This Week I Learned #58

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


  • Ernest Hemingway had a process for ending the day with an incomplete sentence so that he would have something to continue off of the next day. I've personally tried this with my blog posts and though it can give a different perspective, I've felt that if it's not a singular continual piece then it's not as effective. I find most of my more 'successful' blog posts have been 95% completed from the start of the writing. Josh Waitzkin uses this Hemingway approach to end the 'work day' with the Most Important Question (MIQ). The MIQ is used as a primer for subconscious processing at night and is used to journal in the morning. This will be a new approach for prompting my morning pages routine. Another thing I learned from Josh's interview was the value of learning to be in the states of 0 or 10 and not at a "simmering 6". Choosing to have periods of intense focus and also learning to shut the mind off when needed as well.


  • "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." - Oscar Wilde


  • Prof. Dan Gilbert on why we make bad decisions. One particular reason is because we overestimate short term pleasure and underestimate value of future gains. Plato's quote of "What space is to size, time is to value" explain this mindset quite well.


  • Learnings on the psychology of happiness from Prof. Dan Gilbert. Children actually lower your net happiness score. However, as they end up becoming such a big time commitment and singular source of joy (by default) they end up taking up a material portion of the total happiness you have available and that is why you believe you are happier with kids than without. We tend to measure what makes us happier based not on the 'benefits' we receive but on the 'costs'. Part of such costs include money but a big portion is also time and effort. The amount of time and effort we invest into any project/person ends up making us believe that we are relatively happier now with such a big commitment than when we would be with more time to try on bigger tasks. If people feel this kind of fulfillment of doing something for another person outside of themselves, I imagine this is very similar to what entrepreneurship would be. The singular focus on the business and venture zaps you of other forms of happiness but the small moments of enjoyment make it amazing. Because we as people tend to remember the high points of any event. So, we will pile through mountains of shit but we will remember the high point where we left off at.


  • Probably the first instance where I've realized I didn't want to film the Boring Life. I have moments of fighting with laziness when I'm editing a podcast or writing an essay but this was the first moment I realized I was not having fun thinking about it. It felt like a chore. With that I've decided to stop producing The Boring Life series for now. Though the newly exciting part is that I may now be able to combine this with a new podcast idea I've been cooking up for a while. With my limited time, this is even more exciting. But alas, one must quit many things to be great at a few. Killing my own projects may be something I better get used to as well.


  • Per the Korean Movie Intimate Strangers. A remake of the Italian movie Perfect Strangers. A movie where long-time friends play a game by which everyone puts their cellphones on the table and answers all calls via speaker and reads aloud all text messages and notifications. What results is friends of 40 years feeling like total strangers to each other as they learn more about their friends' lives in the confines of their smartphones. The movie ends with this quote: "Every person lives three lives. A public one, a personal one and a secret one." In the end, aren't we all just playing a single player game?


  • "Man needs difficulties, they are necessary for health" - Carl Jung