Morgal Housel points to 17 insights about how people generally think:
Good times plant the seeds of their destruction through complacency and leverage, and bad times plant the seeds of their turnaround through opportunity and panic-driven problem-solving.
Paul Graham put it this way: “Half the distinguishing qualities of the eminent are actually disadvantages.” Andrew Wilkinson says: “Most successful people are just a walking anxiety disorder harnessed for productivity.”
Not the best idea. Not the right answer. Just whoever tells a story that catches people’s attention and gets them to nod their heads.
The gap between how you feel as an outsider vs. how you feel when you’re experiencing something firsthand can be a mile wide.
The question, “Why don’t you agree with me?” can have infinite answers... But usually a better question is, “What have you experienced that I haven’t that would make you believe what you do? And would I think about the world like you do if I experienced what you have?”
The time, not the little changes, is what moves the needle. Take minuscule changes and compound them by 3.8 billion years and you get results that are indistinguishable from magic.
So we live in a world where solutions to problems can be shockingly simple but getting people to follow simple advice can be astoundingly difficult. Issac Asimov said, “Science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom,” which sums up a lot of things quite well.
If you think of your future self living in a new mansion, you imagine basking in splendor and everything feeling great. What’s easy to forget is that people in mansions can get the flu, have psoriasis, become embroiled in lawsuits, bicker with their spouses, are wracked with insecurity and annoyed with politicians – which in any given moment can supersede any joy that comes from material success. Future fortunes are imagined in a vacuum, but reality is always lived with the good and bad taken together, competing for attention.
If you recognize that Bull Shit is ubiquitous, then the question is not “How can I avoid all of it?” but, “What is the optimal amount to put up with so I can still function in a messy and imperfect world?”A grocery store could eliminate theft by strip-searching every customer leaving the store. But then no one would shop there. So the optimal level of theft is never zero. You accept a certain level as an inevitable cost of progress. A unique skill, an underrated skill, is identifying the optimal amount of hassle and nonsense you should put up with to get ahead while getting along.