A fool only learns from his own mistakes. Better to learn from the mistakes of others.
Here is a compendium of mistakes that one should avoid, mostly inspired by reading this thread
1. Don’t continue a relationship without compatibility
One of life biggest traps is continuing a relationship with someone you are not compatible with.
Especially with the inertia of your 20’s, a relationship that should have lasted months, can last years.
Chemistry is always important. But it is not sufficient. Compatibility is required for a long term relationship.
- Similar values
- Similar socioeconomic status
- Similar world view (religion, atheism)
- Family compatibility
Yet time and time again, one sees people continuing relationships that are doomed to fail. If you continue this to having children, you are not only hurting your future, but the future lives of others.
Why do people stay and continue? Individual question, but a few themes were : fear of loneliness, inertia and attachment.
“Having kids because you think you’re supposed to. Not even putting any thought into bringing a child into the world but doing it “just because””
2. Fixed mindset
“The biggest trap is not working on your brain. People live their whole lives saying to themselves “nothings going to change, this is who i am”. Mostly out of laziness because changing for the better takes work.”
This one an obvious one. Recreation should involve some amount of lazing around, but also active creation. As Bill Waterson mentioned in his speech :' hutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery-it recharges by running.'
Strive to constantly seek novel experiences, learn about yourself and the world (the same thing) and seek joy. This is play .
“Keeping up with the Joneses. You’re not your neighbors, don’t go into debt trying to keep up. Let them go into debt trying to prove they’re better than you”
“Overextending yourself on a mortgage. Real estate is such a volatile market and before you know it you owe more than your house is worth. The “American Dream” can quickly turn into the American Nightmare”
Lifestyle creep will take joy out of your life. Keep your wants to a minimum.
This has been a recurring theme since early adulthood. I have the means to purchase whatever I want, yet often it did very little to alter quality of life.
The best things in life truly are ‘free’. A calm mind, a fit body, a house full of love (stolen from Naval). Better to avoid poverty, and then automate your finances so that you don’t think about the minor purchases.
I think about wealth in terms of ‘levels’.
- Level 1 : escaped debt
- Level 2 : Don’t look at the price of groceries
- Level 3: Don’t look at the price at restaurants
- Level 4: Don’t look at the price of holidays
- Level 5: Don’t look at the price of anything
Level 3 is a pretty high standard of living which most people don’t have the luxury of having. Be grateful.
Often to get to ‘level 4/5’, you have to make serious sacrifices. Better to escape poverty, and have buffer to spend when times get tough.
4. Drugs and addiction
Simple one. Not often your choice but a result of circumstances if you get sucked into addiction. Avoid.
5. Thinking you are above average
Statistically, you are likely below average. Bias your thinking to this. If you think you are already ‘good’, then there is no need to really no need to improve or put thought into an endeavour. Ego is the enemy.
The solution in the end is really not to include ‘yourself’ in it. Treat is as play.
6. A life of inattention
Delete instagram. Delete facebook. Delete tik tok. That’s the nuclear option.
Create > Consume
Sometimes, just sit and do nothing. Moderate hedonism is not a terrible thing. But hedonism with the goal to escape is a tragedy. Pay attention.
7. Working too hard
“Luck, connections, and socializing contribute most to success and wealth. Hard work can be overrated if not directed”
Once I’m a billionaire with six pack abs- then only can I stop.
At some level, I’m sorry, you’re going to have to accept that this all comes to an end and that you don’t really matter that much, and most things will crumble, and we are just continuing our inexorable march to the heat death of the universe.
So maybe it’s ok, if you stop working for a while. More importantly, clarify why you are working so hard. Is there any way you can get 80% of the results with 20% of the effort. Discard your protestant work ethic brain washing.