30-year Illusion of a Conscious Effort
I turned 32 yesterday and I wanted to do this last year but Transcelestial's Series A raise kept me busy.
Below is a non-comprehensive list of elements from my personal framework that I have built over the years. It's a glimpse of how I think, what I believe in and care about and what I have practiced.
After planning to write these for almost 2 years, I pretty much wrote most of below in a single sitting few months back.
- Don't only read what everyone else is reading or what is recommended on a bestsellers list. This will make you think like everyone else. Pick a topic you love and find an obscure book/poem/song about it.
- Invest by stock picking. Invest in companies making products you really like, invest in companies who are working towards a goal you believe in OR can see earlier than everyone else. Recommend 1-5 years holding.
- People change every decade of life lived. Your parents or friends are not the same people you remember from 10 years ago.
- Unlearn bad eating habits picked up while growing up. Paid Nutritionist as a short term advisor is worth the cash. Nutrition is 70% health.
- Don't ever tell a good friend that you are too busy to meet. Figure a time, date and place out and stick to it. You are less busy than you think you are.
- Be comfortable in being alone. Early morning or evening walks with a podcast OR some music is a great way to start. Being alone lets you confront your thoughts and observe who you really are as a person.
- Rules were made by people. Never be too afraid to break them for something better.
- People are very attached to past mistakes. It was never your fault, even when it was. Just hold yourself accountable going ahead.
- Time is the only valuable resource in the long term. Always optimize for recovering as much future time back as possible.
- Majority people are terrible at what they do - including pilots, doctors and other mission critical roles in our society.
- Mountains are better than beaches.
- Get Gym trainers over Gym memberships.
- Own a bookshelf, not just books
- 80s was the best decade for music, movies and games
- Learn at least 1 joke and 1 poem. You will inevitably be asked to quote one of these at least once in your life.
- Talking or thinking about death is extremely healthy. The ultimate question is why do anything at all? Figure out your answer for that question. Spend your life with someone who buys into that answer.
- Think of your body as a machine that needs constant observation, proper maintenance and regular checkups to work correctly. You should go to a doctor not when you have a problem but to make sure you don't have one.
- Don't be cruel. It is a never ending zero sum game for our civilization as a whole. So math dictates that it will come back to you or your children or your loved ones.
- Find a quiet corner and look up at the stars for a few silent minutes, once a week. We are not alone. You are not alone.
- Actively find people who add value to your life, personally or professionally. A basic test for adding value is that in your first meeting with the person, you should have learnt at least one new thing valuable to you.
- Build Strong Convictions. Share them often.
- The earlier you get your mind away from institutionalized religion, the better. Take some time off, then re-think who you are as a person, what do you care about, read teachings of as diverse people as possible and then decide what core beliefs you want to live on and pass on. Your teens and your 20s are a good time to experiment with stuff like this. Do note, this does not mean disrespecting what other people around you believe in.
- Introduce your kids (or young ones around you) to science fiction early on. Science fiction & fantasy (SFF) to me is a natural conclusion of a "Thought Experiment". It's thought experiments all the way down. Summation of all previous thought experiments is our current civilization and I strongly feel that SFF is how you learn to discover the Thought Experiments of the future
- This world around us and the rules that run it up were made up and enforced by people like you and me. So people like you and me should also be able to change it if we think something else is better. People don't say this often enough to ourselves.
- Try paying for someone's meal when you meet them for the first time. The worst that can happen is that the person will get a free meal but there is no limit to the potential upside.
- Home is where your heart is - it could be an hour away, on another side of the planet OR tucked away in a fraction of a moment 10 years ago. When you are feeling sad or lonely or just lost, battling internal demons, try to remember home. It helps.
- On that note, figure out a way to protect yourself from sudden and extreme pain OR loss (life is long and it will happen to you). For me it was to deep dive into intellect building pursuits within theoretical physics. Some turn to a higher being with some degree of effectiveness but IMHO it's dangerous to manage one strong emotion by another stronger one.
- The value of your network is a function of what valuable 2nd and 3rd degree connections your 1st degree connections open up.
- Pre block your lunch and dinner timeslots in your calendar. Then use it to catch-up with mentors, clients, friends, or loved ones.
- Figure out how to tune yourself to someone's favorite personal FM station - WIIFM (What's In It For Me). You will be crazy effective in your life.
- Dual sort your relationships on the basis of Most Valuable and Most Enjoyable. That's the most important person in your life right now. If it's not one person, keep looking.
- Although the skill of specializing is awarded in our world, aim to be a polymath.
As John Nash once said - "Rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person’s concept of his relation to the cosmos."
Characteristic of my growing years, I hope I can retain some irrationality going ahead.