Collect and Store

Information is plentiful. It’s water. But even rain is meaningless if we don’t store it.

Cultivate your storage containers. Memorialize what you learn.

The Endowment Effect

The endowment effect is a powerful cognitive bias that we live with. In short, we overvalue the things we have because we own them.

I can’t give away this sweater because my relative gave it to me. I can’t donate this printer because I bought it on sale. I can’t throw away this mug because I’ve taken it everywhere I’ve moved.

To fight this bias, look at your things through another person’s eyes.

I think about this while at clothing stores. When I enter, I look in the mirror and ask myself: how much would I pay for the clothes I’m wearing right now? If my clothes were taken and hung up in the store, how much would I pay for them?

Depersonalize, step back, and ask yourself how much you really value things.

Yelling

Yelling at a cat has no effect. It really illuminates how absurd it looks to be the yeller.

Music Describes Life

Music language is great for describing life. Grace notes, accents, codas, forte, variations on a theme, diminuendo, crescendo.

What elements of life can’t be described by music?

Movement

If we were our pets’ pets, I’m sure they would comment on how little we moved. Much can be learned from a dog’s sprints or a cat’s stroll.

Solitude

Solitude is furiously sought when gone and furiously abandoned when found.

Thus, solitude must be cultivated with intention.

Permission Paradox

Attempt to restrict what you buy and what you eat, and the impulse to over-consume grows stronger.

Give yourself permission to buy any clothes or eat any foods, and your desire to buy and eat decreases.

Deprivation eventually leads to obsession. No diet works over a century.

Construction

If you find knowledge work paralyzing, try working near a construction project. Procrastination gets put into perspective when you see a building built in the time it took to do one writing.