Here’re some distilled versions of ideas from almost 600 posts as of December 2017. They’re each meant to stand alone and aren’t in order of importance.
Often quotes are given without attributions because I think they’re impactful on their own. I’ve rewritten a few to make them clearer as I jotted them down, so they might be slightly different from their original form.
Money is the most effective tool in navigating the complex, technical world we live in. You don’t need lots of money. But you do need enough, and to be able to deal with it. The best advice comes from Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Mister Money Mustache, and J. Collins. Here’s something from J. Collin’s site that I shortened.
Nothing is more valuable than your freedom. Life choices are not always about the money, but always be clear about the money choice you are making.
Simply do the following and you’ll wind up rich: Spend less than you earn, invest the surplus, and avoid debt. If your lifestyle exceeds your income you’re just a gilded slave.
Sound investing is not complicated. Complicated investments make money for those selling them.
You can’t pick winning stocks. Buy Vanguard Index funds. End of story.
First, track your expenses. Then save 25 times your yearly expenses, and you can stop working if you want to, withdrawing 4% of your saving to live on without running out.
As individuals we only have one obligation to society: To make sure we, and our children, aren’t a burden to others. The rest is personal choice. While giving is a fine thing, no one has an obligation to do so. Anyone who tells you differently is likely trying to sell you something.
Mark Twain observed, “Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse. He’ll go to any length for it-risk fortune, character, reputation, life itself,” so listen to the Sex Advice given by Dan Savage, it’s the best out there. Dan shines a light on the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct, think about what Ed Abbey said, “Modern men and women are obsessed with the sexual; it’s the only realm of primordial adventure still left to most of us.”
Read “Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog” by Grant Petersen for the clearest info on eating and exercise. Don’t forget the simple observation that “Strong people are harder to kill and more useful in general,” made by Mark Rippetoe.
If I could only give someone one book it’d be “Cool Tools” by Kevin Kelly. It’s an updated “Whole Earth Catalog,” sorta like a low tech internet. Stewart Brand who started the Whole Earth Catalog, claims that “Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.”
Any time and energy spent on events you can’t control or effect, will be wasted time and energy. Stop worrying, you can’t control the wind, just what you do with your sail.
“There’s probably no god, so stop worrying and enjoy your life,” ads should be put on the side of every bus in the world.
“If every trace of any single religion died out and nothing was passed on, it’d never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science was wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.” -Penn Jillette
Would you ask a barber if you need a haircut? Don’t ask a doctor what you should do. Ask him what he would do if he were in your place.
People hear what they see. Or as Gandhi put it, “Action expresses priorities.”
“It just so happens that sex and violence are the only two things that you can’t fake. We can fake wealth, intellect, status, kindness, political acumen, parenting, looks– there’s no objective measure of any of these things. But a fight isn’t a matter of opinion, it is too real.”
– The Last Psychiatrist. I wish I had started learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a young person. You can only be non violent when you can control violence.
Sam Harris described the goal of meditation as, “awakening from our trance of discursive thinking, and from ceaselessly grasping at the pleasant and recoiling from the unpleasant, enjoying a mind undisturbed by worry, and effortlessly be aware of the flow of experience in the present.”
Kindness is a choice.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
Be a good person, do what you love, and live in an evidence based world.
Create your own system, or be enslaved by someone else’s.
If you don’t know your own value, someone will tell you your value, and it’ll be less than you’re worth.
Not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued.
Inform what you do today by looking back at our very long prehistory.
If you’re not happy you’re wasting your time.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Are you after comfort and luxury, when all you need to be happy is something to be enthusiastic about?
Never chase a woman, a streetcar, or a deal.
The quality of a society is more important than your place in that society. It’s better to be a small fish in a clean pond than a big fish in a polluted lake.
Reframing failure as feedback makes it a point of information in the learning process.
Say no more. Focus, ignore, and do one thing at a time.
Of the troubles coming down the road, most end up in the ditch before they reach you.
Learn from everyone, follow no one, look for patterns, and work hard.
Abstinence is easier than temperance.
Try to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.
Jot down interesting things you hear.
With philanthropy, try to relieve pain, rather than spreading joy.
Lots of sleep is crucial for physical and mental health.
Ignore the social ideal that being worthy is being busy.
We make ourselves either miserable or happy. The effort’s the same for either one.
Comparing yourself to other people is the thief of joy.
For high performance and personal satisfaction, shoot for: Autonomy (the desire to direct your own life), Mastery (the urge to get better at stuff), and Purpose (the feeling and intention that you can make a difference in the world).
The richest person isn’t the one who has the most, they’re the person who needs the least.
Disbelief in the authority of others is at the heart of science.
Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, is the secret of creative people.
Master the best that other people have ever figured out. Don’t try to dream it all up yourself, nobody’s that smart.
Marriage, in our time, is a bungled attempt at guaranteeing something no one can do – to go on feeling a certain way. It’s better to promise to continue to be worth loving.
Things are to used and people are to be loved, not the other way around.
What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
Try to do strength exercises, be generally active, get outdoors for some sunshine and fresh air, eat whole foods, get lots of sleep, have plenty of physical and social contact and you’ll probably be as optimized as you can get.
Peoples’ lives are made up of stories, and stories are what people relate to. It’s been this way since we began communicating. Information provides a meaningful pattern for data. But a story will provide an even more meaningful pattern to information, making it more accessible.
One of the most important things for children is presenting them with a version of adult life that’s appealing and worth striving for.
When you’re able to transfer emotion to another person, whatever it is you use to do that is art.
Not at work? Don’t check work emails. Problems that arise will make your free time useless due to preoccupation. You won’t experience relaxation or productivity. Time without attention is worthless. Value attention over time.
Do any task immediately if it can be done in less than two minutes.
Jonas Salk, the polio vaccine inventor, said his life’s aim was: “To be a good ancestor.”
Your home should be the place that reflects your authentic self.
Remember, tattoos are like permanent bell-bottoms.
If an atom was the size of our solar system, a neutrino would be the size of a golf ball, to scale.
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
If someone offers you a breath mint, take it.