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October 19, 2020
“Every person has two educations, one which he receives from others and one, more important, which he gives to himself” - Gibbon
Weekends are often the time we spend resting and recovering. Catching up on sleep is really important, especially if you have worked a bit extra during the week. However, binge-watching a season of your favourite show is unlikely to give you a balanced recovery.
The lesson: To add that extra bit of joy on top of your rest, consider making time for the things that are proven to provide true happiness. These are social things like spending time with friends and family but also includes solo activities like practicing a hobby or skill.
With the pandemic and lockdown response thrusting everyone into quarantine and work-from-home situations, people shifted to more remote work tools, most notably Zoom. Zoom provides a really valuable service - video meetings that are easy to set up and join. However, as this replacement for our usual face-to-face interactions has started taking up more of our days, people have reported feeling much more drained from them.
The lesson: Video-conferencing technology, in general, places a strain on the mind as it tries to interpret social and communication cues through the limited screen view. One must use this technology more sparingly in daily interactions and workflow, as the impact on people’s energy and emotional states can be quite significant .
I think hard work is important. And so is failure - it is a good teacher, if you listen. An unfortunate trend recently is that people are confusing failure (something on the path to success) with success itself. Because of this glorification, we are seeing people staying in losing situations longer than they should. Failure can be a powerful tool on the path to success, but should not be confused with success itself. It is tempting to focus on the amount of work you put in, because it’s easy to measure and control, but success still remains what is produced at the end of it all and therefore should be your true locus of focus.
The lesson: It’s not about the proxy of hustle. Hard work is important, but success is still based on what is produced at the end of it all, the outcome. Are key metrics growing? Are you iterating to improve them? Are you creating value?
The role of luck is easy to ignore, yet it plays a significant part in everyone’s success. Luck has often been a mysterious thing, an embodiment of unpredictability and whim. Contrary to popular belief, the author states that luck seems to follow mathematical laws and can be applied to real life. This was also surprisingly a great lens to look through when pricing products and creating value for an audience.
The lesson: Getting lucky is about choosing where to spend your energy and time. Focus on the small 20% of activities that could yield returns 80% or higher. This is Power Law thinking.
Learning is the bedrock of personal development and growth. We learn from two sources - our own experiences and the experiences of others.
The featured article is one of those sources (the experiences of others). It provides a good overview of important learning techniques such as the Feynman technique and spaced repetition. In addition, it provides great references to other articles and books that will help you improve this all important skill. It’s something worth bookmarking and returning to over time.
While most South Africans are hoping things can return back to normal, we’re being sold (think Inception) the narrative that this is only possible when a vaccine will be created, and that it must be created. I am not a supporter of mandatory anything, especially when the science is rushed and the results are obfuscated, as is the case of these proposed vaccines. What’s more alarming is the Disaster Management Act contains a provision that lets the government vaccinate you should they suspect you carry the virus.
The lesson: We need to be able to talk about science, opinions, beliefs and dangers openly. I believe that when we truly think we know something, and refuse to listen to others, that we risk our society and its future. This channel is pretty interesting - it offers the facts and presents a clear opinion on what is going on in South Africa, specifically the risks and dangers we are being led towards. Hearing a doctor express concern for what is going on in our country makes me think there are others like her, and hopefully they are working to determine the truth of our situation. For people who question the established narrative and seek the truth, you would enjoy this. And if you check this out, I’d be interested to hear what you think!
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