👋 Hey Friends
Let’s talk about advice – specifically why negative advice is often much better than positive advice.
What do I mean by that?
Take one piece of conventional wisdom you’ve probably heard, also known as The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” On the surface, it sounds like excellent advice. Words to live by.
But do you know how you’d like to be treated at all times? Probably not. That’s what makes it challenging to apply in life.
But what if we reverse that? Put in simple words; it would be: “If you don’t want something done to you, don’t do it to someone else.” A simple change has made the same advice much easier to apply. Why is that?
There are several reasons:
- You suffer more from a loss than you enjoy from proportionate gain – losing $10 feels much worse than finding $10.
- What’s bad is more evident to you than what’s good. Drinking alcohol? Definitely bad. Drinking coffee? Mostly good, but possibly bad. The former causality brings more clarity than the latter.
- You’ll avoid downstream consequences, as advice is context-specific. “Follow your passion” may have worked for the preacher, but what if you don’t even have enough to feed yourself for the day?
How can you use this principle to improve your life?
- When receiving advice, ask for what not to do instead of what to do.
- When giving advice, tell people what not to do based on your experience instead of telling them what to do.
- Reverse conventional advice to make it more valuable and applicable.
Living better is often a game of subtracting what’s undesirable rather than adding what’s desirable.
Have a fantastic weekend! 🌞
😍 My Favourite Links
🧾 Book – After years of reading non-fiction exclusively, I’m switching things up with The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy as a gateway drug into his longer and more famous works. I’m halfway through the book and am finding that reading as nourishment for the soul and as a means of stress-testing my empathy and morality is a welcome change for a chronic problem-solver like me.
🎥 Video – This one from Leo Gura dives into an interesting question, which he calls the 100 Million Dollar question, to understand yourself better and help you find work you’ll love.
🎤 Podcast – Although this one with Tim Ferris and Ramit Sethi focused on relationship money matters, I found value here in their discussion on money hoarders and the $100 Challenge. Definitely one to check out if you struggle to spend money or tend to hoard it.
🐦 Tweet – This one from Daniel Vassallo (one of my favourite guys on Twitter) is an eye-opening insight into the biggest opportunity cost in life.
💭 Quote of The Week
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Murakami
Follow me on Twitter for more brain food throughout the week! 🧠
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