Lessons Learned #1/2016

I learn new stuff all the time. Some of it I figure out from my own experience, some is inspired by books, movies or personal encounters. Over time, much of this knowledge fades away and is phased out by new ideas I get busy with. I want to change that and be able to internalize the stuff I learn and to also put it into practice.

So I’ve decided to take notes and then distil them into actionable items. The format (directives) is inspired by Derek Sivers, which I think is a great way to stick with the essence. I’ll add links to the inspiration or explanation where there is one. Ideally, I’ll be posting these weekly, but maybe less often. I’ll also keep all these lessons on a dedicated page organized around different topics, which are likely to change over time. I hope some of these lessons inspire you, in which case I invite you to explore them in more detail and perhaps put them into practice. Here is the first one.

  • Confine smalltalk to the elevator. You may find yourself having smalltalk with friends or family members every time you see them. Try to upgrade the relationship. Ask meaningful questions, listen and share meaningful details. If that doesn’t work, minimize the time you spend with them.
  • Keep an awesome jar. Every day, take a moment to reflect on the awesome things that happened or the bad things that could have but didn’t happen, which is also awesome. Take a note, put it in a jar. – Inspired by an ex girlfriend of Tim Ferris.
  • Re frame yes or no questions to trade-offs. If you think about a question like “Should I take the job?” in terms of pros and cons and yes or no, you lock yourself into a frame which often excludes opportunity cost. By re framing the question like “Should I take the job, go on a sabbatical or become a freelancer?” and comparing alternative scenarios, you get a higher level view and can make a better choice.
  • Be skeptical. Inspired by An honest liar.
  • Plan your nights out for full moon. At the time of full moon we get less sleep and what we get is less deep. Learn more.
  • Keep dietary fat intake low. Fat causes insulin resistance ie. type 2 diabetes by inhibiting glucose transportation to muscle cells. Learn more.