Playing The Right Games
Oct 13, 2021 4:31 pm
Thanks for joining me. It's been awhile now since I've last sent out a post. Part of that comes from realising that a constant cadence might be useful for myself but not so much for you - sometimes there isn't that many items of value then I can share. Another part comes from getting busy with life. I've been fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity that would send me down an entirely different career track, and that's something I've been giving a lot of thought to.
But for now, here's what you guys came for.
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Are You Playing to Play, or Playing to Win?: "A scrub is not just a bad player. Everyone needs time to learn a game and get to a point where they know what they're doing. The scrub mentality is to be so shackled by self-imposed handicaps as to never have any hope of being truly good at a game. You can practice forever, but if you can't get over these common hangups, in a sense you've lost before you even started. You've lost before you even picked which game to play. You aren't playing to win."
This might be one of the most practical pieces I've read yet. Many of us operate with invisible scripts - things that we believe we need to do even though it's not written anywhere - and make life more difficult than it really is. One way to think about this is asking the Tim Ferris question - what would this look like if it were easy? Chances are that you'll have to dispose of the invisible scripts you're holding onto, or what Cedric Chin here calls the "Scrub Mentality".
What We Actually Want Out of Management: "My favourite managers have been actual producers who also manage - and this is a crucial point because the core problem with a lot of managers is that they lead by hierarchy rather than example. The vast majority of the problematic managers I’ve had and have heard about have not seemed to produce any work product themselves - they rule from above, never truly suffering with their team other than to start assigning blame."
What Doesn't Seem Like Work: "The stranger your tastes seem to other people, the stronger evidence they probably are of what you should do. When I was in college I used to write papers for my friends. It was quite interesting to write a paper for a class I wasn't taking. Plus they were always so relieved."
I've spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of career I would be most suited for in the past few months. This short essay from Paul Graham has been nothing but helpful, and I imagine answering this same question of what doesn't seem like work would be useful to those in my shoes as well.
History's Seductive Beliefs: "My deepest forecasting belief is that you can better understand the future if you focus on the behaviors that never change instead of the events that might. And those behaviors have a common denominator: They follow the path of least resistance of people trying to simplify a complex world into a few stories that make sense and make them feel good about themselves."
More short lessons from Morgan Housel, all of which are timeless.
As usual, let me know what you think.