thoughts around what’s worth doing, fixing faulty thinking, and making things happen
I took my time reading this intentionally and unintentionally. I pre-ordered the ebook when it came out last summer and started reading a bit at a time, but Kindle hardware makes it really hard to access books you didn’t buy through Amazon’s website, so I forgot about it for a while. Then the hardcover came and I started reading it chunk by chunk with a pencil in hand.
Sivers writes these very concise essays that beautifully get to the point in a page, page and a half. That takes skill, to distill lessons and storytelling to such short clips, yet still have valuable things to say, not just aphorisms or repeating the same old thing.
I admire the philosophy behind the book: it is designed for maximum sharing. He sells it for a one-time content charge, then only charges cost on any future paper copies you buy. Each essay in the book includes a short URL so you can share individual essays.
I might have put some of the essays in a different order, myself, to keep similar topics directly adjacent, but many pieces did complement each other well.
Key messages to remember:
- “Your actions show what you really want. There are two smart reactions to this: 1. Stop lying to yourself, and admit your real priorities. 2. Start doing what you say you want to do, and see if it’s really true.”
- Why are you doing? “Whatever you decide, you need to optimize for that goal, and be willing to let go of the others.”
- “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
- “The world treats you as you treat yourself… You won’t act differently until you think of yourself differently.”
- “Do almost nothing. But the things you do, do them all the way.”
- “Everybody’s ideas seem obvious to them.”
- “Each half of your life [stability and creativity] becomes a remedy for the other… If you don’t progress and challenge yourself creatively it won’t satisfy the balance.”
- “It’s easy to think I need something else. It’s hard to look instead at what to remove.”
- “To make a change, most people don’t do enough.”
- “Judge a goal by how well it changes your actions in the present moment.”