What I learned last week (#118): less wrong

Watercolor painting of Main St in Chryston Scotland in blue and yellow.

Quote I enjoyed:

“You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”

Elon Musk

The history of pessimism is as long as the history of progress:

A nice summary of learnings from the pandemic and reasons for optimism.

Part of the reason global supply chains are broken right now is because one year ago manufacturers reasonably took stock of the world and said, “well, there goes everything.” Production was scrapped. But demand came back faster than nearly anyone imagined. A lot of that demand came from stimulus, but here we find the same point: Six trillion dollars in stimulus would have seemed unfathomable 13 months ago, but faced with a proper disaster it passed through without much fuss.

Policymakers adapt what they’re willing to do; voters adapt what they expect. Businesses adapt their own way.

It’s astounding: 2020 became what people in the early 1990s assumed the world would look like in 2000:


HT to Chait from chait.blog for this one.

Read The Big Lessons of the Last Year on collaborativefund.com

This hits close to home: 😆

There’s no getting out of this fact: these apps are all going to take more constant input from you than you’d wish for. They don’t take away the need for some amount of self-discipline to use them effectively.
I’m so very, very sorry.

Read The Perfect To-Do System Is Not Just Around the Corner on inessential.com

Helping people care about the things we care about:

This gets meta pretty quick: one of the jobs to be done is to be clear about what the jobs to be done are, and whether or not they are the right jobs.

And another one of the jobs to be done is helping other people see that the things we care about belong on their list of jobs to be done.

Read Jobs to be done on seths.blog

Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“There are two approaches to applying inversion in your life. Start by assuming that what you’re trying to prove is either true or false, then show what else would have to be true. Instead of aiming directly for your goal, think deeply about what you want to avoid and then see what options are left over.” (Shane Parrish, Rhiannon Beaubien, The Great Mental Models)

What would your advice be?

“Imagine you are dying and have no material wealth. You are allowed to pass on one or two pieces of thoughtful and useful advice to your young adult children. This is the only inheritance you can leave behind – thoughtful advice that they will understand and apply in their lives. What would that advice be?” The range of responses I received was fascinating. It was also quite a personal insight into the respondents. Their advice showed what they truly valued, what really matters. What would your advice be?” (Laurence Endersen, Pebbles of Perception)

Are you working a shadow career?

I listened to the Tim Ferriss interview with Steven Pressfield last week and they went through this concept of a shadow career. Interesting to think about and makes me want to check out Turning Pro. Side note: If you haven’t read the The War of Art, you should.

Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. The shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.
Are you pursuing a shadow career?
Are you getting your Ph.D. in Elizabethan Studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies you know you have inside you? Are you living the drugs-and-booze half of the musician’s life, without actually writing the music? Are you working in a support capacity for an innovator because you’re afraid to risk being an innovator yourself?
If you’re dissatisfied with your current life, ask yourself what your current life is a metaphor for.
That metaphor will point you toward your true calling.

Read More From “Turning Pro” on stevenpressfield.com

Just for fun: A Fistful of Dollars – Behind the scenes

Stuff I wrote and drew about this week:

Other things I was reminded of, or thankful for, last week:

  • Last week flew by and I, for whatever reason, don’t have a lot of notes about what happened outside of work. Pity that. I need to do better this week.
  • We had a Fantastic Mr Fox week this week. We haven’t read a ton of Roald Dahl in the house yet, as my kids are just getting to the age-appropriate for those stories, but it was really fun to read the story and watch the Wes Anderson film with the kids. My son (age 4) was pretty ambivalent about it, but my daughter (age 7-almost-8) enjoyed both a lot.
  • My wife and I had a skip delivered in the driveway displacing our car and started work on filling it with (literally) tons and tons of rock, soil, and sod this week, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow. I’ve got my workouts planned for the week, I guess. Training for the next race is going to have to start next week.

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

2 responses

  1. Thanks for the honorable mention on your lovely blog!

Comments welcome!