Know Which Game You’re Playing

“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. There must be some wisdom in the folk saying, `It’s the strong swimmers who drown.”

Charlie Munger

There are two fundamental strategies for how to play a game. The first one is to beat the other player by actively scoring points. The second is to avoid losing points and waiting for the other to make mistakes.

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Don’t Overcomplicate Things

We desperately seem to want things to be complicated.

How do I lose weight? Is it by eating at the right time or the right macronutrient combination, exercising right before a meal, and doing some pushups while drinking at least two liters of water each day and supplementing with some pills and detox smoothies? Or is it by eating fewer calories than I use each day?

The path to the most common goals such as health, wealth, and loving relationships is fairly clear and reflected in the consistency of fundamental advice in each of those areas. For example in finance: spend less than you earn. What about business? Create something enough people value at a price that sustains it and then some. People agree widely on the fundamental things one has to do to reach these common goals. But people don’t agree on the details, the hacks, and shortcuts they believe bring you there faster.

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Locus of Control

“It is man’s duty to live in conformity with the divine will, and this means, firstly, bringing his life into line with ‘nature’s laws’, and secondly, resigning himself completely and uncomplainingly to whatever fate may send him.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

A core principle in the stoic philosophy is to focus on what you can control and accept the rest.

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See Things for What They Are

There is nothing more important than understanding how reality works and how to deal with it.

Ray Dalio, Principles

Whatever you want to do in life it’s bounded by reality. You can challenge what’s thought to be impossible and reach for the stars, but ultimately, dreams and ideals are only as good as they are rooted in solid ground. Unfortunately, seeing things for what they are is not as simple as it sounds. Reality is often too complex for us to comprehend and we need a sound process to understand it better.

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