This Week I Learned #2

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up”
— Charlie Munger


  • Wise. A quote. "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" - Rabbi Hillel


  • Wealthy: "Make a step no-one understands and learn to gain confidence from the doubt you are getting." This was the podcast episode I kept on replaying segments over and over again today. The insight has been on Scott Belsky's choices to continuously choose to take paths that aligned with what he absolutely loved doing and/or incrementally got him closer to that interest. FYI, Scott Belsky is an entrepreneur and early-stage VC. What I also learned was on creating some effective systems within an organization. One was on how deadlines are often missed because of a misalignment in priorities, so focus on that. Second is on the bias to action but creating a system where there is a reward/incentive at the end of the sprint. The carrot-stick method is highly debated and I think yes that should be applied to more algorithmic tasks or tasks that can be binary in result (yes/no). But I think for creative tasks simply applying constraints may be enough. Just give the artist a box to think outside of. Scott's also been able to operate multiple companies whilst being a solo investor/advisor, which is very similar to my end goal. So, fan-boy moment here.


  • Healthy: I've previously shunned alcohol on days I train due to its short-term and long-term detriments to performance and recovery. Long story short: drink in moderation (under 4 beers) if you must but no need to consume any if you're a serious athlete. In looking for more research proving such evidence I was disappointed to find there weren't as many studies performed on the matter. Plenty with alcoholics as the participants but not much with athletes. Dr. Layne Norton was commonly referenced in many articles and having followed him back in university as a reputable powerlifter and bodybuilding there. His video and non-technical with more weights on personal experience:, but here's with some data from another study:


  • Wise: The 1000 true fans article by Kevin Kelly. Just a staple in the blog article world for entrepreneurs and revisiting this for the 3rd or 4th time and still a gem. It's a reaffirming notion of how your 1000 true fans will be your marketing team. If you are that great they will tell others. Obviously you have to be your own chief marketing officer to start. But, they will be the marketers under your leadership. Especially with the barriers to entry for most businesses lowered it's the businesses ability to captivate customers that will make the difference. You can't captivate with price so you will have to captivate by doing something better or different. Better is relative so you have to be different. You get different by focusing hard on a niche that aligns with you and you grow from there.


  • Wealthy: Alan Bean, the 4th man to walk on the moon, became a full-time painter in his 50s. He had been an avid painter before but when it came time to move on from piloting space shuttles he wasn't confident on what he could do as an artists. But as one of the only... or the only painters to have walked on the moon he decided to paint about his first hand experience of walking on the moon. He also has a bunch of moon dust on his space suit he got to keep. So he even sprinkles moon dust on each of his painting he sells. Oh, and he charges between $50K to $500K for his painting. Another great lesson on not needing to please the masses. Focus on the things unique to you and your strengths, sell to the niche who value what you do, and don't be afraid to charge a lot.


  • Wealthy: Listening to an interview with Steven Kotlar about flow states, I learned about how the minimum required time to induce flow state is 90 minutes with an ideal 120 minutes. I also learned that flow state doesn't require some intense period of focus when alone but it could actually be induced from large social settings as well. It then brought back clear moments when I recorded having flow state when I'd be in deep conversations with people. I thought this was just normal for everyone but it seems that this may not be the case for all and may be something unique to me. There is also a cool flow state quiz that can provide you with some guiding data on potential environments/external-states that may fit your unique personality on achieving flow.


  • Wise: Bigger picture view on building a creative process for the long haul. Why? Because i think a human's value is being creative, everything we'll find ways to make technology do it. Of the 8 key factors listed in the article my attention was drawn to: building momentum by stopping at the height of your creative fluidity for the day to build yearning and desire to continue off of that for tomorrow, the importance of building a team around you as the creative and to embrace a constant sense of dissatisfaction and anxiety because that is the mindset of a pro constantly seeking mastery. Also, it was so great to see Neil Gaiman's speech recommended as factor 8. Watched it again and loved it. "Do the stuff only you can do. Make good art." Commencement speech by famed author Neil Gaiman. In a world continuing to automate algorithmic tasks human value will ever so increasingly be in heuristic tasks. These tasks I believe are all considered "art". Watch this. It will apply to your longevity.
Daniel LeeTWIL