Begin. Write down thoughts and questions as you go. Note interrelations, contradictions, anecdotes, analogies etc… to initiate debate, encourage independent verification and promote self-examination.
Question what did, is, could, should and shouldn’t. Investigate unknowns. Weigh author and self-bias. Confirm assumptions. Learn from misconceptions. Focus, observe and contemplate. Reduce to the least common denominators, weigh choice and calculate risk.
Debate. Consider what may happen after what’s probably going to happen next. Hypothesize and experiment, commit, execute, acknowledge mistakes and compare.
Maximize what works and minimize what doesn’t. Examine new information. Consult wisdom. Begin again.
The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot
Once upon a time, this is exactly what happened, right here and now. If thought is both logical and emotional, what we Do is too. Within Time, we Do in the Present.
If not Thinking isn’t, it’s not about what could’ve been or what may someday, it’s about what we Do now. Time eliminates inaction. Doing nothing is doing something.
Thinking of what to Do and when relative to what was while accounting for probabilities of what could happen after what may happen next can provide opportunities for more Time to enjoy Want by taking care of Need first in less Time.
If Present Thought determines current emotion, one is as happy as decided upon. Living in and for the moment is one way to live happily ever after.
If we Think, we are. As what was, is, or will be is uncertain, the most likely singular circumstance encompassing consciousness is Present thought. We were who we Think we were. We are what we Think we are. As time passes, we may or may not be who we Think we’ll be. We Do in the Present.
Choices will be made individually and/or externally. What some Think was, is and may isn’t what others Do. External decisions may not be in any given individual's best interests. Chances are less emotional based decision making is better than more. We benefit from contributed causes, or are deterred by imposed effects.
Procrastination buries opportunity. As Risk is probability of suffering harm or lack thereof and Return is potential gain or loss, an Efficient Frontier (the hook looking line below) describes expected Return for a given level of Risk. If most begin as equal, the Do in Present Time creates inequality.
If the Present embodies the Past and Future, rational analysis maximizes Present accomplishment and chances of success are better for those who more accurately prognosticate the farthest into the Future, the who and why to find first is you, before the when and how to achieve what for the longest time and least risk.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent,
but the one most responsive to change.
Don’t sacrifice Future unhappiness for an unnecessarily pleasant Present.
Most don’t comprehend what may actually be. If the difference in Return between first and second place is usually enormous but can be measured in fractions of a second, success via a better understanding of what most don’t should be exponential. You either got the job, the sale, the contract, the votes or won the war, or you didn’t.
What some Think was, is and may isn’t what others Do. Threatened Need or Want can alter Present thought. Life Needs sustenance, hygiene and a temperate climate. Want is everything else. Without Need, Want is unobtainable. Some of what we Need is unknown or un-chosen, like hunger and thirst.
Over-prioritizing Want can sacrifice future Need. The less considered as Need, the easier it is to take care of. Want can be eliminating unneeded. If Want depends on purposefully not understanding Need, what looks obtainable may not be.
What to Think should be an optimal point between Need and Want. High risk, high return courses of action compared to low risk, low return alternatives have dissimilar likelihoods of outcome. Weighing how much of each to Think before Do may achieve a higher rate of return with less risk, especially when compared to only Need without contemplation of Want;
Don’t believe everything you Think or Think you know what you don’t. Don’t Think you Need Want. Don't want what you can’t get. Don’t over-adore Wanted acquisition. Don't Do what you don’t Want to get what you don’t Need. Don’t over-sacrifice Need for Want and vice versa. Don’t acquire what you don’t Need to convince others you are what you’re not unless you Need to. Don't Think more of what could have than what may be. Don't conclude what you Want because you Want to.
Want more of what lasts longer, and less of what doesn’t.
Accept and embrace uncertainty, concentrate, question the status quo, consider the counter-intuitive, anticipate anticipation, find strength in weakness, weakness in strength and advantage in disadvantage.
There are 9,183,421,888 ways to play the first nine moves in the game of chess, 9,417,681 the first six, 72,078 the first four, 5,362 the first three and 20 to play the first. Early moves are more important than later. Chances of success are better for players who more accurately calculate probabilities the farthest into the Future.
Whatever failures I have known, whatever errors I have committed,
whatever follies I have witnessed,
have been the consequence of action without thought.
Tick tock. Remaining stationary isn’t optional. Every move is followed by a counter move. Every cause, action or winner has an effect, reaction or loser.
The more captured opposing pieces the less Risk, and vice versa. The more competitors, the harder it is to win. One bad move can erase a hundred good and one good can overcome.
Known and unknown, we were, are and will be pieces of varying value in an infinite number of games. Observation can alter the perceptions of the observed. If challengers don’t begin with pieces of the same number and value and players can Think they’re winning when losing, influencing others’ thoughts can enhance results. If an opponent Thinks another has more influence, power etc…, they Do until otherwise. If some players believe they can’t necessarily control some of their pieces, they can be obliged to move and/or sacrifice into disadvantageous positions.
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
If big print can give what fine print takes, winning the wrong game can forfeit the right one. Greed and/or fear can lead some to believe moves are less or more Risky than they actually are. Most of the time, Thinking you’re better is better than thinking you’re worse.
Never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end
with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.
Admiral Jim Stockdale
If there’s less Risk in fear than courage, hate than love, greed than selflessness and death than life, some Risks are worth taking more than others. If a pawn can become a queen, weakness can become and overcome strength and defense can be a form of offense, sometimes tactics should be merciless. Tear band aids off swiftly and play to win.
Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you, unless you Need to.
If causes, actions or winners have effects, reactions or losers and A is caused, allowed, accelerated, held back or prevented, it’s better to pre-think what could happen to B, C and D than not. If an opponent’s position can be used against them and the pinnacle of vulnerability is the moment of assault, it's usually better to commence attack from defended positions. If there isn’t a good move, choose the best of the bad. Bypass irrelevancy. Don’t let small mistakes become big ones. Eliminate what’s not working and doing more of what is sooner than later.
If at first you don’t succeed, you are about average. If the worst player’s identity is unknown, it could be you. The players who don’t make the last error usually win.
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
What could have or should be isn’t as important than what was, is and may. If life is a room of open doors leading to other open doors, what we and/or others Do or don’t determines what doors stay open or lock us in or out. If positive thought outperforms negative, faith in open doors is better than fearing them closed. When doors close, find those open and minimize lethargy within disappointment.
Don't confuse effort with result.
Circumstance ≠ Performance
Ability ≠ Justification
Pleasure ≠ Consumption
Busy ≠ Productive
Efficiency ≠ Effectiveness
Doing ≠ Achievement
Don't underestimate irrationality. Increasing unpredictability can lead to greater misguided reliance on other's predictions. If what you Think effects what you Do, which effects what you and others Think afterwards, and what others Do effects what you Think, which effects etc…, Think before Do should get farther faster with less risk than Do before Think.
Absorbing more small losses sooner and keeping winners longer can increase accomplishment. The more you lose, the longer it takes to break even. A 7% loss only takes a 7.5% gain to break even. A 50% loss needs a 100% gain. A 90% loss needs 1,000% gain.
Don’t catch falling knives. A 25% gain after a 50% loss is still a 37.5% loss. The more large losses are avoided, the higher the propensity for profit/success.
If a loss is inescapable in the short term, sacrificing the less valuable pieces first to protect the most valuable, like a pawn before a rook or a stranger before family.
What do you if you die if you don’t fight or lose?
If you can’t get in through the front, check the back. If winning is getting up after falling and losing is falling and not getting up, win by not losing. Stand up going down and overcome.
If chance favors preparation and everyone is below average at something, practice should increase the likelihood of luck.
The most successful have usually failed more times than failures. If a kid thinks falling 100 times equals knowing how to roller skate, praising persistence is better than highlighting failure. If 7 out of 10 fail means 30 in 100, 300 in 1,000 and 3,000 in 10,000 succeed, counting attempts increases the likelihood of success.
If arrows feel gravity, aiming a little higher can increase the likelihood of hitting a target. Concentrate resources to create, diversify assets to preserve. Be incremental, simplify and minimize.
Don’t do what you don’t understand. If you can’t Think of everything, increase Time and Risk efficiency by leveraging experience and/or resources other than your own, then Think and act accordingly. There’s usually less risk and greater return in learning from other people’s mistakes and achievements before having to learn from your own. Accept and learn from criticism. Consult wisdom and practice with someone better.
It can be difficult to choose whom to play as good, better or unfortunately worse than you. Protect your flanks. Many tend to act in self-interest before moral obligation or loyalty. Question those who may Think you have what they need and who may be saying what you want to hear while urging you to Do what they don’t want to or wont. It's usually better to learn and/or prosper from trusted advisors, but be prepared to limit losses.
Most overestimate average intelligence. If the wise measure what they say and listen well, most disclose what they shouldn’t and dismiss assistance with arrogance. Identify who’s listening before speaking. Ask adversarial questions after considering probable replies. It’s better to know the answer to some questions before asking.
Do more than hope. Don’t let ego override rationality. Look within for faults found in others, acknowledge and embrace differences. Rise above and control emotion, respect momentum, adjust, accept responsibility and pay yourself forward. Know what you own.
Relax, respect, listen, question, learn more than one way, reflect, accept, balance, affirm, teach, praise and improve by helping others.
Don’t criticize if it won’t help, lose temper unless it would be bad to keep it, do guilt or offend many to benefit few. Under promise, over deliver. Don’t say you’re going to and don’t. If you don’t know an answer, say so and try to find it. Say “it looks like” or “it appears to be” instead of “it is” if it could be wrong. Don’t cut what can be untied. Stay out of instead of get out of where you shouldn’t be. Breath enthusiasm.
Don’t self-fulfill prophesy. Prepare for instability when stable. Be counter-intuitive. Learn to live without certainty, think outside the box and find alternate routes. Make luck happen.
Respect privacy. Don’t tread on others unless they’re treading on you. Apologize when you’re wrong, when you’re right and you say it wrong or when what you say doesn’t want to be heard. Don’t stereo-typically generalize, resent, envy, slur or avenge.
Do the right thing when no one’s looking. Do the most good in the best way with as many people for as long as possible. Perceive others' pain. Be polite, fair, compassionate, tolerant, appreciative, sincere, flexible, grateful, loving, enthusiastic, patient, supportive and responsible.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone
who can do him absolutely no good
Leave the world a better place than you found it. Give anonymously. Create a better chance for offspring to succeed than prior generations gave current elders. Don't be unloved.
Forget given, value received, return borrowed, replace broken and forgive quickly.
Want happiness, love, joy, bliss, harmony and family. See good in everything. Publicize the best in others. When eyes close, think of the good that was and why and dream of making others’ dreams come true. Slow down, sing, laugh, cry, don’t worry, let go, feel good and get wet in warm summer rain.
Don’t over Think.
Don't give up.
Have as much fun as soon as possible with the least amount of Risk for as long as you can, while leaving others better off for your having existed.
This is the most recent culmination of 25 plus years’ of exploration to discover how to navigate life during what were some of the most troubled times in recent Past and what will be worse times in the Future as the largest financial bubble in history plays out.
The format was originally intended for my kids and their kids etc… as suggestions for how to sort through problems and survive if and/or when I’m not around to bug them, which morphed into a logic based approach for financial planning, managing investments and course books for CPA, attorney, investor and adult continuing education courses covering economics, financial ethics, science and politics etc..., which led to a personal awakening around the turn of the century.
If fewer words many know mean more than multitudes not understood, with more time, less would’ve meant more. The writing style is kind of like poetry, only enigma cocooned in inquiry surrounded by random chaos and Socratic thought.
It’s not supposed to be easy.
To learn, some info may need to be unlearned, relearned or realized by breaks in cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.