The real thin one that looks like a mirror.

From the outside, everything seems great. But what’s missing?

A challenge.

As part of his program to feel better, Tim starts to write down what made him happy as a child.

He remembers back to the countless hours playing hide and seek with Sally. ‘Those were the days.’

6-weeks in to writing down his thoughts every day he realises he’s not living the life he imagined. He didn’t really know what kind of life he was living.

‘All this time, I was listening to others instead of listening to myself.’

He takes up a martial arts class down the street. It’s hard. He’s never been so sore.

He starts sharing some of his writing online. People are enjoying it. It makes him want to write more.

He leaves his job and starts studying again. This time the grades don’t matter. There are no exams. The reward is learning more, not a shiny certificate at the end.

Tim stops taking anti-depressants. The doctor says he should finish the tub he’s on. Too late, they’re already in the trash.

‘I’m feeling like little Timmy again,’ Tim writes down, ‘maybe I’ll call Sally.’

He calls Sally.

Sally remembers the times they used to play hide and seek together.

Tim tells her about his writing, the martial arts and his new job.

They go out to dinner.

Sally can relate. ‘When did we stop being kids?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Everything happened so fast.’

At the end of the night, Tim kisses Sally. He always wanted to.

‘Where did that come from?’ Sally asks.

‘It’s been 27-years in the making.’

Sally smiles and leans back in.

-

Driving Uber for a year and working at the Apple Store, I had the pleasure of meeting thousands of people.

The ones who were most unhappy were the ones whose actions didn’t match their ambitions.

In other words, they were playing hide and seek with themselves. Except, they’d lost their child-like spirit of exploration.

It’s tiring to play a character. That’s why actors get paid so well.

Taking advice from others is helpful. But letting them live your life for you, isn’t.

Those who are most unhappy are those who don’t take on the challenge. The biggest of them all.

Listening to yourself.

It’s really hard to do. But the best part?

You know all your good hiding spots.

Source: https://www.quora.com/Why-is-our-generatio...

All Wars Are Pointless (except this one)

Have you seen this?

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The US military budget is higher than the nine other biggest military budgets in the world.

And spending is increasing.

But why?

They already have a great military.

Why keep spending money on it?

Basic dog psychology.

If you’ve seen the movie Point Break (1991) you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

If not, let me explain.

Johnny Utah is an FBI agent. He knows he has to arrest Bodhi but their friendship is getting in the way. Plus, Bodhi and his crew have Tyler, Johnny’s girl, locked up. There’s always the girl.

Bodhi and his crew dress up and rob banks wearing ex-president masks. They take guns in and dance around on the counters but never hurt anyone.

They’re in and out of the bank in 90-seconds.

Now Johnny has to help with the next robbery. If he doesn’t, Tyler’s dead.

Johnny isn’t having any of it. He’s torn. Between upholding the law and going along with it to save Tyler.

Bodhi can sense it. He’s seen it before. And knows what happens when people are in two minds.

‘All I’m asking for is 90-seconds of your time Johnny, that’s it.’

‘You see, it’s basic dog psychology,’ says Bodhi, ‘if you scare them and get them peeing down their leg, they submit. And if you project weakness, you draw aggression, that’s how people get hurt.’

‘You see, fear causes hesitation and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true,’ Bodhi continues.

‘So it’s simple, you project strength to avoid conflict.’

‘Peace through superior firepower!’ Roach chimes in.

Then they go rob the bank. But things don’t go according to plan. They never touch the vault. But this time they did.

Bodhi hesitated. One of his friends gets shot. And the other shoots a cop.

Not a good time.

Enough spoilers.

How does this relate back to the US military?

It’s the same as why nightclub bouncers are often big, scary looking dudes.

If you’re a scrawny 21-year-old, you don’t think twice about taking on the bouncer. You stick to your business to yourself and enjoy the night. Otherwise, you get your ass handed to you on the way out of the club.

The US military maintains their strength and power by doing exactly that. They keep the peace by being the big, scary looking nightclub bouncer of the world.

Is this the right way to go about things? I don’t know.

But it seems to be working. Despite what you see on the news, the world is in a good place compared to the past.

Any history book will tell you this.

‘Okay Daniel, how does all this matter to someone in their twenties?’

Alright, alright.

A lot happens in the twenties. I’d know. I’m 25.

  • You come of age.

  • You finish college.

  • You get that job.

  • You get married.

  • You go to that place.

  • You start making more decisions on your own.

A lot of great things. But it can be tough.

  • You think you know everything. But you don’t.

  • You take that job. But it wasn’t what you really wanted.

  • You’re not really that good at anything.

  • The relationship you’re in is toxic but you stay there anyway because you don’t think you’ll find anyone else.

  • The friends you had from school are into their own things.

  • Everyone you see online seems 10x happier than you.

Hold on. Weren’t the twenties supposed to be the golden years?

‘These are the best years of your life!’ You hear people say.

‘If these are supposed to be the best? And everything sucks,’ you think, ‘then what’s next?’

Aghhhhhh.

Alright. Alright.

We can fix this.

Scroll back up and reread what our friend Bodhi said.

Got it?

The line I’m talking about is, ‘You see, fear causes hesitation and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.’

Remember what happened when Bodhi hesitated? He went for the vault when they never go for the vault. Then everything went to shit. His worst fears came true.

You hesitate about the things you want to do because of fear.

You want to learn to dance but you’re scared of what people will think.

You’ve got a dozen blog posts thought of but never share them because ‘who am I to say these things?’

You want to quit your job and go on a freelancing adventure around the world. But having no steady income? Yikes.

Some big fears.

Some smaller.

Like walking up to that girl on the street. ‘Hi.’

Whatever they are. It’s all the same.

Hesitations snowball. And eventually, you’re under an avalanche of your own worst fears.

The next time you get that feeling. You know the one. Bugs in your stomach. A little hollowness in the front of your head.

Don’t let it take over.

‘If you project weakness, you draw aggression, that’s how people get hurt.’

Take the same quote and face it inward.

‘When I project weakness, I’m aggressive on myself, that’s when I feel hurt.’

The US spend big to always be prepared. Prepared for war.

But the real war is in the mind.

The war between you and the you on the other side of fear.

All the others are pointless.

Fear is like the ocean. You can’t control it.

But you can learn to surf.

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This post originally appeared on Quora as an answer to ‘What should you not waste time on in your twenties?’

Source: http://qr.ae/TUGZNY

You don’t have to read the whole book

Take the knowledge you need. Use it. Share it. And move on to the next.

Many books would be great blog posts but instead got dragged out into a whole book. They probably started out that way. Then someone came along and said, ‘Hey we should turn these 1200 words into 60000 and sell it for more.’

I grew up with the internet so my attention span is fleeting.

I’ve got about 3-4 hours a day of deep work time. No where near enough to read all the books I want and work on the things I want to.

This morning, I’m reading The Unpublished David Ogilvy. Its brevity makes it a page turner.

And if you’re a writer, remember, less but better. This is more so a note to self. Kick my ass if I don’t.

 Excerpt from The Unpublished David Ogilvy.  

Excerpt from The Unpublished David Ogilvy.  

Nutrition and Investing

8-week plans are like get rich quick schemes.

They might work in the short term but fall apart soon after.

Diets are like different kinds of investing.

Vegan, paleo, keto, vegetarian. Stock investing, real estate, education.

They all work. But for some better than others.

I have no interest in real estate but I love stocks and learning. So I devote my time there.

And I like eggs for breakfast so a vegan diet is off the cards.

Treat your nutrition plan like your investment plan. Long-term.

You may lose 10kg in 8-weeks but how long will you keep it off for?

That 5-year stretch of binge eating is like that 5-year car loan you can’t afford — unnecessary.

When it comes to buying quality food, put your money your mouth is.

Trade wealth for health but never the other way round.

This post first appeared on LinkedIn, I post there quite often too.

When was your last software update?

‘Can you clean out my Mac and update it?’ I asked.

‘Sure, would you like the latest software?’

‘Yeah, macOS Mojave, right?’

‘Moh-ha-ve,’ she corrected me.

Apple released a number of new software updates over the past few weeks.

iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. I pronounce it Mo-jave but apparently it’s Moh-ha-ve.

‘Are you sure you want to delete everything?’

‘Yes.’

She wiped my computer clean. Then started to load the new software on there.

The screen said 4-minutes left.

‘It’ll probably take longer than that,’ she said, ‘I’ll be back soon.’

‘Okay.’

I sat and watched it update. It took longer than 4-minutes.

Soon enough the new software was on and my Mac had an upgraded way of thinking.

The same thing will happen next year. And the year after.

But how often do we do it with ourselves?

Upgrade the software of our minds. Or improve our way of thinking.

This year’s update from Apple isn’t major. Nor is it required. But we do it anyway.

My devices were working fine with the old software. So why change?

Because, even the smallest of changes add up overtime. This time, I decided to delete everything and start with a clean slate.

You can’t do that with your mind. But you can make the little changes you’ve been thinking about.

And then do the same next year.

And soon enough, you'll start to look at things differently.

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