Commonplace

A list of aphorisms and quotes that I find true and powerful.
2022-07-14 – ⁠2022-08-12 in progress
⁠certainty: log ⁠importance: 7

Entries

Character

Integrity is when what you think and what you say and what you do are one. ~ Naval Ravikant

Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your reputation. Be not apt to relate news, if you know not the truth thereof. Speak no evil of the absent, for it is unjust. Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise. There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth, and pursue it steadily. Nothing but harmony, honesty, industry and frugality are necessary to make us a great and happy nation. ~ George Washington

A man is about as big as the things that make him angry. ~ Winston Churchill

Do what’s right, not what’s easy.

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”  ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Having anger and resentment toward others is like picking up a hot coal to throw at them. ~ Buddhaghosa

He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch. ~ Jean-Luc Godard

Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong. Not because someone is watching, but because you are. Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know. ~ Naval Ravikant

Doing

If you have a 10-year plan of how to get somewhere, you should ask: Why can’t you do this in 6 months? ~ Peter Thiel

Do less but better.

Do the things that only you can do.

Always prioritize across two dimensions: urgent vs important.

Do without doing. ~ Tao Te Ching

Editing

Anything can be cut. ~ Michael Schur

The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready. It goes because it’s 11:30pm. ~ Someone at SNL’s

Always review your output.

Focus

John Wick is a man of focus, commitment, and sheer fucking will. ~ (John Wick’s enemies)

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced. ~ Swami Vivekananda

Constraints are liberating.

Investing

He who turns over the most rocks wins. ~ Peter Lynch

Deliberate practice, pattern recognition with quality reps.

My largest positions aren’t the ones I think I’m going to make the most money from. My largest positions are the ones where I don’t think I’m going to lose money. ~ Joel Greenblatt

Cravings (greed) make it harder to think straight.

The only way to hold onto a big position after it makes a big move is to know the underlying company better than anyone else. ~ Ian Cassel

I’ve experienced this first hand several times (e.g. $GROW during Oct, 2020).

My worst enemies are impatience and boredom.

Successful investing character traits go against what we’re wired to do.

Successful investors can differentiate business performance from stock performance and can take advantage of those investors who can’t.

Signal vs noise.

If you can’t sleep at night because of your stock market position, then you have gone too far. If this is the case, then sell your position down to the sleeping level. ~ Jesse Livermore

Trust your intuition.

To be a disciplined investor you have to be willing to stand by and watch other people make money on things that you passed on. ~ Howard Marks

Diversification is protection against ignorance ~ Warren Buffett

Laziness takes you out of this game, but don’t fool yourself and don’t risk ruin. Also diversification is imprecise (10-12?, 100s, 14001).

The goal of investment is to find situations where it is safe not to diversify. ~ Munger

Margin of safety.

During a gold rush, sell shovels

If there is a chip shortage (2021), don’t buy companies that depend on chips, buy companies that produce them.

Don’t waste time having an opinion on every company. It’s a distraction. You only have to be right on what you own. ~ Ian Cassel

But at least put the time to understand why you have no opinion (“He who turns over the most rocks wins.”). Pabrai does this with a checklist optimized to say “no” asap.

Learning

[…] the way to learn the most is […] when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes. ~ A. Einstein

If you can’t explain it, you don’t understand it. 2

Mastery

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. ~ Bruce Lee

There’s a reset button at every level. Meaning you can be the best in class. And when you go to the next level you’re then at the bottom. And the difference between amateurism and professionalism is you have people looking after you and holding your hand as an amateur. Professionally, no one does. … What matters is, what you do and how you apply yourself consistently. ~ Paul Rabil

Charlatans complicate. People who actually know what they’re doing take the complex and make it simple and actionable.

Focus on what actually matters. Do that well… over and over again.

Action does not lead to perfection; perfection is expressed in action. As long as you judge yourself by your expressions, give them utmost attention, when you realize your own being, your behavior will be perfect- spontaneously. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Misc

My attention determines my reality.3 ~ Juan Alonso

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. ~ James Clear

The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t. ~ Joshua Becker

Be so valuable that you never have to ask for compensation. ~ @AscendantPower

Luxury, to me, is feeling unrushed. No hurry, no pause. ~ Tim Ferris

Hope is not a strategy.

Being poor is expensive.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will always remember how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou

Motivation

When the end is unknown and the distance is unknown that is when you know who the F you are. ~ David Goggins

If your path demands you walk through hell, walk as if you own the place (samurai pic).

Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.

Philosophy

Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. ~ Yoda

Play

Play is the highest form of research. ~ Albert Einstein

The opposite of play is not work, it’s depression. ~ Brian Sutton-Smith

Play is the work of the child. ~ Maria Montessori

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. ~ Plato

Thinking

Anything is possible. It’s the probabilities that matter. Everything must be weighed in terms of its likelihood and prioritized. ~ Ray Dalio

Wisdom

Wisdom is nothing more profound than the ability to follow your own advice. ~ SH

Footnotes


  1. https://homeweb.csulb.edu/~pammerma/fin382/screener/lynch.htm ↩︎

  2. But you don’t need to understand digestion to benefit from it, and a dancer doesn’t need to intellectually understand how dancing works to be world-class. ↩︎

  3. This idea came to me during my first ten days Vipassana retreat↩︎