Selec­tion of ideas I liked from read­ing books and blogs.

  • Right skin thickness

    All I can say is that writ­ers of all ages should stay away from the extremes of hyper­­sen­si­­tiv­i­­ty-to-feed­back and obliv­i­ous­­ness-to-feed­back. Seek out wise crit­i­cism. Reserve time in your week for the regret that comes with get­ting things wrong. I promise the feel­ing will go away, and some­thing else will appear in its place, which is learn­ing.

    Derek Thomp­son in Why Sim­ple Is Smart
  • Big Skills = Small Skills. Compounded.

    It’s tempt­ing to want to find the one big skill that will set you apart. But most incred­i­ble things come from com­pound­ing, and com­pound­ing isn’t intu­itive because the incre­men­tal inputs are nev­er excit­ing on their own.

    Big Skills by my favorite blog­ger and author, Mor­gan Housel
  • API: Assume Positive Intentions

    When work­ing with peo­ple, assume good inten­tions.

    When lis­ten­ing to peo­ple, inter­pret their words in a gen­er­ous way.

    You will occa­sion­al­ly get burned and mis­treat­ed by always assum­ing the best in oth­ers, but it is a far bet­ter way to live than the oppo­site.

    Jan­u­ary 27, 2022 issue of James Clear’s 321 newslet­ter
  • Expert predictions

    I am gen­er­al­ly skep­ti­cal about experts and their fore­casts.

    The fol­low­ing quote from a hum­ble, expert econ­o­mist I respect and admire, dri­ves my point:

    …there’s some­thing I learnt in this field three to four decades ago. It doesn’t mat­ter how many ifs, buts and caveats one sticks around a sub­ject, peo­ple still want to know what your fore­cast is for it. So, much as I per­son­al­ly wouldn’t assign more than a 10% chance of this pre­dic­tion being cor­rect…

    New Zealand house price pre­dic­tion for 2022, by Tony Alexan­der

    Tony is pre­dict­ing New Zealand house price growth. But I believe his thoughts about pre­dic­tions and fore­cast­ing are broad­ly true with experts in many oth­er fields.

  • Realism

    The fol­low­ing tweet, I first found in 2014 has served me well. This is how I almost always look at things, gen­er­al­ly.

    Stop wish­ing. Start adapt­ing.


  • Making time for learning and goals

    We often for­get that any­thing in life takes time. That’s why the first step toward get­ting bet­ter at some­thing is learn­ing how to make time for it. 

    Fresh start effect. This psy­cho­log­i­cal phe­nom­e­non makes peo­ple see the begin­ning of a new year (or a new semes­ter, month or even week) as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­tance them­selves from their past fail­ures.

    “Yes … damn!” effect, a bias that makes peo­ple wrong­ly believe they will have more time in the future than right now. This is the cog­ni­tive bias respon­si­ble for why so many of us agree to future activ­i­ties like agree­ing to be on a com­mit­tee (“yes”), but then regret it when time comes because we real­ize we don’t have the free time we thought we would (“damn!”).

    Why time man­age­ment is the secret to keep­ing New Year’s res­o­lu­tions