August 9, 2017

"motivation ... some kind of desire to find out the answer, the desire to find out what makes things tick."

Even when it comes to the most basic everyday tasks -- making a pot of coffee, parallel parking, or folding the laundry -- it's one thing to do them; it's something else entirely to shut off the force of habit and explain, step-by-step, how you are doing them.

Step 1: Simplify
Step 2: Fill your 'mental matrix' with solutions to similar problems.
Step 3: Approach the problem from many different angles.
Step 4: Break a big problem down into small pieces.
Step 5: Solve the problem 'backwards.'
Step 6: If you've solved the problem, extend that solution out as far as it will go.

-- Claude Shannon


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August 1, 2017

Elon Musk: If you're not progressing, you're regressing; so, keep moving forward.

We could sum up Musk's point in a single sentence:

If you're not progressing, you're regressing; so, keep moving forward.

Why this is great advice.
It doesn't really matter what your personal goals are. The key to success in any field or endeavor is to keep moving forward.

A progressive mentality doesn't mean that you'll never experience major setbacks, or even utter failure--which can deliver vital lessons and invaluable experience. (Just ask Musk, or any successful entrepreneur, how many times they've gotten it wrong before getting it right.) Additionally, reflecting on how far you've come can provide necessary motivation.

But there's danger in keeping focused on the rear-view mirror, so to speak.

It eventually leads to a crash.

To maintain a forward-moving mentality, you must:

resist needlessly dwelling on mistakes. Instead, identify lessons learned and move on;
continue to set challenging yet reachable goals--especially after scoring big;
aspire, not to be a know-it-all, but rather to be a learn-it-all; and
never give up. Ever.

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July 17, 2017

Growth, Not Forced Equality, Saves the Poor

Eminent philosopher, John Rawls of Harvard, articulated what he called the Difference Principle: If the entrepreneurship of a rich person made the poorest better off, then the higher income of the entrepreneur was justified.


-- Deirdre N. McCloskey, professor emerita of economics, history, English and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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