Maxims

Every time I read a book, I try to glean a handful of practical, actionable statements that I can incorporate to improve the quality of my life.  Here they are…

  • Set goals in these categories: personal, career, financial, adventure, and contribution.  Brainstorm for 5 minutes on each, put a time limit on them, and write something down about the most important one.

  • Review your goals regularly to program them into habits

  • Describe in detail the things you want in your life, as well as the steps required to get them

  • Greatness is achievable–just be willing to work harder than everyone else

  • Be like water—stay flexible and don’t get stuck in your ways.

  • Be wary of old ideas and advice from others–always put it in the context of changing circumstances.

  • Think big, but act small–be humble

  • Never stop learning

  • Do great work, and let other people take credit for it

  • Schedule and track your time usage every day

  • Maximize time spent doing deep work

  • Only use social media once a week or less

  • Cultivate boredom and empty space to improve your ability to concentrate

  • Remember how light your grip on life is

  • Be present, ignore trivialities, and focus on what matters

  • Every obstacle is an opportunity

  • Start by starting.  Aim for a minimum viable design rather than perfection

  • When something doesn’t work, iterate

  • Apply barbell strategies in your life (be normal 90%, do crazy things 10%)

  • Maximize optionality

  • Procrastinate strategically to weed out things that don’t matter

  • Embrace novelty, unpredictability, and randomness in your life

  • Know what you don’t know, and don’t be afraid to admit it

  • To make a change in your life, associate bad behaviors with pain and good behaviors with pleasure.

  • Practice holding solid eye contact

  • Speak with sincerity and passion

  • Focus on acquiring rare & valuable skills to build career capital and find passion in your work.

  • Prioritize deliberate practice in your job.  Start by seeking constant feedback and by keeping a tally of time spent devoted to deliberate practice.

  • Get to the cutting edge of your field to uncover the “adjacent possible,” and then develop a mission for your work.

BRJ Cartoon1

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