The Vast Unimportance of Most Things

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We often think dramatically about the risks in situations. Messing that one thing up will cost your job, or someone will hate you if you miss something. While I can’t lie to you and draw this graph with actual risk being nearly zero, the actual risk tends to be noticeably less than perceived risk. As someone much smarter than me has said (paraphrase), “You cannot overestimate the vast unimportance of most things.”

Paralysis By Analysis

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“If I read fifteen books about basketball, would you call me a basketball player? No, I’d be a guy who reads about basketball. I need to go out and play the game.”  (source unknown, paraphrase)

Where in life are you calling yourself a basketball player without having played the game? Don’t let having too much information hold you back.

 

It’s Like Boiling Water

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When you boil water, the temperature increases until it boils–then it’s constant until all the liquid has evaporated. At that point the gas can continue to heat up. What in your life is boiling right now? Where investing more physical, mental, or emotional effort isn’t getting you anywhere? Some things need time to boil over, then you can superheat the gas.

Working Long Hours

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When working long hours, sooner or later it becomes evident that the pace and quality of work slows down. For me that’s after 3-4 hours. Point is, this graph notably changes shape when you take a mental break, meaning that several two hours sessions with an hour break in between is likely more productive than one six hour session.