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Correcting Your Course, Maximizing People, & Getting Specific (Reading Notes 8.4.18)

Resource: The Wrong Bus


Beware the sunk cost fallacy. “But I already spent time, money, or energy on X” isn’t a good reason for continuing to do X. If X is a bad decision, it only becomes a worst decision if you insist on defending it because of a past investment. If you want to get on the right back, you have break your attachment to the wrong path.


“Your first mistake was getting on the A53 bus, the one that goes crosstown instead of to where you’re going. Mistakes like this happen all the time. The big mistake, though, the one that will cost you, is staying on that bus.”

“I know it wasn’t easy to get on the bus. I know you got a seat. I know it’s getting dark outside. But you’re on the wrong bus, and staying on the wrong bus won’t make it the right bus.”

“If you really want to get where you set out to go, you’re going to have to get off the wrong bus.”

Resource: What gets maximized?

The purpose of an organization is to maximize people, not profits. When you consistently and effectively maximize people, the profits will follow.

The best part about maximizing people is that you can start doing it right now. It’s a permissionless process. You don’t need a credential or a company to be generous.


“The myth is that the only purpose of a company is to maximize profits. That’s a fiction, and a dangerous one. Organizations exist to make things better for people, not the other way around.”

“One reason that social entrepreneurship is a useful concept is that it announces the priorities from the start. Be profitable enough to grow, but put most of that profit to work serving your customers and their neighbors.”

“You don’t have to have a fancy label to build an organization that you’re proud of. You simply need to decide what you’re trying to accomplish, and then go do that.”

Resource: Be Specific


Specificity is the solution. Define your problem with definiteness and be specific about your desired outcome.

Instead of setting vague goals like “be a better person”, Identify one specific way you would like to see yourself become a better person. And so on.


“A life coach told me that most of his job is just helping people get specific. Once they turn a vague goal into a list of specific steps, it’s easy to take action.”

“It also makes you realize if something was a bad idea. Many things only sound nice in theory.”

“So do this for yourself. Take the time to get specific. It helps you and others to take action, and beats procrastination.”

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