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Stop Playing Small Games
Mental Models For Startups #4
"We build our lives on the hope for tomorrow, yet tomorrow brings us closer to death and is the ultimate enemy"
— Albert Camus
It’s that thought you don’t want to think about.
Most of us are terrible at spending our time.
We tend to underestimate the time it takes to get something done.
We subconsciously choose easier and more pleasurable things to do instead of hard, but important ones.
We avoid complicated things, conflict situations, or things that require emotional labour.
All this leads to missing out on our full potential.
Most people don’t make the impact they can.
“The only trouble is that they do it about a great many things and I do it about one. If they took the time in question and applied it in one direction, to one object, they would succeed.”
— Thomas Edison
The reason we spend our time recklessly is simple.
We don’t value our time enough.
We don’t think of how much time we have, we don’t think too much about the limits of our existence. We postpone important things, we don’t say the things we should say, because there’s still plenty of time, is there?
“It kind of feels like our lives are made up of a countless number of weeks. But there they are — fully countable — staring you in the face.”
Nobody is excited to think about their own mortality. “I’ll think of it later, what’s the urgency, right?”
Thinking about death will help us to understand the one most important thing about time.
Time is the ultimate non-renewable currency.
Yes, time is a currency which we’re spending and that we can’t get back. We can exchange our time for currency, as in “getting paid for a job” and likewise we can exchange money for time, so that can spend the time better or with a bigger impact.
But the best way to get more time is to say “no” to things that don’t matter.
You’re Gonna Die
3 words of inspiration. That’s all you need.
— GaryVee (video)
Here are a few practical methods for maximizing the impact of your time.
Set a ridiculous price per hour for yourself
Set the value of your time at $1000 per hour or more. Now think about how you should best invest your time.
Keep reminding yourself about your price tag before switching tasks during the day.
This mental model will shift your perspective in such a way that it will become easier to say “no” to things that don’t matter.
Regret minimization framework
This one is famously originated from Jeff Bezos when he left a great career to start an internet book shop.
The idea is that when you’re at the end of your life’s journey - would you regret doing or not doing a certain thing.
“I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, ‘OK, I’m looking back on my life. I want to minimise the number of regrets I have.’ And I knew that when I was 80, I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that. But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day.”
― Jeff Bezos
Big Rocks First
This one is better explained in this video, which is pretty fun!
Don’t waste your time. Go do something big 🙌