Category Archives: Life

The Importance of Leverage

I first read this in James Clear’s 3-2-1 Newsletter, but thought the idea from Naval Ravikant was so good that I just had to share…

Humans evolved in societies where there was no leverage. If I was chopping wood or carrying water for you, you knew eight hours put in would be equal to about eight hours of output. Now we’ve invented leverage… As a worker, you want to be as leveraged as possible so you have a huge impact without as much time or physical effort.

A leveraged worker can out-produce a non-leveraged worker by a factor of one thousand or ten thousand. With a leveraged worker, judgment is far more important than how much time they put in or how hard they work.

For example, a good software engineer, just by writing the right little piece of code and creating the right little application, can literally create half a billion dollars’ worth of value for a company. But ten engineers working ten times as hard, just because they choose the wrong model, the wrong product, wrote it the wrong way, or put it in the wrong viral loop, have basically wasted their time. Inputs don’t match outputs, especially for leveraged workers.

What you want in life is to be in control of your time. You want to get into a leveraged job where you control your time and you’re tracked on outputs.

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
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Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus

A good perspective from the author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and more on the Coronavirus

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

How will the bomb find you?

This was from my parents pastor, but I thought it was good enough to share…

In 1948, professor and author, C.S. Lewis, wrote an essay titled On Living In An Atomic Age. With the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki still ringing in the world’s ears, fear about atomic technology was rampant. Lewis’ words were a timely reminder then. In the perilous times that we are currently living through, the professor’s words are just as important.

As you read through this excerpt from his larger essay, I’ve replaced the word “atomic” with “coronavirus”, and ask yourself, how will the bomb (or the virus) find you?

*In one way we think a great deal too much of the coronavirus. ‘How are we to live in an coronavirus age?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat at night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents. *

*In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the coronavirus was invented… It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. *

*If we are all going to be destroyed by a virus, let that virus when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about the coronavirus. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds. *

What the coronavirus has really done is to remind us forcibly of the sort of world we are living in and which, during the prosperous period before, we were beginning to forget. And this reminder is, so far as it goes, a good thing. We have been waked from a pretty dream, and now we can begin to talk about realities.

*It is our business to live by our own law not by [fear’s]: to follow, in private or in public life, the law of love and temperance even when they seem to be suicidal, and not the law of competition and grab, even when they seem to be necessary to our own survival. For it is part of our spiritual law never to put survival first: not even the survival of our species. We must resolutely train ourselves to feel that the survival of Man on this Earth, much more of our own nation or culture or class, is not worth having unless it can be had by honorable and merciful means. *

*Nothing is more likely to destroy a species or a nation than a determination to survive at all costs. Those who care for something else more than civilization are the only people by whom civilization is at all likely to be preserved. Those who want Heaven most have served Earth best. Those who love Man less than God do most for Man. *

Let the coronavirus find you doing well,

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

On Digital Minimalism and Pandemics

Read the entire post, but it boils down to…

Check one national and one local new source each morning. Then – and this is the important part – don’t check any other news for the rest of the day. Presumably, time sensitive updates that affect you directly will arrive by email, or phone, or text.

Distract yourself with value-driven action; lots of action. Serve your community, serve your kids, serve yourself (both body and mind), produce good work. Try to fit in a few moments of forced gratitude, just to keep those particular circuits active.

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

Screens, Social Media, and Middle School Kids

Personally, I’m a huge fan of our middle school principal and his measured and thought provoking commentary on what is happening in the school. This is just a snippet from a recent newsletter, but thought it worthwhile to share:

We notice how much of the drama and struggle kids have at school is linked directly to the time and influences they are getting from social media, edgy television, and interactive gaming when those things go unmonitored. I can’t tell you how many friendship break-ups happen in 5th and 6th grade because someone insulted someone else while playing Fortnite! I can’t tell you how many issues that would have been forgotten by 4pm but have grown into anxiety because kids continue the petty conversations through their texting apps and social media late into the night. I can’t tell you how many parents seek the school to fix these things or label other people’s kids as “the problem” when the real problem is any kids having unlimited access to interactive technology when their brain is not developed enough to deal with it. This is a societal problem.

Something I can tell you, is I believe as parents we’re all trying to do our best. I can also tell you that no child is born mean. Kids just aren’t ready for all that we’ve allowed them access to, because it’s so darn intriguing (and designed to addict us all).Like this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

On Being Told “No”

Read this on James Clear’s blog today and it made me stop and think. It really is good advice.

When someone says no to a request, they usually mean “not right now” or “not in that way.”

Most people want to help others, but there are many priorities competing for our time.

Don’t take it personally. Ask again later. Ask differently.

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

This is Water

It depends on what you want to consider…

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

Stop Stealing Dreams (by Seth Godin)

If you’ve ever read or listened to anything by Seth Godin you know he has a knack for asking thought provoking questions, and challenging conventional wisdom. As such, he recently did a three part series on his Akimbo podcast about what school is for that I found fascinating. Hope they make you stop and think too.

S 3 E 9 Stop Stealing Dreams

S 3 E 10: Connect the DotsQ&A about Stop Stealing Dreams

S 3 E 11 Getting In (to a Famous College)

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

Schooling – The Minimalists Podcast

You have to listen to this! If you don’t think you have time, start at 45 minutes. T.K. Coleman makes some great points.

Schooling – The Minimalists PodcastLike this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

What The Future Holds… (How to Use Physics to Predict the Future) with Michio Kaku

Probably more questions than answers, but still very interesting.

338 – Michio Kaku: What The Future Holds… (How to Use Physics to Predict the Future) – Altucher ConfidentialLike this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...