Ten big ideas

Brent Beshore writes on Twitter: “Recently asked, ‘What are the ten biggest ideas that changed your life?’ Great/hard question. Here’s where I landed…” And here’s what Brent shared, which I’m copying here in case he deletes his Twitter at some point:

1) Imago Dei: Every person is inherently valuable independent of behavior and beliefs. Everyone matters. Treat people accordingly, without exception.

2) Rationality: In the moment, people act rationally, always. The question is what information, preferences, time horizon, and biases came into play? Removes ability to write-off people/behavior. Forces learning and empathy.

3) Meaningful = Hard: If something worthwhile appears easy, it means I got lucky. Or, I’ve never done it. Crucial to setting opportunity costs, evoking gratitude, suppressing envy, and cheering others on.

4) Base Rate: The average of how others do is the mostly likely indicator of my future performance. I want to get into situations where the base rate is attractive.

5) Messy: Life is messy. People are messy. Business is messy. Relationships are messy. I’m messy. Messiness should never be surprising. Give myself and others grace.

6) Margin of Safety/Redundancy: Stuff happens. Expect it and be prepared. Applies to virtually every area of life and far beyond investing — engineering, organizational operations, relationships, health, personal finances, etc.

7) Serving vs. Served: The great paradox of life is self-sacrificial service. More I give, with no expectation of reciprocity, the better life goes for others and me. Counterintuitive and countercultural.

8) Non-Linearity: I expect orderly, sequential outcomes. I get compounding, with unexpectedly positive and negative outcomes. Expect the unexpected. Get better at ball-parking nonlinear results.

9) Forgotten: In 100 years, no one will know my name. And certainly, no one will know me and I won’t know them. Living for fame and recognition is like chasing the wind. I try re-read Ecclesiastes monthly.

10) Invert: Avoiding failure is a heck of a lot easier than trying to be successful. Understand predictable points of failure (probability + magnitude) and plan against them. And don’t worry, failure will still come often.

Good list.