Saturday, May 22, 2021
The thing people miss is that there are bad things that become bigger problems when you try to eliminate them. I think the most successful people recognize when a certain amount of acceptance beats purity.
-Morgan Housel, from this read-worthy post
Friday, May 21, 2021
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Frankly, there's no substitute for limited competition. You can be a genius, but if there's a lot of competition, it won't matter. I've spent my career trying to avoid its destructive consequences. Competition skews people's assessment; as buyer get competitive, the demand for assets inflates prices, often beyond reason.*
*Also known as "the winner's curse"
"What is a truly reliable source of positive emotion?" The answer is that people experience positive emotion in relationship to the pursuit of a valuable goal. Imagine you have a goal. You aim at something. You develop a strategy in relationship to that aim, and then you implement it. And then, as you implement the strategy, you observe that it is working. That is what produces the most reliable positive emotion. . . .
This implies something crucial: no happiness in the absence of responsibility. No valuable and valued goal, no positive emotion.
-Jordan B. Peterson, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021
No one has yet made a list of places where the extraordinary may happen and where it may not. Still, there are indications. Among crowds, in drawing rooms, among easements and comforts and pleasures, it is seldom seen. It likes the out-of-doors. It likes the concentrating mind. It likes solitude. It is more likely to stick to the risk-taker than the ticket-taker. It isn't that it would disparage comforts, or the set routines of the world, but that its concern is directed to another place. Its concern is the edge, and the making of a form out of the formlessness that is beyond the edge.
Mary Oliver, Upstream
It was the classic new-boy situation. I was teased and taunted, and the hazing went on during most of the day. I finally turned to the biggest of my tormentors and said, "All right, meet me outside." Everybody knew there was going to be a fight. When school was dismissed, a gang of kids was milling around by the steps of the back yard, waiting. My opponent was waiting too. I was frightened, but there was nothing to do about it. I took off my coat and started running down the stairs at my enemy. My seeming eagerness must have startled him, for I noticed that he wilted just a bit. The fact is, I was expecting to get knocked down and was rushing in to get it over with, but when I saw him flinch, I gained new courage. He gave up after one or two punches. This minor incident was soon forgotten by almost everyone but me; it taught me a lesson that later applied in business every bit as much as it did on a high-school playground: If you show hesitancy or fear, you may already be half-defeated. If you put on a bold front, and fight with everything you have, you can win. Moreover, once you have won a few battles, you are usually left alone: in the jungle, no animal thoughtlessly attacks the lion.
Sunday, May 16, 2021
If you want to become invaluable in the workplace—in any community—just do the useful things no one else is doing. . . .
You might object, "Well, I could not manage to take on something that important." What if you began to build yourself into a person who could? You could start by trying to solve a small problem—something that is bothering you, that you think you could fix. You could start by confronting the dragon of just the size that you are likely to defeat. A tiny serpent might not have had the time to hoard a lot of gold, but there might still be some treasure to be won, along with a reasonable probability of succeeding in such a quest (and not too much chance of a fiery or toothsome death). Under reasonable circumstances, picking up the excess responsibility is an opportunity to become truly invaluable. An then, if you want to negotiate for a raise, or more autonomy—or more free time, for that matter—you can go to your boss and say, "Here are ten things that were crying out to be done, each of them vital, and I am now doing all of them. If you help me out a bit, I will continue. I might even improve. And everything, including your life, will improve along with me." And then, if your boss has any sense—and sometimes bosses do—then your negotiation will be successful. This is how such things work. And do not forget that there is no shortage of genuinely good people who are thrilled if they can give someone useful and trustworthy a hand up. It is one of the truly altruistic pleasures of life, and its depth is not to be underestimated, or to be disregarded with cheap cynicism that masks itself as world weary wisdom.
It appears that the meaning that most effectively sustains life is to be found in the adoption of responsibility.
-Jordan Peterson, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life
If you want to get better at what you do, if you want to get better at this thing called life, you have to pay attention. When you pay attention, you can remember what really matters, what is real and enduring, versus what is false and fleeting. Thinking of an impartial spectator can help you know yourself and help you become a better boss, a better spouse, a better parent, a better friend.
This has always been a fatal flaw in the U. S. real estate: the volume of development has been related to the availability of funds, not to demand. The industry has a long history of overbuilding when there's easy money, without regard for who will occupy those spaces once they're built.
Economics helps you understand that money isn't the only thing that matters in life. Economics teaches you that making a choice means giving up something. And economics can help you appreciate complexity and how seemingly unrelated actions and people can become entangled. . . . But life is about choices. Getting the most out of life means choosing wisely and well. And making choices—being aware of how choosing one road means not taking another.
(Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said you can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.)
-Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird: Some Instructions On Writing And Life
One is acceptance that an insane market doesn’t mean a broken market. Crazy is normal; is normal. Every few years there seems to be a declaration that markets don’t work anymore – that they’re all speculation or detached from fundamentals. But it’s always been that way. People haven’t lost their minds; they’re just searching for the boundaries of what other investors are willing to believe.
-Morgan Housel, from this blog post