Daily Blog Drawings Habits Hacks Living Well Multiplers

On focus and keeping the main thing the main thing

Working as hard as you can is good, but not as important as one might think. It’s the quality of decisions, the thing we work on, that matters the most. Workin on a thing consistently, yet slowly, is worth 1000x working fast and hard on multiple things. It took me a long time to realize this, and I hope you learn it faster.

The point: Laser-like focus sets apart the average and the extraordinary. The seemingly average (you and me) can take small steps (with focus) in the same direction every day. Keep the main thing the main thing to make something extraordinary.

Daily Blog

On synthesis of knowledge into wisdom

We all love mental models, but the real magic comes from synthesis.

I train people on powerlifting: squat, bench press, and deadlift with a barbell. It’s usually very heavy weight, and it makes people uncomfortable in the beginning. There’s many queues: Squeeze lats, destroy earth, push the button … They are reminders for the lifter to focus on key leverage points. It’s hard to do for the lifter, especially under increasingly heavier weight week after week.

Each lifter has multiple lightbulb moments after the queues start to melt together. The coach can fix form with one queue after building a relationship with the lifter. Sounds cool, huh? That’s synthesis of knowledge into wisdom. The lifter can now coach anyone else on how to lift.

It takes lots of effort to get here

More importantly:

Knowledge becomes wisdom through experience and synthesis. Consistent effort speeds up the process. Whoever gets the reps in most consistently goes the farthest.

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Real education is painful

11 years old. First day of summer, early morning. My dad comes in. “Sit down let’s have a talk” (Somethings up)

‘Your mother and I bought some land – and you’re going to help me build a house.’ He scoots closer. ‘Stop what you’re doing, get dressed, and meet me out at the truck in ten minutes.’

It wasn’t sinking in. (How could it)

He leaves, I go back to video games. He comes back in ten minutes.

‘Why aren’t you ready?’ His voice stern

‘I’m not doing that’. I was shaking

He took a full fucking minute, then slowly ‘You’re going to get dressed and walk out to the truck, or I will drag you.’

By this point I was crying. I knew he would. I got dressed.

My education had begun.

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The Quiet Tree

A tree on a hill is really good at one thing: being a tree. Turning sunlight and water into more tree, growing so slow that nobody ever sees it.

Quiet. Slow. Growth.

That hill becomes a favorite of hikers, birds, bugs, and deer. A wonderful serene paradise on a little hill.

We can be like the tree. Quiet. Growing.

Our little hill might be better for it.

Daily Blog

The Storm and The Sky

It’s pretty bad outside. Sideways rain. Feels like it’s been that way for 6 months. Woke up late. Hurrying. Rush to the airport and get on the plane. The storm pounds the windows. Long wait. Hungry. Finally take off.

Acceleration. Liftoff. Turbulence. Grab the arm rests to pretend you’re protecting yourself.

And in less than 10 minutes you’re above it all.

Blue sky. Warm sunshine. Calm.

No matter how bad the storm gets the blue sky is always there. We just can’t see it.

We just have to take a moment to open our eyes to the storm, the climb, and the sky.