The center of all possible advice funnels into the skill of how you spend your time. In practice, how you make decisions and control your feelings. Ultimately, how you nudge the future and experience your life.
Think only about ideas that steer your life in a better direction (learn/enjoy/accomplish). Thinking about anything that does not is a waste of time.
Prefer things that continue to be useful even after plans and circumstances change.
This is an important part of purchasing wisdom.
Stay careful. Something can go wrong at anytime.
Current Task Awareness
Routinely question (every 1min, 5min, or 30min) what you are currently doing in terms of its:
- expected completion time
- current productivity relative to past productivity and target productivity
- alternative approaches to thinking/performing the task
- importance- in what way does it progress you towards your goals
- opportunity cost against alternative tasks
Prefer decisions with reversible consequences.
Spend more time thinking and getting feedback on more important decisions.
Possibility Over Probability
High-stakes situations require preparation for all possibilities, not just the likely probabilities.
Correct X for Y
Use the correct tools for the job. Use the correct parts for the job. Assign the correct people for the project/task. Consider the correct approach to the problem. Consider the correct idea for the question. Think from the correct perspective for the situation. Establish the correct design for the application.
Fully leverage existing resources, especially non-consumables such as durable tools and skills.
Communicate what you want. Plan and agree to what should happen when something goes wrong, before something goes wrong.
Finish what you start, start only what you will finish, and stop what is not worth finishing.
Routinely seek a better outcome or process.
Stay sharp enough to cut through weak ideas. Stay soft enough to absorb unfamiliar truths.
Be able to actually do what you know is the best path.
Perform every task with quality and speed, striving to do the best you can with the time you have.
Learn with purpose, towards some fundamental combination of mental satisfaction and valuable action. Decide which beliefs you are happy to hold or driven to refine.
Master the basics. Deep knowledge is rooted in the truest understanding of the most elementary ideas.
Skill growth can occur in small steps.
Master skills enough to perform superbly with ease.
Learn ideas deeply enough to be able to think about their conceptual and numerical approximations naturally.
Know what truly causes what. Seemingly small decisions can have actually big consequences and seemingly big decisions can have actually small consequences.
Do it right the first time. Avoid the frustration and sunk cost of incurring even a single major problem.
Set up your tasks to be easier to do and they are more likely to get done.
Move cautiously to avoid unintended injuries and damage. Slowly signal your action before committing fully.
Act at the right time and in the right order.
Try one before committing to more.
Do many at once. Leverage economies of scale. Accomplish many goals in one smooth sequence.
Sometimes it is easier to determine the better of two than the quality of one. Sometimes it is easier to determine the quality of one than the better of two.
Truth and Preparation
Truth is reality in its past, present, and future. What has been, what is, what could be, and what will be. The world's continuous transition from its now-state to its next-state as structured by the complex patterns of cause-and-effect. A perfectly accurate understanding of change at any scale or perspective.
Truth is balanced between its cost and the complex nature of its guidance. Truths cost time (to read/watch/listen/think) that weighs against their value. With clarity, ideals settle for possibilities. With realism, ideals ground to the specific experiences of all entities across all time. With accuracy, a clear and specific intent maps correctly to its thread of present-to-future.
Preparation is the completion of good truths. Perfect truth and logic certainly yields the best path, yet, in practice, the truth is learned in incomplete pieces. Incomplete truths open the possibility of being misled by the truth, even with perfect logic; therefore a useful classification is that good truths improve your path, bad truths worsen your path, and irrelevant truths make no difference, while non-truths can go either way. Because some combination of good truths can point to the same decision as knowing the perfect truth, reaching such best-decision equivalence with only a fraction of the perfect truth can be considered "the completion of good truths". Ideally, this completion is efficient as possible with the easiest, fastest, smallest set of good truths.