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What are your individual guiding principles?

by | Oct 21, 2021

Every individual has a set of underlying principles that drive their worldview and how they face life on a daily basis. The following are mine:

Rational Optimism 

We struggle a lot to predict the future but we are so bad at it. When most people think of the future they fear it and unnecessarily worry too much about things that won’t happen. Both from an individual and global perspective, life gets better on average. This means that the future will often be better on average than most predictions. In the words of steve jobs:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. And that will make all the difference.”

– Steve Jobs commencement speech delivered at Stanford in 2005.

It’s always great to believe that the best is yet to come. This does not only give you peace of mind today but also makes you face the future with more hope and positivity.

Anti-fragility

Life is hard, stop complaining! You have to face life with the understanding that suffering is inevitable and that adversity will knock at your door back to back. So life is actually like a game of navigating through a range of challenging life events and circumstances. Once you assimilate this mentality, you learn from each adversity and become more and more mentally and emotionally resilient for the next tougher challenge. Don’t be a snowflake, you can’t be fragile each time you face a challenge. You have to become tougher and tougher as you consume each difficulty in life. It’s a life-transforming mindset. 

Polymathy 

One annoying and stupid thing that is common is how people draw a rigid upper limit to their level of intelligence and potential. Intelligence seen as something we are purely born with is false. What is more important for achieving anything, and I mean anything is – passion and perseverance. Psychologist Angela Duckworth describes this as Grit. Find the things that you are curious and motivated about and go slow and steady in learning them. One interesting thing is that curiosity and motivation can be fabricated mentally. It’s similar to how people fall in love with someone they did not initially love. You can become anything and you can learn anything thing given enough time and persistence. You should know at least 2-3 skills that can be individual careers and then creatively combine them to produce specific knowledge and skill set that sets you apart. Over-specialization is for insects. 

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