23 June 2015

The days are long but the decades are short

Over and over my mind wanders back to this great post by Sam Altman. It’s a while since I turned 30 but I can honestly say that I wasn’t as clear thinking and had as much perspective as Sam seems to have.

Here are a couple of my favorite highlights:

On work: it’s difficult to do a great job on work you don’t care about. And it’s hard to be totally happy/fulfilled in life if you don’t like what you do for your work. Work very hard—a surprising number of people will be offended that you choose to work hard—but not so hard that the rest of your life passes you by. Aim to be the best in the world at whatever you do professionally. Even if you miss, you’ll probably end up in a pretty good place.

I always thought that it was mainly in Sweden people were offended by hard-working people (because of Jante) – but apparently it’s the same in the US. It’s fascinating and disturbing how much energy people can put into this.

On money: Whether or not money can buy happiness, it can buy freedom, and that’s a big deal. Also, lack of money is very stressful. In almost all ways, having enough money so that you don’t stress about paying rent does more to change your wellbeing than having enough money to buy your own jet. Making money is often more fun than spending it, though I personally have never regretted money I’ve spent on friends, new experiences, saving time, travel, and causes I believe in.

Love making money and love spoiling my wife.

Remember how intensely you loved your boyfriend/girlfriend when you were a teenager? Love him/her that intensely now. Remember how excited and happy you got about stuff as a kid? Get that excited and happy now.

This seems to be so obvious, yet it’s so hard to live by day-to-day.

Be grateful and keep problems in perspective. Don’t complain too much. Don’t hate other people’s success (but remember that some people will hate your success, and you have to learn to ignore it).

See above.