Home  >  106 About Me  >  106.007 About me - Life philosophy

Life philosophy

I am on a journey of learning, curiosity, and connection. I strive to be, to LIVE, these philosophies. These are the mindsets I use in a lifelong quest to fulfill my mission.

Stoicism teaches that philosophy is an active pursuit, something you DO, not something you talk about. I strive to live this document, and be the person who does these things.

Be a world-class communicator

“I never, never, never hear what somebody thinks about me. Never hear what somebody thinks about you, you’ll live longer. You’ll enjoy life more. Hear the truth. The truth is that when somebody’s telling you what’s wrong with you, the truth is they have a need that isn’t getting met. Hear that they’re in pain. Don’t hear the analysis.” - Marshall B. Rosenberg

I was born without the skill of empathy, and when somebody is talking to me I seem to jump ahead to my own answers before acknowledging their points. These are things I can, and strive to, to much better at.

119.069 Communication - Empathy first, feelings second, needs last

“You discover that commitment is not something you declare on one bright, over - planned day but something you perform every hour for a lifetime. You realize that trust is not a noun that describes a state; it is a verb that indicates action. You demonstrate tolerance, listen with your third ear, and cultivate understanding. You learn to agree to disagree.” - Keith Wilson, Constructive Conflict

I easily feel attacked, disrespected, unheard, underappreciated. But this is just my brain playing a trick! I know that most people feel the same way. When I feel this way, usually the other human is simply trying to help, trying to get their own needs met, trying to communicate a point. And when I can listen - really listen and empathize - we can connect and increase our mutual understanding.

Related: - 119 Communication - 116.048 Life Lessons - Define the problem clearly then focus on the solution - 116.009 Life Lessons - The biggest cause of serious error

Every day is an opportunity to accomplish something.

I can do something today to make my self, business, family, better.

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 107.018 Philosophy - Stoicism - Time to get to work

“The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win—you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life.” - Jocko Willink in Extreme Ownership 107.019 Philosophy - Jocko - Get your ass out of bed

Related: - 116.002 Life Lessons - I set the pace - 116.033 Life Lessons - What I do every day matters more than what I do every once in a while - 116.040 Life Lessons - You make your life what you want it to be - 116.056 Life Lessons - Control the inputs not the outcomes - 106.008 About me - Equity and Asymmetry

Be open-minded, yet confident

I am an idiot with a huge ego, and I don’t want to stay blind for the rest of my life.

I want an open, learning, mindset. I want my first reaction always to be to learn something about myself and about the world. In the past, I have often been “smart” enough and proud enough to think I can do everything right and get frustrated when others didn’t think that was the case. When I decide to do it anyway, I’m usually too blind to see when I fail.

Now I’m old enough, and know myself well enough, to know that I can’t do everything, but I can learn from others who know better than me. There is a fine line here - I need to have confidence, I need to make a judgment on whether the other person is “believable” enough to listen to, I need to be wise enough to know when to listen and learn and when to believe in myself.

Ray on one shoulder, Drake on the other:

“If you know that you are blind, you can figure out a way to see, whereas if you don’t know that you’re blind, you will continue to bump into your problems. In other words, if you can recognize that you have blind spots and open-mindedly consider the possibility that others might see something better than you - and that the threats and opportunities they are trying to point out really exist - you are more likely to make good decisions. Radical open-mindedness is motivated by the genuine worry that you might not be seeing your choices optimally. It is the ability to effectively explore different points of view and different possibilities without letting your ego or your blind spots get in your way. it requires you to replace your attachment to always being right with the joy of learning what’s true.” - Ray Dalio, Principles, 3.2 107.020 Philosophy - Dalio - Open mindedness

Balanced with:
“God damn, should I listen to everybody or myself? Cause myself just told myself ‘You’re the motherfucking man, you don’t need no help’“ - Drake

This open-yet-confident mindset will help me overcome personal limitations that have caused me failure in the past. It will help me become more successful in my personal life and my business dealings. It will not be easy, because I am proud, stubborn, smart, set in my ways.

Related: - 116.009 Life Lessons - The biggest cause of serious error - 122.03.09 PM Responsibilities - Share learnings openly and often - 122.05.03 PM Team - Great products require teamwork

Make more value than you take

…and enjoy the rewards you get in return, just don’t derive your happiness from it.

“Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives. Be creative, but make sure that what you create is not a curse for mankind” - Albert Einstein

Almost everything I love about my life is mine because I worked hard for somebody else. I love my wife and she loves me in return. I helped people turn small companies into big ones and I received wealth.

I know I can, and strive to be better at selflessness, working hard for others.

Related: - 116.049 Life Lessons - You get what you give - 109.37 Productivity - Monique is a beautiful and worthwhile use of of time - 122.07.08 PM Discovery Process - Risk 1 Value risk is the hardest and most important - 126.001 Decision Making - Expected Value - 106.008 About me - Equity and Asymmetry

Worry less about what others say and think

I seem to live my life in fear of what other people will say or think about me. Why? This is ridiculous, yet my decisions are clearly influenced by it.

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” - Richard Feynman

Related: - 107.011 Philosophy - Stoicism - You cannot hurt me - 116.015 Life Lessons - Don’t wait for anybody. Just do your thing. They will understand. - 116.011 Life Lessons - Be different. Set yourself apart

Don’t try to do everything yourself

I have a tendency to try and do everything myself. I’m lucky to be smart and talented, but I need to outsource the things I’m not so good at, don’t want to do, don’t have time to do, or simply don’t make financial sense.

I am often guilty of trying to do everything just because I can. I pay the price in several ways. I sacrifice something else I could (and should) have been doing. I don’t do as good of a job as somebody who is better than me. I don’t enjoy the task very much.

I need to be better at asking people to do things for me.

“Asking others who are strong in areas where you are weak to help you is a great skill that you should develop no matter what, as it will help you develop guardrails that will prevent you from doing what you shouldn’t be doing.” – Ray Dalio

Related: - 116.054 Life Lessons - Ask for help

Keep it simple

It is hard but important to make something simple. Especially when that thing is difficult and complex.

I am constantly getting overwhelmed by “too much”. I commit to too many things, am curious about too many things, expect too much, want too much. It’s HARD to be simple when the world is so abundant and life is so short…

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - Leonardo da Vinci

“In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness” - Yvon Chouinard - founder of Patagonia

“I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter” - Blaise Pascal

Related: - 116.072 Life Lessons - Simple is better - always - 116.043 Life Lessons - Live as if you were already living for the second time - 116.041 Life Lessons - When it counts is BEFORE all hell breaks loose