This Week I Learned #22

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


  • Wise: Been binge-ing on James Clear's podcast interviews as he does his book tour and took note of some neat perspective on habit formations. First is the importance of making a habit that is so easy to keep that you will actually do them. With plenty of psychology studies showing that completing easy doable tasks over and over again being the way of keeping the habit whilst people who let ego get the best of them and overdo something (i.e. going to the gym for 5 minutes vs. doing an intermediate level at crossfit) actually inhibits the habit from ever forming. Once the habit is formed, then you reached the "80% sphere" and only then do the small incremental changes matter. For myself an example would be a 9 year powerlifting habit that continues to get tweaked by morning yoga, afternoon saunas, cold showers and all those "small habits" that I tack on to the keystone habit that set the tempo. Second important concept is the identity. Research has found that people who say "I don't eat chocolate" actually don't end up eating chocolate out of an option of food because of a self determined identification as someone who doesn't eat chocolate, whereas participants who said "I can't eat chocolate" ended up more likely to eat chocolate because of a resisting factor. That is just one example of how important setting your identity is to helping you become the person you want to be. Choosing the identity you wish to embody will hence allow you to seek out the social environment you would rather be part of for in that social environment the habits you are working on won't be considered weird and looked down upon (i.e. my aversion to alcohol & party craving folks and attraction to those who seek life-long learning while reading in coffee shops). 


  • Wealthy: The need to do the "unscalable" when growing a startup. Reviewing the valuable lessons from Paul Graham's essay. The essay was a great reminder for myself on the value of focusing on manual user acquisition for OMD Ventures. Whether it's me answering individual questions on quora with my podcast episodes or connecting with people individually on LinkedIn to get one person at a time onto my site and podcast.... the unscalable must be done in the early days to grow the company. This has also opened up my mind to possible providing consulting services on introspection and self-awareness to individuals and selling my time to slowly grow my audience over time.


  • Healthy: I personally believe the two requirements to be successful at anything is curiosity and humility. I flagged this article for it's title and to my surprise I later learned the author was Dr. Atul Gawande. It's odd thinking how my perception may have been different had I known this was an article he had written. That aside, the article is a light story on putting curiosity as the foundational first step for how you interact with people. How curiosity leads to an opportunity to connect with people on a humane level where you may get to unearth pre-formed biases.


  • Wealthy: Perspectives on renting vs. owning a home. It's a highly personal decision, it's not a decision to make as an investment. My view is buying a home is an indication that I am willingly giving up the freedom to uproot and deciding to take a decade to build up family roots. Contrary to the Asian parents who insist real estate will outperform and always go up, I do not think home ownership is a mere equity play. There are continued cash outflows that may exceed rent and that doesn't include the emotional toll. I've acted as the landlord managing my family's property and I hate it. It's excruciating for me emotionally and not even my days as an auditor gave me such stress. Two neat articles on the subject by Khe of Rad Reads and JL Collins. Something revealing to me in Khe's article was that as a MD of Blackrock living he lived in a 585 square foot apartment. 


  • Wise: That which you genuinely love for the pure pleasure of it is something that you are probably really into and that is probably what you should be copying. My guilty pleasure is Korean Travel Reality TV and any form of documentary series that goes into understanding what business folks, athletes and people do. What I think is "good" there worth copying is the humanity. The shows ability to show the humanity of various celebrity-like figures and bring them down to earth to someone I can relate to. It's made possible when you dig into the everyday process these people go through and actually ask them about what they are thinking, what they feel and also from observing their actions. It gives me more confidence and conviction over my podcast and the media venture I'm seeking to create.


  • Listening to Scott Belsky's interview with Chase Jarvis. Big thing here is the "confirmatory/insecurity actions" associated with creating your own thing. One example is constantly (even instinctively) checking the analytics of my site, my podcast downloads etc.. because it is a way for me to validate and let my mind rest on the fact that what I'm doing is working or there is meaning behind my actions. This is a form of relying on the external validation, which is needed for anything to be a viable business but it's about containing this notion and maybe only checking once a day or once a week or once a month. Similar to investing where you invest for the long term and you don't look at the ticker of the stocks you buy. I rarely look at the ticker for my stock holdings and that is normal for me and a concept I can very well grasp since you shouldn't expect anything major to happen in a day or a week or a month... it's about holding an investment for multi-decades and building a company (OMD Ventures) should have that similar mindset. It's not like I'm going for some "quick hit" viral-ity with my weekly products so..... trust the process. Build on the process and look back over a period of time to see if a thesis has panned out/ or needs an adjustment. 


  • Wise: "Life is long gamma" - Nassim Taleb. Over a life-span, your life will benefit from short-term volatility and variability. Inversely, should be short monotony, a-la boredom. 


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Daniel LeeOMD VenturesTWIL