Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
What stirred?
In whose protection?
Was there water, bottlemlessly deep?
There was neither death nor immortality then.
There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day.
That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse.
Other than that there was nothing beyond.
Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning, with no distinguishing sign, all this was water.
The life force that was covered with emptiness, that One arose through the power of heat.
Desire came upon that One in the beginning, that was the first seed of mind.
Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom found the bond of existence and non-existence.
Their cord was extended across.
Was there below?
Was there above?
There were seed-placers, there were powers.
There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.
Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced?
Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has arisen perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not the One who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only He knows or perhaps even He does not know.

Rig Veda, Nasadiya (Creation Hymn)

Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long.

But a man cannot stand prepared for the approach of death if he has just begun to live. We must make it our aim already to have lived long enough.

Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

Physiological Needs


  • Did you eat breakfast, vegetables and fruits?
  • Did you drink alcohol today? Why?


  • Did you exercise one hour today even if you were busy?
  • Lift weights the more weight you can lift the more mental weight you can also lift.
  • Did you spend some time outside in a green space?



  • Do you have good relationships outside of your work?
  • Do you have an activity that you do for fun without any expectations of return?

Safety and Security

Love and Belonging



It is interesting that a put together clean person is considered more effective than a slob.

Action Grid

1Maslow’s Hierarchy of NeedsMaslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a pyramid with five rungs starting with the top being Self-Actualization, Esteem, Love/Belonging, Safety, and Physiological. Before you can get to the Self-Actualization step, you must ensure that the lower levels of the hierarchy are being addresses. It is hard to attain Self-Realization if you are going hungry.Exercise / Food / SleepMake sure you are getting enough good food and exercise. The food you eat powers the brain and body, and exercise helps the brain think better. Furthermore, get a solid 8 hours of sleep a night. No buts or ifs, rest is a superpower.FinanceLiving paycheck to paycheck is not sufficient long term, and the mental burden of finance can limit your ability to advance. Debt and financial insecurity do a lot to limit our growth as it prevents us from pursuing what we want because we are tied to what pays the bills.RelationshipsHumans are social creatures so we need to be around people who love us and who we can love. Make sure you are around people that allow you to grow and curtail people from your life that don’t help you with your journey. The people we surround ourselves with affect our growth. Self-Realization / VisionWe need a “Why” to our life once the rest of the Hierarchy of Needs are met. This is what gets us up in the morning and how we Orient everything we do around.
Self-MasteryWithout power over yourself, you will not be able to exert power into the world. Once you have taken care of your Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs we need to become managers of our life. We need to setup realistic goals, create systems for self-improvement, reduce variability, reducing the realm of concern, and increase routine, and set ourselves up for success by going towards Self-Mastery.
Time ManagementSprintsPlan a day of the week for what you want to achieve the following week. The rest of the week should be attacking that plan. Creating a weekly plan of attack means you no longer need to decide but can act. DelegationAs you do more and more, you need to decide what you want to focus. Delegating tasks is an essential skill to grow and expand your capabilities. You get to focus on high-value stuff, and you can have someone take care of the other tasks.Time Off / VacationIt is essential that you have time off. Your brain is like a muscle. Your muscles need rest to recover after exercise and so does your mind after work. Have a definite start and end time for your day, and take the weekend to recharge by not working. Furthermore, a quarterly vacation away, even if it is a car ride away is good for your brain to recharge.ImpedimentsFigure out what things are holding you back. Impediments are the marble slab that you have to chisel away until you see David, i.e., attain your goal.KnowledgeCaptureCollect everything that strikes you even stupid ideas. These ideas need to just be taking out of your mind and put into a common system that you will organize once a week to get things done.Learn, Do, Advance, IterateLearning anything fast is a useful skill. You don’t have to become a world-class expert at most things to be effective. You need to go for the 80% that is most useful for you to know and be able to learn that fast.Hobbies / ProjectsHave hobbies and projects that are unrelated to what you for work. Get out of your comfort to do things that you have no expertise in such as martial art, dancing, music, gardening, etc.Influence and PowerDecide, Simplify, Execute, ValidateHave a quick and straightforward decision-making framework that also helps you verify that you made the right decision. In a world that is moving faster and faster, high throughput decisions are essential. But this also means being able to course correct quickly if a decision turns out to be a bad one.Conflict Resolution / NegotiationMost decisions and actions in life happen with other people. To do this effectively, you need to be able to resolve conflicts, address concerns and influence others to see your vision while also being respectful for their vision.FearFear prevents us from doing things, but it is when we have fear and take the appropriate action to move forward anyways that we grow. A big part of growth is understanding your fears and how those fears are holding you back and recognizing them when they appear.


Life is a Game. For better or worse, it is the only game that matters. The universe’s shuffle has given us the cards that we are dealt, but it does not mean we cannot get ourselves better cards and to win the game we choose to play. Like a good poker player, a good game does not require the best cards to win, you can win at the table you choose to play, and you can usually change your circumstances to play a different game at a different table. Playing the same losing game over and over again is madness, so we must improve ourselves, and play the game where we maximize our strength. The Game of Life is a game where we define our success and define our failure. A poor man can be happy if they have achieved what they want, a rich man can be sad if they have no purpose. The game you play isn’t defined by other people it is defined by you, and it is defined by the Actions you take.

The Game of Life doesn’t hope to answer all things. There are many specialized books on how to do any specific in depth, but it is to create a Grand Strategy for our Lives. This Grand Strategy requires addressing 5 Major Things: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Vision, Self-Mastery, Knowledge, Influence and Power, and Time Management. These Five Principles of Life allow us to address most anything that we choose to enter.

To address these Five Principles, we need a way to effectively make decisions, improve, and win. To do this we will be using The OODA Loop which was conceived by an Air Force Colonel John Boyd. The OODA Loop is a decision-making loop where you go through the cycle of Observe-Orient-Decide-Act. This decision-making loop was made to win in dogfights where you get inside of your opponent’s decision-making cycle, out maneuvering and winning. However, the OODA Loop is applicable to all aspects of life and a great way to think through how to approach most decision making.

This book won’t tell you what you need to address. I wrote this book because these were the most effective for me to improve and find fulfillment. It is important to constantly be working on all aspects of these things because without them we will be working without meaning. Further, when applying these principles don’t expect the world. We need to be realistic about our expectations of the game we play and we cannot want everything. To gain certain things we must be willing to compromise or give up on other things. To pursue any path requires the willingness to give up certain other paths. Furthermore, sometimes you need to step backwards to advance your position. Everything cannot be led by always advancing sometimes we need to retreat to fight another day.


The OODA Loop is how we will master all aspects of our Game. The OODA Loop is Observe->Orient->Decide->Act. Each step is required to move to the next and each will lead to the next iteration of the loop.


Observe in Life is accumulating all the information that you need. It is data collection, understanding where you are where you want to go and where you want to be. It is figuring out what is working, what isn’t working, what needs to be addressed and what needs to be done, what your lists of todos, what are you bucket lists, what are you preparing for and what are needing to address.


The Orient step is you take all that data and Orient it around your end Vision. It is here where you develop and focus you strategy and if certain things should be done or are better for other people to do. These are the important things that matter. Orientation is the most important because it is just as important to realize what to do as what not to do.


We can’t do everything at once and we need to focus our energy on a few things, focusing to improve the 80/20 and Inchworm to our destination. To do the following tasks we need to improve the following conditions. We need to figure out where we can create the most value and addressing that part of the market.


When you got skin in the game, you stay in the game but you don’t get a win unless you play in the game. Oh, you get love for it, you get hate for it. You get nothing if you wait for it – Hamilton the Musical

Most of our time should be acting. We need to act and do the tasks that lead to the Observations that will lead us to go through the Loop again. To do this we must be moving forward so we can see the mistakes, ideas, etc. that will lead to our Vision.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Why ask my birth, Diomedes? Very like leaves upon this earth are the generations of men old leaves, cast on the ground by wind, young leaves the greening forest bears when spring comes in. So mortals pass; one generation flowers even as another dies away. – Illiad
  • Before you can acheive to your full potential you need to have the lower levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs met.
  • Some people are lucky in that they get some of these lower tiers taken care of for them, but most of us have to work at it.
  • This book covers the Esteem and Self-actualization goals, but before we can get there we need to cover the other tiers that allow us to fulfill the other aspects that will allow us to get to where we want to go.

Basically this deals with the lower part of the pyramid

  • You need to have some semblance of this before you can move forward since if you don’t have your basic needs met then you will very much not have the energy to find self-actualization.
  • You need exercise
    • I struggle with this.
    • But I’m trying to get better. Even if it is 5 minutes.
  • You need food
  • You need good relationships with people close to you.
    • This doesn’t mean you have to make everyone happy.
    • But your friends should give you joy and help your also advance yourself.


For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years be behind us are in death’s hands.

No man can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it, or believes that living through many consulships is a great blessing. -Letters from a Stoic, by Seneca

  • Your brain will not work well if it doesn’t get enough food with good nutrition, sleep and exercise.
  • The world runs according to how your body functions, and unfortunately most of us are pretty bad when it comes to taking care of our bodies.
    • It took me a long time for me to get better as well including getting over copious amounts of drinking, not exercising, thinking sleep is for the weak and other jackassery that I thought was supposed to make me strong.
    • Instead neglecting all of that made me unhappy, depressed, and in general not very effective.
      • Not getting enough food and exercise means you will be working twice as hard on something and it is easier to burnout because your body will stop functioning at a certain point.
  • It is really easy to not treat your body well and get into bad habits and then coast.
    • That is easier to do than deal with then actually taking care of yourself.
    • The best way to get these fundamental things done is to remove the decision making that is involved in doing them.
  • Your body is a machine
  • Exercise You feel good
    • You have more energy
    • You can see further into the future
    • Yes it is a drag at times. But get through the drag so you can have some fun.
    • It has benefits from reducing anxiety, stress and depression, improving learning rate, and makes you feel much, much better.
  • Eat Breakfast
    • Eat greens when you start the day.
  • Life is too short to be angry all the time. Get over it, use your anger for good or a positive change.
  • Exercise is 80-90% about breathing. Learn to control your breathing and use it to calm yourself. A lot of fear is losing control of your breathing instead of being in control of it. So really learn to breathe


  • Eat three meals a day.
    • Start with breakfast in the morning.
      • Eat eggs, no cereal.
      • Eat some greens and fruit
    • Stop for lunch and take a solid 30 minutes off to actually enjoy your food.
    • Eat dinner
  • Eat a lot of vegetables and fruit
    • I am still working on this one but it has affected my mood drastically in terms of how much energy I have during the day.
  • I quit drinking but that is not a requirement.
    • A beer every so often is totally fine, but regular drinking can affect your mood and behavior for days after.
  • Most of all, enjoy your food. Don’t take diets too seriously and eat what you enjoy.
    • I love grilling so I try to do it frequently during the spring.


  • A solid regular time to sleep and 7-8 hours is needed for everyone to function at a peak.
    • I used to be of the mindset that sleep is for the weak.
      • This has likely caused so much wasted time and energy in my life.
        • Getting enough sleep is more valuable than proving how little you get.
      • Sleeping less results in working twice the amount, and no you can’t just push through.
      • Your brain will just stop functioning at all and it becomes completely useless.
  • Furthermore, sleep at a regular time everyday.
    • Like get into bed by 10pm so you can wake up with your body’s wake up time.
    • By getting up a regular time whether weekend or not weekend will give your body regularity.
      • Doing things in a regular time also creates a ritual for your body so that it gets used to knowing what to think about.
  • To make getting up easier have a specific morning ritual that you keep to every morning.
    • Like you get up out of bed and immediately have a coffee or brush your teeth.
    • Having morning rituals like this that you do on a regular basis allows your body to just start auto-piloting in the morning so on days where you don’t want to get out of bed you can.
      • This is really important for people who struggle with depression since it removes the thinking that induces that not wanting to get out of bed feeling.
  • To change your sleep schedule to get up earlier change by moving your sleep time 15 minutes a week.
    • Do not try to change it all at once because that will not stick.
    • Smaller changes to get up earlier done in a weekly interval will give your body time to adjust and it also lets your body know that it needs to sleep earlier, getting you into bed sooner.
  • At a biological level sleep clears toxins from your head and gives it a chance to work on problems that you’ve been struggling with.
    • Ever notice how you work on a problem and don’t get anywhere, you rest and the next day your brain is able to solve it quickly?
    • It also takes the deliberate practice you have done and makes it better.
    • It gives you better ability to think clearly.
  • When you have sleep you are able to have better decision control

Sleeping Fast[AY1]

Get out of Bed Fast[AY2]


  • Exercise creates your body which powers your brain, but your brain also creates the body.
    • You are Michelangelo sculpting David when you are exercising.
  • However, as someone who did not grow up with a big push to exercise I had to come up with ways to push myself to exercise regularly.
  • This means mostly find an activity you like to do and make sure you do it regularly.
    • Ideally you should workout for 1-2 hours a day.
    • You need to disconnect completely from work, no browing the net or watching tv while doing this.
    • Work on strength, mobility and power.
  • The most important aspect of exercise is when you get to exercising you know exactly what you are going to do before you get there.
    • You don’t get there and dilly dally but get to the place you want to exercise and have an exact system that you follow.
    • Again, the more you autopilot the better.
  • I do the following:
    • Starting Strength: Use the novice progression
    • Yoga: stretching and mobility
    • Row Machine: 5,000 meters or 2,000 meters
    • Krav Maga: Power and mobility. Also you are basically making your body into a weapon which is also pretty cool.
  • All exercise is largely about breathing so learn to treat exercise in a meditative way.
    • Learn to breathe and control your intake and outtake as you start doing things harder and harder.
    • This is especially important in heavier weight exercises, when you start adding speed to martial arts, and mobility.
    • Also by focusing on the breath you can also correct for form and you are not distracted by other things.


Essentially, we humans live well enough and long enough, and are smart enough, to generate all sorts of stressful events purely in our heads. – Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

There are two modes of stress

Acute stress

Chronic stress

Acute stress is good for you it acts as a way to move you forward.

Chronic stress is bad for you. It create bad outcomes.

  • There are two types of stress.
  • Acute stress and Chronic stress[AY4]
    • Acute stress is fine it is the fight or flight response and what lets us meet deadlines
  • Chronic Stress is bad as it makes you depressed and affects the way you think through life and what you want to do.[AY5]
    • It is important to remove as much chronic stress as possible.


  • Learn to breathe well.
  • Your brain needs air but because of our lifestyle in the last 100 years we as humans have largely forgotten how to breathe well.
  • Breathe with your belly your shoulders shouldn’t move.


  • Maintain good posture.
    • Good posture is especially important as we are also as a society experiencing lots of back problems.
    • Do deadlifts or other exercises that develop the back msucles.
  • You need to stand tall
  • You also need to learn how to sit well.
    • By sitting well you can also allow your back some benefit
  • Posture also affects how you see the world and your mood.
    • Good posture allows you to be more commanding whereas weak posture psychologically makes you weaker and makes other people think you weaker as well.
    • So it is important to maintain good upright posture.


Why is nature and the outdoors good?

Hidden Life of trees

How do trees help the ecosystem?

How are different trees as types of wood for making things?

How do trees help in an urban environment?

Tree planing in urban lots.



  • This is super important to deal with first.
  • if your finances are not in order you will struggle to get any of the rest of the book.
  • you need to make this your main priority in the world as financial stability or the ability to get a job and have some money any money left over after all your bills are paid will lead you to what you can do.
  • Investments should look at Cause and Effect relationships and Second Order Effects
    • What external changes will result in the current investment to do well? To do poorly?
    • What are some second order effects to be concerned about?
      • How does governmental / geopolitics affect this investment?
    • How can you use leverage on this investment?

Wealth / Money

The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. – Nicomachean Ethics

He who craves riches feels fear on their account. No man, however, enjoys a blessing that brings anxiety; he is always trying to add a little more.

Every man, when he first sees light, is commanded to be content with milk and rags. Such is our beginning, and yet kingdoms are all too small for us! – Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

What matters isn’t what a person has or doesn’t have; it is what he or she is afraid of losing. – Skin in the Game

Now I think no riches can compare with being alive, not even those they say this well-built Ilion stored up in peace before the Akhaians came. Neither could all the Archer’s shrine contains at rocky Pytho, in the crypt of stone. A man may come by cattle and sheep in raids; tripods he buys, and tawny-headed horses; but his life’s breath cannot be hunted back or be recaptured once it pass his lips. – Illiad

The fact that people in countries with cold weather tend to be harder working, richer, less relaxed, less amicable, less tolerant of idleness, more (over) organized and more harried than those in hotter climates should make us wonder whether wealth is mere indemnification, and motivation is just overcompensation for not having a real life. – The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

  • 80% in boring index funds
  • 20% play the game but treat this as money as lost.
  • Use money for hobbies and things that give you joy. I love good food so I will spend a lot of money on food even if I don’t buy the latest car or other gadget.
  • Buy experiences, they last longer than stuff, unless that stuff helps you have better experiences.
  • automate where money goes so you don’t have to think about how you are moving it around.

Automating Finances

The Maximum Bank Balance[AY8]

The Maximum Bank Balance {#a8c7 .graf .graf–h3 .graf-after–h2 name=”a8c7″ align=”center”}

I automated my finances so I know how much I can spend at any given time

and not freak out. I also wanted to start building a nest egg by putting

away money for retirement and the future.

The main reason for money stress is not knowing when you can spend

money. The decision fatigue that you experience when you don’t know if

you have money or not actually leads to spending money poorly. You just

constantly think about it and after a certain point you just crack and

spend money badly.

The strategy I came up with is sort of counterintuitive. I try to have a

maximum balance in my bank account at all times.

Before I explain the maximum balance this is where money should go


– [Emergency Fund. I used to keep this money in a separate

  • checking account but I realized that this money was losing value.
  • Now I keep this money in a
  • Betterment{.markup–anchor
  • .markup–li-anchor} goal. This is 50% bonds and 50% stocks so I can
  • weather some unpredictability of the stock market. The Emergency
  • Fund should be 3–4 months of runway for rent, food and any bills
  • that you may have. After this has been funded you can just put the
  • money into buying more investments.]{#bcbb}

– [401k/IRA. My company provides a 401k so I just contribute to

  • the retirement account through that. This allows me to save money
  • without ever seeing it come to me in the form of a paycheck. Before
  • that I used to setup an automatic withdrawal on my IRA.]{#fb8d}

– [Investments. Automatically withdraw a certain amount of money

  • for the future. This is stuff that is 1+ year down the line. This
  • should be money used for major expenses in the future. Think buying
  • a house or taking a year off work.]{#2fe4}

All the above gets transferred out of my paycheck or my bank account

automatically so I never have to think about doing it manually.

The Maximum Balance {#7712 .graf .graf–h4 .graf-after–p name=”7712″}

The maximum balance is the amount of money to have at all times in your

bank account without ever going significantly over or under that amount.

This balance is about 2–3 months of food, rent, bills and a bit extra

for the unexpected. The goal is to never go above or below this maximum

bank balance. If there is any month where your are below this amount the

first goal after you have finished contributing to your Emergency Fund,

401k/IRA and Investments is to get back to the maximum balance.

What to do with extra money? {#b9e7 .graf .graf–h4 .graf-after–p name=”b9e7″}

What do you do with the money over the maximum balance?

– [Pay extra on student loans to pay them off sooner. I did this. It

  • is such a relief when loans are paid off.]{#5d74}

– [Pay extra on credit card debt or pay it off. You should be able to

  • pay the entire balance of a credit card every month. I have the
  • credit cards automatically payoff the entire balance every month.
  • This prevents me from cheating with the maximum balance
  • method.]{#f399}

– [Put more money away into investments or finance future goals. I

  • really like
  • Betterment{.markup–anchor
  • .markup–li-anchor} for this since you can split up you account
  • based on different goals and timeframes.]{#d884}

– [Buy things that you enjoy. (I love food and I am going to be

  • spending a lot of money on this… also books…)]{#4717}

Why does this works? {#e712 .graf .graf–h4 .graf-after–li name=”e712″}

I have had success with this approach to managing my money because it

works when there are random bursts of uncertainty. It gives you headroom

during unexpected financial crisis.

Also, always having the same balance gives you a quick check on how you

are doing. The maximum balance will naturally fluctuate near the amount

you have designated but it does give you a good gauge on your finances.

Finally, it allows you to spend money guilt free. If you know that you

have extra money to splurge on you can splurge without feeling bad. By

having one number to look at for day to day finances you can assess your

current financial health. You don’t have to overthink things, stop being

a slave to money and enjoy life.


I know I mentioned


.markup–p-anchor} a couple of times but I just really like them and

they are not paying me. The links are affiliates though, sign up so we

can both get free service.

Aug 24, 2015: Since I originally published this there has been a

general concern with having the emergency fund in bonds and stocks. The

point is the maximum balance is going to be half of your emergency fund.

It should be a 3–4 month runway. The second half lives in stocks and

bonds. I’ve updated the metodology for the latter



By Abhi Yerra{.p-author .h-card} on

August 21, 2015.



Other Half of Your Emergency Fund {#other-half-of-your-emergency-fund .p-name}

Other Half of Your Emergency Fund {#b0d0 .graf .graf–h3 .graf–leading .graf–title name=”b0d0″}

The method I use is to have three month runway via the maximum balance.

Putting the other 3–4 months of money into a Betterment or Index funds

allows that money to still grow but will give you a buffer if you need

to sell during an emergency. Also I do a 130% of what I want my

emergnecy fund to be so if the market ever hits a downturn I can still

get about 100% of the money I need. But when the market is doing well

the money is growing and not just sitting there.

By Abhi Yerra{.p-author .h-card} on

August 24, 2015.



Exported from Medium on May 28, 2019.

Engineering Interview Guide: Introduction {#engineering-interview-guide-introduction .p-name}

Investment Principles

How do you create leverage such that something invested today grows at a compounded rate over time. This can be either money, knowledge, friendship, betterment of society.

  • Investing in Self
    • Hobbies
    • Business
    • Books
    • Learning
  • Investing in Others
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Community

Leveraging Money

  • We go through life in what I call War Time and Peace Time.
    • War Time is when you are investing in something big such as learning, business, etc.
    • Peace Time is when you are stable and collecting a steady stream of money i.e a paycheck
  • Both have different modes of operation.
War TimePeace Time
Invest nearly everything your have into your company with the idea of growthMinimal cash. Leverage cash for assets and investment.Get more out of investment and cut expenses by cutting things that don’t matter. Don’t do something half assly if money can’t be used to make it good completely then don’t use it for that purpose.If already invested in certain things also consider sunk cost.Can we maximize investment by repurposint existing stuff.Get lines of credit to draw fromBuild up a financial war chestMove money into stock market and diversifySafety net of cash401k and IRA


  • When things are going up the economy is inefficient because growth is the primary factor.
    • Build services and products that are made to give leisure and time.
  • When things are going poorly efficiency is the primary factor to optimize for profit.
    • Build services and products that make things more efficient as this is the time when layoffs, etc. happen.

Financial Decision Making

  • Find stock fitting criteria
  • Find information
  • Test cause and effect
  • Sentiment analysis of company
  • Decision yes or no
  • Delayedtask
  • Good bad
  • Modify existing job for success or failure
  • Track Cause and Effect of Companies
  • Figure out ripple effects. If a company is doing badly what other companies are connected to that company?
  • What does the future hold for certain companies?
  • What trends are people doing now
  • Also track when Stocks have quarterly earnings and how things can be affected.

Belongingness and Love

  • Family and Friends are important and you should make a lot of time for them.
  • Everything in life is fleeting and it makes no sense to not spend it with that which makes you happy.
    • Frankenstein was happy spending time with his family and he was sickly when he was working on the monster.
      • He should have spent more time with his family instead of the monster.
      • In the end all our goals are like that monster that starts taking a life of its own, but it is family and friends and our good relationships with people that make us happy.

Intimate Relationships

  • push your partner as you would yourself.
  • Have success be as much a part of their life as it is yours
    • Have them pursue larger goals and support them even if inconvenient to you if in the long run you are both better.
  • Create OKRs for yourselves about what your relationship should be like and have outcomes that you want to achieve.
    • Do activities together, plan them out together
  • enjoy the little things
  • Make sex a part of your routine
    • Major arguments should end with reconciliation or sex, preferably both and it is also important to resolve whatever caused the fight in the first place.

A Partner You Don’t Want

Year 1Year 2Year 3
  • Someone who doesn’t grow and change along with you
    • Doesn’t mean they follow the same things as you but that they have their own set of aspirations that they are pushing toward.
    • They are not changing and evolving, while you are changing and evolving.
  • The problem with someone who doesn’t evolve
    • You get bored with them.
    • You don’t learn from them or you learn what you need from them, and you get into a rut.
    • They may get jealous of your growth.
    • The can’t evolve with changing circumstances and blame others and you for their inability to change.

A Partner You Want

Year 1Year 2Year 3
  • They are evolving along side you.
    • You can help and push each other in your evolution and growth
    • They are not the same person you first met, they are better and are continuing to get better.


  • Family always comes first. No buts or ifs. You can bitch about it, but at the end it doesn’t matter you take care of them.
  • It is just as important to push your family in their growth as it is to push your own growth.
    • Some people may be fixed in their ways, but it is also important that you push them.
    • You can’t always


No matter who you are, you need two kinds of friends in your life. The first kind is one you can call when something good happens, and you need someone who will be excited for you. Not a fake excitement veiling envy, but a real excitement. You need someone who will actually be more excited for you than he would be if it had happened to him. The second kind of friend is somebody you can call when things go horribly wrong—when your life is on the line and you only have one phone call. Who is it going to be? – Hard Thing about Hard Things

  • No friend will be a friend for all stages of your life. Sometimes friends drift apart and you need to let them go. It is just a part of life.
  • Do activites with friends outside of drinking and eating. It makes the bonds more fun and interesting.


Unscheduled WIP

  • Telling kids that they are smart makes them less likely to succeed over time. Tell them that they were good but also point out that maybe they should try something more challenging.
  • Raise children to make good decisions on their own and then trust them with their decisions when they start making them. Don’t spy on them, don’t nag at them, you have to let them fly from the nest at some point.
  • Give kids a lot of time to explore, let them disappear, go on adventures, give them time to learn new activities and push them toward new activities.
  • Don’t hide things from kids. Let them know what you are struggling with early on, let them know that you are human and can make mistakes and aren’t always right. Children are resilient even at a young age and can be tasked with big responsibility.
  • Make reading a big part of their life, push them to achieve but having them set goals for themselves. The goals should get progressively more challenging but manageable.

Other People

For so many, instead of looking for “cause of death” when they expire, we should be looking for “cause of life” when they are still around. – The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

  • Other people are more than their work. They are who they love, who they are as a friend, what they like to do for fun. Don’t equate a person to their job. Many people are finding meaning and a job may be one criteria for their meaning but not the only one. So don’t judge them on it. Find common ground such as their love of things similar to yours.


Our stereotype of men holds that they are providers, decisive, and driven. Our stereotype of women holds that they are caregivers, sensitive, and communal. Because we characterize men and women in opposition to each other, professional achievement and all the traits associated with it get placed in the male column.

All through my life, culturally reinforced signals cautioned me against being branded as too smart or too successful. It starts young. As a girl, you know that being smart is good in lots of ways, but it doesn’t make you particularly popular or attractive to boys.

So perhaps one positive result of having more women at the top is that our leaders will have been trained to care more about the well-being of others. My hope, of course, is that we won’t have to play by these archaic rules forever and that eventually we can all just be ourselves. – Lean In


Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder. – Steal Like an Artist

Bad People

  • Life needs people like Trump
    • They throw a rock at the system but they also provide fuel and a basis for people fighting against people like him.
    • Most of the time it is bad but in the long run things improve because people see what it can be like if things are bad.

[AY1]Use the Sleep techniques from military strategy to do this.

Include step by step instructions

[AY2]Why you should wake up early and what you can do to be more effective at getting up earlier.

[AY3]Dive deeper into the origin of stress and how to get over it.

Read Why Zebras Don’t get Ulcers

[AY4]What are the benefits of acute stress

[AY5]What is it at the neurological level that maes chronic stress bad?

[AY6]Maybe maae this a part of exercise?

[AY7]What does Nature give us?

  • Health benefits
  • Hidden life of trees
  • Camping

[AY8]@Shannon Can you update the formatting of this?



What? (Care of the Self)

Objectives and Key Results

A broad and ambiguous mission results in lack of focus, ineffective execution, and mission creep. To prevent this, the mission must be carefully refined and simplified so that it is explicitly clear and specifically focused to achieve the greater strategic vision for which that mission is a part. – Extreme Ownership

He stressed to them the importance of vision, goals, and a plan. “Without the vision of a goal, a man cannot manage his own life, much less the lives of others,” he told them. -Genghis Khan

  • Once you have your “Why” we need an effective system for getting to your “Why.”
    • The most effective method for this is to have objects that move you toward your goal, and key results that allow you to measure if your objective has been met.
    • This is a system that was come up by Andy Grove to make Intel the behemoth it became.
    • But OKRs as they are called also are super effective for your own life.
  • Objectives and Key Results work like this. You have a single Objective that you want to get to, and then you want to have Key Results which are specific, measurable, and time bound that let your know if you have attained your goal.
    • Furthermore, you should make your objectives streachable, you must work hard to get to your key results and it should be totally easy.
    • What you want to get to is meeting about 75% of your Key Results.
    • You should set OKRs every quarter so you can have a guideline for what to focus on.
  • Once you set your OKRs, they should be your primary focus, and you should not really focus on anything that detracts you from them.
    • You also only want one set of OKRs for your life versus having multiple for a company.
    • This gives you a focus on exactly what you need to focus on as opposed to having to figure out what your focus is.
    • By also limiting your OKRs to one you will have extreme focus on your goal and what you want to achieve.
      • OKRs reduce variability, by reducing your realm of concern you will be more likely to focus on the singular objective and put all your energy behind it.
      • By setting them quarterly, you can also have some slack time so you aren’t hitting burnout.
  • If you achieve your OKRs then you should set some intermediary ones or push you existing results higher.


  • Now that you have you Why and Objectives and Key Results this is the hard part.
    • You have to set up your life to achieve your Why.
    • This means you have to give up certain things that are holding you back from achieving your goals and this is not always pleasant.
    • If being sociable for you is to drink alcohol, but alcohol is limiting your ability to get to your goals then you need to, well, stop drinking alcohol.
    • If certain friends are holding you back from your goals you need to de-prioritize them.
    • If not exercising and eating well is limiting your energy levels to achieve your goals then well you need to start doing that.
  • You need to exude power over yourself before you can exude power over others.
    • This means you have to be willing to give up things.
      • show of anger
      • gratuitousness
      • consumerism
      • alcohol
      • drugs
  • You cannot have everything to have and have power, power requires removal of things.
    • You have to separate yourself from those you want to lead because you are going after your “Why.”
    • When you go after your “Why” you may have to relegate some people to the side, and also relegate some of your behaviors to the side as well.
      • Divide yourself from the other, you cannot be a protector and the one being lead.
      • For the greater good of your “Why” you will be disliked, and thought aloof, and put down.
        • Accept this.
  • Certain habits need to be changed or removed
    • Alcohol removes your inhibition and makes you mentally sloppy you need to limit its intake, or cut it out all together.
    • Drugs and Cigarettes make you a slave to them, you can not lead effectively if you are chasing after you next hit.
      • That becomes your focus not your “Why”
  • Displays of anger means you don’t have control over your emotions and that you have no power to get people to where you want without a disruptive emotion.
    • People are less likely to take your side if you show anger.
    • You can be angry, but you must lead as if you are free of it.
    • People who can’t be made angry, who have power over themselves, can control others.
  • Reduce Consumerism
    • Buying things you need is fine, but things have a habit of owning you.
    • Your stuff also makes your mind more cluttered and holds you down.
    • Really consider if you need things before purchasing them.
    • Do not fall for consumerism because consumerism is letting others decide what you are, not you getting to decide what you are.
    • Figure out what you can remove from your life, not what you can add on.
      • Can you remove things and be perfectly happy?
      • What can you remove?
      • Read Marie Kando, “Does it bring you joy?”

Make Your Bed (Habits)[AY1]

  • You need to put things in their place to be effective.
  • Make Your Bed
  • Clean and Make Time for Cleaning Everyday
  • Schedule time for self-reflection
  • Habits are the basis of allowing you to do good.
    • This means that you have to develop good habits to accomplish what you set out to do.
  • vices
    • pick the vices you want to keep
    • a vice has a cost even if it is externalized
      • bur someone is paying it even if it is not you
  • Routine
    • Having a routine is the most important thing
      • Even if that routine involves staying in bed for an hour thinking about all the tasks and writing them into a notebook. That is still a routine.
      • Have a time to turn off from your work or a way to transition from one frame of mind to another
        • People usually go to an office to work
        • If working at home there must be a physical change

Incremental Changes[AY2]

  • Most of all if you are embarking on a new journey you need to minimize your commitment to create a new habit
    • This requires a small 1% improvement everyday.
    • The best way to make habits is to reduce the task to the simplest thing take out everything and do it.
      • This is means not making it huge or anything big.
      • We just want to make it super small and easy to use.
  • Kaizen your life.
    • It is small changes that make the big things over time.
    • Small improvements will help you notice the things that are most important and things that are holding you back.

Ongoing improvement

I love learning. I really do. The joy of discovering something myself stuck with me. Unfortunately school really makes you not want to learn. It has made a lot of people feel like failures. But I think we need to take another route. We need to let people discover what they are good at. Failure is an option. You can’t learn if you don’t fail. The biggest thing I wish my teaches never said to the class was you’ll be flipping burgers if you don’t pass this test. That is absolutely atrocious.

Smart people fail. Repeatedly.

We have taught a generation that failure is not an option. In a way this has caused the current generations narsasstic view of themselves as kings and queens. I succeeded college give me a cookie.

No. Learning does not stop when you leave school. Learning never should stop. However how many people have opened a book in the last 30 days?

People are dumbing themselves. No one is actively trying to improve themselves. Life is putting in as much as you take. And a lot of it is boring and monotonous. It’ll suck. But that is what it is. You fail learn and fail again. Don’t expect success to be given. It is as much luck as anything else.


One of the primary things that we need to do as we move forward in live is figure out what our weaknesses are. It is okay to have weaknesses and being vulnerable is good to the people you love, but we must also work slowly to remove weaknesses.

  • Habits
    • Negative Habits that are holding you back.
    • Not exercising
    • Not eating well
    • Vices
      • Smoking
      • Drinking
      • Porn
    • Nail biting
    • Not grooming
    • Getting angry
    • Not listening
  • Knowledge
    • Gaps in knowledge
    • Not enough information that is being gathered
  • Influence and Power
    • Inability to wield power
    • Inability to get the tasks you want done, done.
  • Time Management
    • Not spending time wisely
    • Wastes of time
    • Not working on high value stuff

Before we can work on our weaknesses we must first figure out what they are. Once we have the liste of weakness we can then change them one by one.

Do not attempt to change everything at once as that does not work.

The goal is to change your weaknesses over time.

To get better you need to first know what it is that is holding you back. These are the things that you need to develop


  • It is important to have time to self-reflect.
  • This should be at least an hour a day that is dedicated to this task as it leads to deep thinking about yourself, your goals and your ambitions.
  • If you can contribute your reflections freely so that others can read them, this forces your to put things in a perspective where you don’t want to be wrong.
    • If you write for yourself you can make things shallow but make it a habit to think broadly.
  • The best way to do this is to write, and rewrite your thoughts so that they break down into units that you can then breakdown.
    • By deconstruction you will be able to really find holes in your logic.
  • Learn to write well and write things frequently
  • Here are some topics to self-reflect about.
    • I’d recommend writing 30 minutes everyday.
Where have I failed?How did I not use power?What was I lacking?
Where have I succeeded?How have I used power?What did I have?
What decisions I have made have been good?What made them good?
What decisions did I make which were poor?Why where they poor?
How can I increase my time managementHow can I increase my powerHow can I increase my knowledge?
What can I delegate in my tasks that will increase my leverage?What can I purchase that will increase my leverage and time?
How can I reduce variability in the tasks that I am doing?What can I delegate to other people?What tools are out there that can make my life easier?
Self Reflection Topics • What is taking my time and what am I not spending enough time on?• What systems can I place to create better habits? What poor habits do I have?• What is holding me back from achieving my Why?• How are my Maslows Hiearchy of Needs and are they being met?• What am I missing from my life?

Play by the Rules or Make the Rules[AY4] [AY5]

  • To be a sheepdog you have to be willing to create new rules for yourself that don’t exist in the world.
  • Everyone is playing a certain game and you have to realize that those rules were made by other people.
  • Those rules also have the fallibility of people who have written them.
  • To advance in life and to advance life you have to make new rules that you live by.
  • This means ignore certain rules that you deem are not worthwhile or using those same rules to breakdown the system from within.
  • This will be looked down upon by society.
    • Society values innovators, but doesn’t like them at the same time.
    • Innovation is scary to people as it means new things that they are not used to.
    • People who are setting themselves up for a life of sheepdoging will also be looked down.
      • People don’t like people who cry wolf, even if the wolf is real.
      • So to be a sheepdog is to go against the grain, some people will not like you.
        • They won’t like you because you will be different from them.
        • You will be once removed from society and its concerns because to be a sheepdog you are building your future, which means being aloof now.
  • You will be beaten over and over again.
    • If you “Why” is significantly challenging enough you will face insurmountable odds against you.
    • A sheepdog also means you have to protect others from from the wolves and the wolves are whispering in the ears of the sheep against you.
    • A sheepdog has to have control over themselves, be mentally ready and limit their concerns to the few things that are valuable.