Below is the Twitter thread by @naval that we discussed, combined into one continuous blog post:
Some of the highlights from our discussion:
Despite societal pressures and patterns of 'short-termism', there is great value in long-term thinking. We underestimate what we can achieve in a decade and overestimate what we can achieve in a month. In order to be successful, we should pick anything and do it for 10 years – if you can repeat something for long enough, the chances of it being successful are going to be really high. When we’re younger we lack that foresight and long-term vision; in fact, we go through most of our early life with 1 year milestones – moving up through school and exams. Throughout the first 21/22 years of our lives we’re in a system with some sort of milestone and framework and the two year chunk becomes the default time horizon by which we evaluate things. But if we try to break out of this two-year mindset, we can come up with some conclusions which we wouldn’t arrive at otherwise. For example, if we’re thinking, ‘I’m going to live for the next 50 years, if I value personal growth and expanding my box, it’s a no brainer to spend 2 out of the next 80 years living in another country’. This isn’t a conclusion you’d reach if you were only thinking in terms of 2 year gaps.
The earlier that you can recognise the effects of compound interest, the greater the benefits that you can accrue from investing in this concept over the long term. By improving in some way by 1% every time you do something or every day of the year, the effects will perpetuate and compound.
Leverage is one of the most powerful concepts that we should all try to utilise. As Archimedes wrote “give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I will move the earth”. Finding ways to ‘lift’ more than you could otherwise do on your own is incredibly powerful. For example, if you’re running a company, hiring people can afford you more leverage than you would otherwise have operating on your own. On your own, you have 24 hours in a day, hiring 10 people you know have, theoretically, 240 hours in your control. In terms of personal finance, mortgages have a similar leveraging effect – they enable people to leverage their money in a way that you simply cannot do with many, if any, other purchases.
Try to becoming the best at what you do. This is the idea that you should try and be the only person that does what you do – try not to be the best in a highly competitive game but instead define your own pathway so narrowly that there are so few people competing in that category. This chimes with idea put forward in Alex Banayan’s book the Third Door – here is an excerpt that encapsulates his argument:
Life, business, success…it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in.
There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where the line curves around the block; where 99 percent of people wait around, hoping to get in. There’s the Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires, celebrities, and the people born into it slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always…the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen—there’s always a way.
- Naval's tweetstorm "How to get rich (without getting lucky)"
- Wait but Why - How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You)
- Paul Graham - The Lesson to Unlearn
- Paul Graham - The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius
- Drinking the Kool Aid - Wikipedia
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