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Reading/Study Notes 5.18.18

Resource: Understanding Bitcoin’s Real Value
Link: https://fee.org/articles/understanding-bitcoins-real-value/

Quotes:

“Fortunes are bound to be made as cryptocurrencies become more widespread media of exchange. However, it’s unlikely that ordinary investors like you and me will see the three- and four-digit returns that have grabbed headlines. As consumers, we will benefit from cryptocurrencies, but those who speculate should be ready to get burnt.”

“To most people, Bitcoin is a volatile asset. But its use and function is as a payments system. The revolutionary potential of Bitcoin is not as a speculative vehicle, and if you think it is, I have a tulip to sell you—but as a means of exchange without an intermediary.”

“Like fiat currency, bitcoins represent the value being exchanged, but they are also the reward to other users in the network (called ‘miners’) who help to validate the transaction. Miners are the reason Bitcoin can be PayPal without PayPal. The contribution of Bitcoin, in short, is to remove the intermediary without undermining trust in the network.”

Resource: “Work Your FACE OFF For The Next 24 Months” – Gary Vaynerchuk | Motivational Talk
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8vZraOLcgM

Quotes:

“Work your face off for the next year and get yourself out of debt. Take all the jobs, do all the things, punt everything leisure right now. Do that. That’s just a good idea.”

“One year is nothing…One year goes real fast….Eat that crow for one year. Period. No doubt.”

“24 months of eating shit to enjoy caviar for the rest of your life….The best way to do it is to go extreme. You’re never promised tomorrow. When you can do something, do it. Crush the next 24 months.”

“Attack. Attack. Don’t watch a single thing. Don’t go anywhere. Work for 24 months. You will win.”

“What do you like when you’re not working? Build a business around that…like what do you.”

“‘Do shit’ is the answer.”

Reflections:

Gary’s message of “Eat shit now and enjoy the freedom it creates later” is a really difficult one for some people to accept because they suffer from a fear of missing out or a fear of regretting never having had fun with their youth. But as Gary says, one year is not a lot of time. One year is nothing if you’re worried about missing all the fun, but it’s a lot of you’re passionate about using time to improve your life.

Resource: “Don’t Be Afraid To Eat S**T“ – Gary Vaynerchuk 2018 | Motivational Speech
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tHjgash31E

Quotes:

On how you can create your dream job while you’re working a job you don’t like:

“Be Clark Kent and be Superman after hours. You’re gonna have to find a different place to scratch in order to achieve that…Take the upside of what you’re doing in the class as all gravy instead of half-empty. And then spend all your energy post-game in a place that doesn’t get you fired…create another environment where you can scratch even more of that itch…I’m eating shit right now because I know what I want to achieve on my death bed. You should do the same, but you need to reconcile that truth instead of being romantic…”

On dealing with setbacks

“To be very honest with you, I’ll give you the answer: You have no choice. What’s the alternative. When you have a setback, are you gonna sit there and say it was your granddad and your dad? you know that’s not true…So just practice. I just kept practicing blaming myself for everything. Now I just default into it. I genuinely believe everything’s my fault. I think it’s drizzling today because of me. I think you have no choice, brother.”

Reflections:

You can’t wait for the perfect lifestyle or schedule to pursue the things you want. You have to create what you want alongside the presence of things you don’t want. Something you have to create your way out of a crappy situation. That means you have to create in the midst of the crap. You have to create through the crap. You can’t wait for the crap to disappear.

Take responsibility for everything. This is what great athletes do when their team loses. They don’t throw their team members under the bus. They don’t say “I did everything I can, but now I just need my teammates to step up.” They say things like “I have to get better as a leader. I have to improve. It’s on me.” This isn’t about self-blame, self-condemnation, self-pity, or self-loathing. It’s about realizing that no one is capable of making what you want happen but you. It’s about taking ownership of the results you want to create because you accept the fact that no one else is going to do that for you.

Resource: The Ultimate College Graduation Speech | A Gary Vaynerchuk Original
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kalGB5Tyjk

Quotes:

“That’s okay. Most people don’t. You shouldn’t be stressed about that.”

You’ve gotta get out of that rhythm. You’ve gotta get into real life rhythm.

“Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not coming easy yet. You have to decompose from that environment.”

“Everybody’s judging themselves way too early. What I would do is gather as many experiences as possible. You’re not lost in life,
you’re just early in the process. You’re lost by other people’s standards, not by your actual, if you actually took it practically, you haven’t even started. Too many people view post-University as like, oh this is now real and I’m lost. They don’t put it in the context of being alive for a hundred years and realizing they’re only 20 percent of the way done. I’m scared that you don’t realize that you’re entering the greatest five-year window of your life. If you are 22 years old, and graduating from college, if you’re 22 years old and not graduating from college, if you are 22 years old, you are entering, first of all, some of the greatest years of your life, A, but B, this is the moment. This next five year window is when you don’t go practical and safe. You’ve got to try stuff. The biggest reason you don’t know what you want to do is you haven’t tasted enough things, and the biggest reason you’re not tasting enough things is you’re worried about finding it too fast. How old are you? 23. You can literally do nothing for the next eight years and be a child. But you don’t think that. Because when you’re 22 you don’t think 31 is young. But it is.”

“You need to stop giving a *%$# about what anybody else has and realize that if you put your head down and just work for the next 10 years. No glamour, no new car, suitcase, jewelry, trip, event, no Coachella, no new sneakers. Work, you will have it! And every time you care about one of the things. I just mentioned, it will slow down your process of having it.”

“Wrap your head around not giving a $%&* about any advancement, ’til you’re 29, but then every day trying to get better, you will win. Just close your eyes until you’re 29. The number one reason I push patience is ’cause patience will give you the air cover to take risks. You’ve got plenty of time to do it all. And yeah, it’s gonna take a lot of hard work to do the insanity you want. But that’s what I would tell myself. That you will not believe how young you will feel at 40. This is the time to realize that you have a five year window. And it’s three for some, it’s eight for others, but there’s a five year window for you to attack the life that you want to win.”

Reflections:

One of the greatest illusions of youth is the idea that turning 30 or 35 or 40 marks some kind of expiration date on living freely, or having fun, or pursuing adventures, or anything significant. When you’re young, you’re so susceptible to the very picture of the world that advertisers and hollywood movies are constantly painting for you: If you don’t act now, you’re going to miss out. So everyone is afraid that they’re going to wake up in 2-3 years and they’ll be a disgruntled 50 year old who hates his/her life. But when you’re older, you actually crave fun, relaxation, and adventure more.

Resource: The difference between time and money
Link: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2018/05/the-difference-between-time-and-money.html

Quotes:

“You can’t save up time. You can’t refuse to spend it. You can’t set it aside. Either you’re spending your time. Or your time is spending you.”

Reflections:

Time offers no neutrality. Unlike material possessions, you can’t hold on to it. You’re always spending it, investing it, or wasting it. The question is not “Will I do something with my time?” The questions is “Will I do something that’s worth my time?”

Resource: The triumph of everyday design
Link: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2018/05/the-triumph-of-everyday-design.html

Quotes:

“Luxury goods used to be better. Better than the alternatives.

“The best-made clothing, the best saddle, the most reliable luggage. The top of the market was the place people who cared needed to go to buy something that had the highest performance. Today, though, a Toyota is a better car than a Bentley. More efficient, more reliable. The Vertus phone was a joke, and no one needs a $200 mouse when a $9 one is faster and easier to use.”

“As materials have gotten cheaper and easier to find, it’s design that matters. And the market is demanding better design–which is easy to copy and easy to improve. Expensive is not the relevant metric, utility is.”

Reflection:

Avoid the trap of equating fancy/elaborate with useful. Users care about usefulness. Don’t design for the designer. Design for the user.

Resource: The problem with forced rankings
Link: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2018/05/the-problem-with-forced-rankings.html

Quotes:

“What’s the best college in the US? What about the best car? Best stereo speakers? Best pizza? The answer is always the same: It depends. People hate that. “It depends” puts you on the hook, requires you to have priorities and a point of view. A forced ranking is freeing. It tells you exactly what to expect, and if things don’t work out, well, blame the system. A forced ranking brings status along with it, because, apparently, if you care enough or are rich enough to have the best, then you must be the best.”

“If you want to study aeronautical engineering, Harvard isn’t going to be a good choice. If you’re gluten-free or diabetic, that pizza place might not work out so well for you. And if your definition of a good car includes safety, fuel efficiency or the ability to move your family around, that McLaren isn’t going to make you happy. Forced rankings abandon multiple variables, and they magnify differences that aren’t statistically significant. “Well, there has to be one winner,” they say, but of course, this isn’t true. It’s not a linear race, and the very concept of a single winner is forced.”

“High rankings do more than distort the behavior of those that seek to move up. High rankings attract the sort of people who don’t want to discover their own ‘best’. Who want to be around others that care about high rankings. Who will run to the next high rank the moment the world changes. And those that are attracted to the winner of a forced ranking change the very tenor of the place they chose. So now, that restaurant that used to be special is merely crowded. Now the company that only keeps its top performers is a horrible place to work. The biggest problem with a forced ranking is that it’s forced.”

Reflection:

Sometimes we use ranking systems as a way to hide or as a way to outsource responsibility. “What’s the best X?” is usually a meaningless question because you can’t find out what’s right for you by searching through lists like “The Top Cities to Live in” or “The Top Schools to Attend.” Focus on things like your priorities, your tolerance for risk, principles, preferences, personality, etc. instead of obsessing over the illusion of an objectively right decision.

Resource: Easier said than done
Link: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2018/05/easier-said-than-done.html

Quote:

“But at least you said it. It’s a mistake to hesitate on the saying part. Because if you don’t say it, it’s unlikely to get done. Dreams, goals and projects don’t require a likelihood of success merely to be discussed.”

Reflections:

Naming your goals is not a sufficient condition for success, but it’s a necessary one. If you want something, you need to get to a point where you can freely admit this to yourself and others. And you don’t need a guarantee that you’ll be successful in order to talk about what you want.

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