Hi all –

Last week, I shared some thoughts about what I wish I knew and lived by when I was younger. Learning from your failures sucks, but learning from other people’s failures is the only real productivity hack there is.

I got a lot of great responses and started thinking about a part two to the list. So here it is:

  • Save for a rainy day, it always comes.
  • Follow the Golden rule. You will run into people again and again throughout your life. Make sure they speak highly of you.
  • Learn to tell stories well. At the end of the day, most success comes down to storytelling. The stories you tell yourself as well as those you tell the world.
  • Read/watch the News sparingly. You’ll live a more peaceful and rich life.
  • Invest in relationships. Your community matters more than you think.
  • Avoid consensus. Avoid conventional wisdom. That is unless you want average results.
  • “Crabs in the pot” is real. Those closest to you will try to tear you down if you try to breakout and be different.
  • Remember that people are different but not as much as we believe. See Social Psychology (from part 1).
  • Take all the personality tests you can find and study your results. Understand how cognitive biases amplify your weaknesses.
  • Never forget how important context is. We always forget that every decision and reaction has a specific context, a time and place. Applying lessons learned without first considering the context will lead to unpredictable results and consequences.
  • For every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Seriously. Meditate on that.
  • Travel as much as you can. Doing so builds awareness, empathy, and lasting experiences. Experiences are a 10x better investment than buying houses/cars/things.
  • Pick your battles. You don’t need to be right.
  • Avoid debt. Avoid credit. Avoid debt. Live on less than you make.
  • When adults tell you these are the best years of your life, listen. Don’t roll your eyes.
  • Avoid vampires as David Aronoff said, “Find and nurture relationships with good people. Avoid spending time with negative people or those who are established net ‘takers’. Life is way too short to let them infect you.”
  • Assume the best, prepare for the worst.

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What did I miss?

– DC

P.S. Many of you wrote back to last week’s newsletter to ask about books I recommend on social psychology. Two of my favorites are: The Great Mental Models by Farnam Street and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

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