Selec­tion of ideas I liked from read­ing books and blogs.

  • Road Not Taken

    You should nev­er look down the road not tak­en. Because that road nev­er leads to where you think it should.

    Nev­er Look Down the Road Not Tak­en by Nick Mag­giul­li
  • Most important takeaway from surprises

    When­ev­er we are sur­prised by some­thing, even if we admit that we made a mis­take, we say, ‘Oh I’ll nev­er make that mis­take again.’ But, in fact, what you should learn when you make a mis­take because you did not antic­i­pate some­thing is that the world is dif­fi­cult to antic­i­pate. That’s the cor­rect les­son to learn from sur­pris­es: that the world is sur­pris­ing.

    Psy­chol­o­gist Daniel Kah­ne­man. Via Mor­gan Housel.
  • Happiness and Expectations

    What actu­al­ly brings hap­pi­ness is the con­trast between what you have now and what­ev­er you were just doing.

    When you real­ize how pow­er­ful expec­ta­tions are, you put as much effort into keep­ing them low as you do into improv­ing your cir­cum­stances. Hap­pi­ness, con­tent­ment, joy … all of those things come from expe­ri­enc­ing a gap between expec­ta­tions and real­i­ty.

    What Makes You Hap­py
  • Useful and overlooked skill I practice

    If you can’t use your legs and they bring you milk when you want­ed orange juice, you learn to say ‘that’s all right,’ and drink it.

    Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt via Mor­gan Housel
  • Good things take time

    As I become impa­tient with a cou­ple of long-term goals that don’t seem to be pro­gress­ing fast enough, I seek solace from a cou­ple of encour­ag­ing per­spec­tives on time:

    Near­ly every­thing awe­some takes longer than you think.

    Get start­ed and don’t wor­ry about the clock.

    James Clear

    Demo­ti­vat­ed because of how long it’ll take? Remem­ber the time will pass any­ways.

  • Possessions and Lifestyle

    Our pos­ses­sions should be suit­ed to our bod­ies and lives, just as our shoes are suit­ed to our feet.


    I recent­ly read The Man­u­al: A Philoso­pher’s Guide to Life and have been pon­der­ing over the above quote from that book.

    That’s the phi­los­o­phy I apply when I buy things, from the clothes I wear to my phone and even the car I dri­ve.

    I vivid­ly remem­ber in 2008 iPhone 3G was hot, and I real­ly yearned for it. I could have stretched my sav­ings, but I was­n’t feel­ing great about my life over­all. So I with­held the iPhone pur­chase until I can com­fort­ably afford iPhone 4 in 2010, and impor­tant­ly, when I felt some hope for my over­all life sit­u­a­tion.

    I think we can extrap­o­late this rule to any mate­r­i­al pos­ses­sions: Any­thing I buy should first be with­in my means. And then it should fit my over­all lifestyle. I don’t stretch my mon­ey and myself to buy things that aren’t con­gru­ent with my lifestyle. No point in own­ing flashy things when you are emp­ty and mis­er­able inside.

  • Five Years

    Five years is a long time. It is much slow­er than most of us would like. If you accept the real­i­ty of slow progress, you have every rea­son to take action today. If you resist the real­i­ty of slow progress, five years from now you’ll sim­ply be five years old­er and still look­ing for a short­cut.

    James Clear’s May 26th edi­tion of 3 – 2‑1 newslet­ter on Hap­pi­ness, the opin­ions of oth­ers, and accept­ing the real­i­ty of slow progress
  • Chop wood, carry water

    I recent­ly read Carl Richard­s’s per­son­al finance book The Behav­ior Gap, in which I came across this quote that struck a chord with me:

    When the Zen mas­ter Wu Li was asked what to do to achieve enlight­en­ment, he respond­ed, “Chop wood, car­ry water.“

    When he was asked what to do when you have achieved enlight­en­ment, he
    respond­ed, “Chop wood, car­ry water.“

    Maybe hap­pi­ness comes eas­i­est when we are so busy work­ing, tak­ing care of
    kids, shov­el­ing snow, or clean­ing the house that we for­get to look for it.

    Page 66, The Behav­ior Gap

    That’s pre­cise­ly how I derive my hap­pi­ness: from bor­ing and mun­dane tasks. So it felt reas­sur­ing to see that def­i­n­i­tion of hap­pi­ness men­tioned in a pop­u­lar book!

    The book also has a fan­tas­tic set of sketch­es, which you can check on the Sketch Store on the author’s web­site.

  • Price of things

    Mon­ey is often a neg­a­tive art. What you don’t do can be more impor­tant than what you active­ly do.

    Every­thing has a priceand prices aren’t always clear. The price of exer­cise isn’t just the work­out; it’s avoid­ing the post-work­out urge to eat a ton of food. Same in finance. The price of build­ing wealth isn’t just the trou­ble of earn­ing mon­ey or deal­ing; it’s avoid­ing the post-income urge to spend what you’ve accu­mu­lat­ed.

    Mor­gan Housel in After the Fact
  • Ego vs outcome

    When you decou­ple your ego from a bad out­come, it cre­ates an oppor­tu­ni­ty for you to learn from it.

    When you decou­ple your ego from a good out­come, it saves you from future dis­as­ters.

    Vishal Khan­del­w­al in How to Stop Sab­o­tag­ing Your Invest­ing

    In that post Vishal men­tions What I learned by los­ing a mil­lion dol­lars book, which is one of my favorite books to learn how humans behave.