I am convinced that everyone should study just a little philosophy.
The philosopher is above all one who believes that by understanding the world, by understanding ourselves and others as far our intelligence permits, we shall succeed in overcoming fear, through clear-sightedness rather than blind faith.
Greek philosophers looked upon the past and the future as the primary evils weighing upon human life, and as the source of all the anxieties which blight the present. The present moment is the only dimension of existence worth inhabiting, because it is the only one available to us. The past is no longer and the future has yet to come, they liked to remind us; yet we live virtually all of our lives somewhere between memories and aspirations, nostalgia and expectation. We imagine we would be much happier with new shoes, a faster computer, a bigger house, more exotic holidays, different friends … But by regretting the past or guessing the future, we end up missing the only life worth living: the one which proceeds from the here and now and deserves to be savoured.
A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living by Luc Ferry
When you are faced with deficiencies instead of strengths and inclinations, this is the strategy you must assume:
ignore your weaknesses and resist the temptation to be more like others. Instead, like Temple Grandin, direct yourself toward the small things you are good at. Do not dream or make grand plans for the future, but instead concentrate on becoming proficient at these simple and immediate skills. This will bring you confidence and become a base from which you can expand to other pursuits. Proceeding in this way, step by step, you will hit upon your Life’s Task.
Understand: Your Life’s Task does not always appear to you through some grand or promising inclination. It can appear in the guise of your deficiencies, making you focus on the one or two things that you are inevitably good at. Working at these skills, you learn the value of discipline and see the rewards you get from your efforts. Like a lotus flower, your skills will expand outward from a center of strength and confidence. Do not envy those who seem to be naturally gifted; it is often a curse, as such types rarely learn the value of diligence and focus, and they pay for this later in life. This strategy applies as well to any setbacks and difficulties we may experience. In such moments, it is generally wise to stick to the few things we know and do well, and to reestablish our confidence.
Mastery by Robert Greene
The game you want to play is different: to instead find a niche in the ecology that you can dominate. It is never a simple process to find such a niche. It requires patience and a particular strategy. In the beginning you choose a field that roughly corresponds to your interests (medicine, electrical engineering). From there you can go in one of two directions.
The first is the Ramachandran path. From within your chosen field, you look for side paths that particularly attract you (in his case the science of perception and optics). When it is possible, you make a move to this narrower field. You continue this process until you eventually hit upon a totally unoccupied niche, the narrower the better.
In some ways, this niche corresponds to your uniqueness, much as Ramachandran’s particular form of neurology corresponds to his own primal sense of feeling like an exception.
The second is the Matsuoka path. Once you have mastered your first field (robotics), you look for other subjects or skills that you can conquer (neuroscience), on your own time if necessary. You can now combine this added field of knowledge to the original one, perhaps creating a new field, or at least making novel connections between them.
Mastery by Robert Greene
Making effective decisions—and learning effectively—requires massive elimination and the removal of options.
The easiest way to avoid being overwhelmed is to create positive constraints: put up walls that dramatically restrict whatever it is that you’re trying to do. In the world of work, a task will swell in complexity to fill the time you allot it, a phenomenon often referred to as Parkinson’s Law.
How does so much get done just before you leave for holidays? All the items lingering on your to-do list for weeks or months? It’s the power of the clear and imminent deadline. Though vastly simplified, in the world of cooking, Le Chatelier’s Principle is invoked to remember that a gas will expand to fill the size of its container.
The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Timothy Ferriss
I am reading six books right now, which is normal for me, because I like to read various books, each one offsetting the other. I think we stay focused for about 20 minutes on a subject so I like to jump whemn my mind wanders.One fiction, one business book, one book that makes me think, etc.
I just realized I also have them broken out by four devices and five formats , and each format seems to fit the type of book it is and I am reading and I find that interesting. Each book type reads better on a certain format.
Here is what I am reading right now, and on what.
1. On my cell phone I am reading Makers by Chris Anderson - a great book on the futre of manufacturing, really a great read, and makes me think and re-evaluate my business thinking. Reads great in small chunks on the go.
Makers: The New Industrial Revolution
2. IKIGAI by Sebastian Marshall is a collection of his blog posts on strategy and business and I read this on my ipod around the house during quiet moments. I really like his blog, and this book gives a nice overview.
3. On my Kindle I am reading a book of fiction, Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, an author whose work I love.
Wonder Boys: A Novel
4. On my computer I am reading the Boron Letters by Gary Halbart, which is a great small treatise on direct marketing and copy writing.
5. On my kindle, I am also reading Eat to Live, by Joel Fuhrman, which is totally changing how I eat. I first got hooked on smoothies, and that lead to this book.
Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition
6. Finally, I am reading an actual book, the 4 hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. I originally bought it for $5 for the kindle, but saw it in a supermarket, and picked it up, and it is a beautiful book with photos and color layouts, and I just had to buy it. I am improving my cooking, learning to learn, and reading a great adventure book.
The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life
I have tried reading each of them on in other formats, but these each seem to have fallen into a format that fits its style the best.
I would argue that your relationships with others are your finest, most credible expression of who you are and what you have to offer. Nothing else compares. -
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz
When you get your first users for your product, readers for your blog, treat them well, because these wonderful people will make or break your product. Somewhere in this first hundred, there will be only a handful of people who are actually going to drive your product, and you cannot afford to alienate any of them. Yoiu need to take care of them, learn from them.
Who knows which user will be the one that drives your website, the one who catapults you into a business that gets 35 million unique visitors a month?
If someone is going to take the time to write you one week after you’ve launched something, then you had better respond to them as quickly as possible, because that’s a potential power user, someone who saw something in your website and cared enough to write an email to some random person they’ve never met and tell them how they think your website could be better.
You need to treat these people like gold, because that is exactly what they are. And you need to make sure they know it, too.
"Renzo Gracie said, "The beauty of the art is that it is so efficient. It molds itself to whomever is practicing. As long as you stick with it, you can be a good fighter. It's not only certain body types or athleticism. I've seen guys that couldn't run or jump for shit, with no coordination at all, become unbelievable champions because they dedicated themselves. The other fighting arts, even judo, wrestling, boxing, they all depend on athleticism. I train judo my whole life but the moment I get out of shape I lose everything. Boxing you need speed, even when you have a lot of experience. Jiu-jitsu is about dedication and knowledge."
The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game by Sam Sheridan
The is no defeat until you say you are defeated. Until that point you are still in it, still trying, you can still win, and only you can lose it. People are not overcome by situations or outside forces; defeat comes only from within. Only you can make yourself lose.
The world can throw anything at you it wants but you are the one who says you are done.
This is a very interesting and important thought;
Defeat is a mental act.
Defeat is not something that really exists outside your head. The world doesn't know or care what you are trying to do, nor does it make you give up, you are what gives up.
You can see it in someone's eyes, that moment when they quit, and then they give up. In a fighter's eyes, in a runner's, you can see that point that they no longer believe in what they are trying to do.
"It's just knowledge man. It's the same for everyone. You go over the basics and pretty soon you're dreaming about it like everyone else. Be honest and humble enough to learn from everybody."
If you want to succeed you do not give up ever. You fight not until the end, you fight until you win.
The success ones are those who brought it, who understand that the losses make them stronger, smarter, better. Dedication to the craft, to the business, leads to winning.
It is all in the mind set, yours and no one else's.
My mission is to go and destroy, and not let anything get involved. You punch, you get hurt, I refused to get hurt, knocked down, or knocked out. I can't lose, I refuse to lose.
The intensity of that quote says it all
I try and do many things, some work, some do not, many do not.
One thing that gives me an edge on a hard job is that I make sure that whatever I do, whatever job is on, that I bring the focus and drive to get it done. .
I make sure I am focused and bring my full attention and intensity to every task and every work day. Every time. I go hard and di what it takes to win.
When I enter into a task, or a pull into a parking lot to do a job, I instantly take the mindset of Mike Tyson in 1986. At that time, in that year, he was unstoppable.
My brain just switches on that way. It is automatic now.
On the way to work, while I am in the car, I may listen to podcasts or have the Black Keys playing loud or laughing at a radio show but once I am at the job, I go all Mike Tyson 1986.
The Mike Tyson I am talking about is the man in 1986, before everything went wrong and he was making stunning progress, winning fight after fight, before success and the loss of his mentor derailed him. At that moment in time, he was simply the best.
I am talking Mike Tyson at the beginning, back when his coach Cus D'Amato was still there to help guide him. That Tyson was awesome.
Every time he entered the ring, he entered stripped down, no socks just the shoes, and a plain set of black trunks. No glitz, no gold, just a man ready to go.
When he was interviewed why he was dressed so simply, I remember him saying that he wanted no comfort, this wasn't the time or the place.
He was there to work, get the job done, destroy and eliminate anything that stops the job from getting done.
He was a warrior, a man on a mission.
He meant it, he wanted to it to be hard, he was ready for it to be a battle, he was ready, and his focus, drive, and intensity were awesome and amazing.
That is how I approach each task, each job, each business opportunity.
I Mike Tyson it.
I picked up an ebook, Ikigai by Sebastian Marshall, on a recommendation from a podcast I listened to (lifestyle business podcast), and at first I wasn't too sure.
The author seems to wander, going occasionally off track, and I think the the book is a collection of older online posts, so it wanders a bit, but then it became of the spirit of the book. The author wants to be this century's strategist, and maybe, but but as I get deeper into into his way of thinking, I found that I liked it more and more.
It is the perfect book to read on my phone, in small bits, it makes me think, and it makes me question.
His web site is;
I really like his way of looking at problems or goals; here he discusses how we pursue goals by working on the wrong things
"Why do most of us, most of the time, choose to "pursue our goals" through routes that are far less effective than the routes we could find if we tried? My guess is that here, as with the calculus test, the main problem is that most courses of action are extremely ineffective, and that there has been no strong evolutionary or cultural force sufficient to focus us on the very narrow behavior patterns that would actually be effective.
We do not automatically "but we should":
(a) Ask ourselves what we're trying to achieve;
(b) Ask ourselves how we could tell if we achieved it ("what does it look like to be a good comedian?") and how we can track progress;
(c) Find ourselves strongly, intrinsically curious about information that would help us achieve our goal;
(d) Gather that information (e.g., by asking as how folks commonly achieve our goal, or similar goals, or by tallying which strategies have and haven't worked for us in the past);
(e) Systematically test many different conjectures for how to achieve the goals, including methods that aren't habitual for us, while tracking which ones do and don't work;
(f) Focus most of the energy that *isn't* going into systematic exploration, on the methods that work best;
(g) Make sure that our "goal" is really our goal, that we coherently want it and are not constrained by fears or by uncertainty as to whether it is worth the effort, and that we have thought through any questions and decisions in advance so they won't continually sap our energies;
(h) Use environmental cues and social contexts to bolster our motivation, so we can keep working effectively in the face of intermittent frustrations, or temptations based in hyperbolic discounting; .... or carry out any number of other useful techniques.
Instead, we mostly just do things. We act from habit; we act from impulse or convenience when primed by the activities in front of us; we remember our goal and choose an action that feels associated with our goal. We do any number of things. But we do not systematically choose the narrow sets of actions that would effectively optimize for our claimed goals, or for any other goals."
Ikigai by Sebastian Marshall
There are only 3 ways to make more money.
Of these, one of the ways is one that every one tries to do, one is a step always ignored and one of the ways is usually procrastinated on or avoided.
1. You can sell more - this is the one everyone wants to do. How do I sell more to more customers? How do I convert more? I do I sell more products to each customer? This step is the one we all want because we think it is the easiest, but getting new customers is hard and expensive and there is a limit to how much one customer will take. The more products, the more customers, the more potential profit, but there is more to it than this one step.
2. You can charge more. We all avoid this one. I have been through and help set up do many price increases and each and every time sales swore it wouldn't work. It always did. People avoid this one because you gave to lay the ground work, show customers why you deserve a price increase, and then sell it. It is done every day, trust me and you need to learn it. I know companies that haven't increased prices in four years! Do you know what the price if gas was four years ago? Think of the money left on the table by you avoiding the work.
3. This is the one everyone forgets, particularly when talking about on line business, and it is the most important one;
you need to do it for less. You make money when you buy, not when you sell. Find ways to buy raw materials for less, improve freight, server costs, hosting, virtual assistants, travel costs, any that takes your hard earned money. Any money saved goes straight to the bottom line, aka, your profit margin. The more efficient, the more cost effective, the more money you make.
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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