Newsletter 75: 31 tweets from mentors I never met
It’s my 31st birthday.
I am getting old.
It’s my 31st birthday. Given how much I have been writing lately, it feels right to document some of my learnings so far in life.
Given that I probably won’t share anything new, here you go, my favorite tweets from mentors I never met.
That’s my birthday present to all of you.
1. Fall in love with writing
My best decision of the past two years has been to write consistently. It helps you get clarity of thought. Nurture relationships. Attract like-minded people. Learn, and build portfolios in new fields.
2. Nurture your curiosity
I believe it all starts with curiosity. If I was not curious 11 years ago, I would have never left my home country, studied abroad, traveled the world, and reached where I am today.
3. Work hard to make something appear effortless
There is a lot of talk about working smart instead of hard. However, to learn to work smart, you have to work hard first.
4. It’s okay to look stupid
Dan Luu @danluuWillingness to look stupid https://t.co/0WrVAzLQ6g https://t.co/6NjysMwbch
We are often scared not to appear “stupid.” But how can you understand the foundations of a new field if you do not ask stupid questions?
5. Planning is underrated
As the saying goes, “strong opinions, loosely held.” Always plan but embrace how things rarely unfold in accordance with our plans.
6. Surround yourself with great people but be ready to pay the price
If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.
7. Learn to listen before you speak
It’s a hard to shut up and listen but we all can do it. It does not require any education, just patience, presentism, and empathy.
8. Start with full-stack projects
Nothing accelerates learning like having skin in the game and accountability. Take ownership of a project. Launch a side hustle. It will pay back asymmetric dividends over time.
9. Study mental models
Mental models are frameworks for thinking. I have written on the topic multiple times, and each time I felt like I understood the world better (e.g., luck vs. hard work, first principles, and liquid knowledge).
10. The map is not the terrain
Never trust people who brag too much. We all face hardships. It’s unreasonable to believe someone has it all sorted out.
11. Have a strong bias for action
The best people I have met have an extreme bias for action.
12. Struggle leads to greatness
As per Nassim Taleb’s book Antifragile, you need to become the kind of person that gets stronger from hardships. Not the other way around.
13. Find your gardening
Everything sustainable in life takes time. So take your time to find which marathon you want to run, and then enjoy the journey.
14. Solve a big problem = build a great business
Be happy whenever something frustrates you and you cannot find a good enough solution. You have stumbled on a startup opportunity.
15. Pay forward
The best relationships are built when you propose to deliver value. Unconditionally. The more selfless the offer, the better relationship you will create.
16. It’s okay not to have an opinion
Too often, we try to share an opinion when we have half-baked ideas in our heads. Learn to study a topic attentively before expressing strong opinions.
17. Seek wealth, not status
Where you stand in the social hierarchy is secondary to your wealth. I personally avoid optimizing for status. Status is a zero-sum game; for one to win, another has to lose. Whereas growing your wealth does not take from anyone else.
18. Fire fast and hire slow
This applies to personal relationships too. If someone is toxic, let them go fast.
19. Everything has trade-offs
The more you know, the better you understand how little you know.
20. Help yourself first before you help others
When you board a plane, you are told how, in the case of an emergency, you need to help yourself first. That logic applies to your personal growth and wealth too.
21. Be there for your friends
Starting anything new is hard, for some people even terrifying. If your friend is starting something new, be there for them, they will remember it for life.
22. Direction matters more than speed
Moving to tech has been one of the best decisions of my life. Choose an industry that grows fast and attracts the smartest people you know.
23. Fall in love with solving problems
Andrew Gazdecki @agazdeckiFall in love with solving problems for your customers rather than making features at your startup.
Society will reward you for solving hard problems.
24. Read books that teach you how to think
Plenty of mediocre books out there. Be selective and find the good ones. As a general rule of thumb, if a book has survived the test of time it will most probably be good.
25. Lack of confidence kills more dreams than lack of ability
I am a firm believer that talent is secondary to determination. Confidence is a key ingredient we all need to have to succeed.
26. Having complete control is not necessarily a good thing
To land in the zone of growth, you have to give up on comfort.
27. The story we tell ourselves matters
Reflecting on your personal narrative is important. Be careful how you shape it, as it will have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
28. Learn to sell. Learn to build
When speaking of sales Naval covers content creation, recruitment, fundraising, and a lot of other forms of communication. If you cannot master both selling and building, then become world-class in one of them.
29. Expect more from yourself and less from others
It’s easy to blame others, instead focus on what you could have done better.
30. Be selectively ignorant
I do not watch TV, have unfollowed a ton of people, and avoid events/projects that drain my energy. The more I become selectively ignorant, the happier I am.
31. Make highly asymmetric bets with your career
In my case, that moment in time was pivoting to tech and starting companies. My upside is uncapped, whereas there is a limited downside. I am getting paid to work on my dreams, in the process building friends for life.
I hope you enjoyed the tweets I curated! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.