I want to know where I would die so I can never go there.
— Charlie Munger

I was reading this blog about Charlie Munger and I loved it. His principle of living life in the inversion is fascinating.

I am trying to add a similar principle to myself. Instead of seeing or striving for success, it is better to look and avoid a recipe for failure. In short, eliminating all the risk for failures, success will be the byproduct.

In the end, success and failures are not in our hand, we have to enjoy the journey and make the best of it.

I am hoping one day I will totally stick by this saying of Epictetus.

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.


A few years back I was told attitude never changes. I was struggling with myself at work and personal life. Reading an article on attitude a few days back, bought back the memory.

We are living in this cosmos which exists on the premise of evolution and change. How can we not change our Attitude?

I keep reading tweets of folks like “Attitude is everything.” All these folks miss adding, to inculcate great attitude one requires:

  • believers
  • mentors
  • honest friends

Our human mind is a monkey mind and when we say things via prefrontal cortex, logic and rationality take back seat.

We are the makers of our destiny, as long as we are trying we can achieve anything. It includes changing our attitude and being more optimist about self.

On Jeff Bezos

Continuing to the section from the book title: Steve Jobs Jeff Bezos: Building 2 Valuable Brands in America. These are some learnings author shares from Jeff Bezos.

  • Act, Even If It Means Taking Risks
  • Think Long Term
  • Be Stubborn, Flexible, and Realistic
  • Know Your Limitations
  • Adjust Business Plans Before Expanding
  • Your Customer’s Voice Matters Most
  • Let Your Competitors Ride with You
  • Don’t waste time Reinventing the wheel
  • Eliminate bottlenecks
  • Be obsessed with customers, not competitors
  • People matters
  • Set the bar high
  • Empower your team
  • Pay to Quit
  • Don’t predict the Future, Invent it
  • Use Memos, kill pointers in meetings
  • Don’t give up information unless necessary
  • Adapt to new technology

On Steve Jobs

I was reading the book title: Steve Jobs Jeff Bezos: Building 2 Valuable Brands in America. I liked the author’s writing style, simple and to the point.

These are summary of authors observation from the life of Steve Jobs. I am sure most of us have read all these in one of the other books or blogs published.When One Door Closes, Another One Opens

  • Traveling Is One of the Best Forms of Education
  • Explore Your Spirituality
  • Start Early
  • Passion and True Love Comes First
  • Trust Your Instinct
  • Stay Focused
  • Sell a Dream not a Product
  • Own Your Mistakes
  • Know Yourself
  • Overcome Your Failures
  • Stand for What You Believe In
  • Always Persevere
  • Have Full Confidence
  • Value People, Not Money
  • Surround Yourself with Great Brilliance
  • You Become the Company You Create
  • Focus On the Goal
  • Learn to Love Change
  • Never Succumb to Social Conformity
  • Simplify
  • Put Products Before Profits
  • Listen to Your Customer
  • Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
  • Pursue Greatness Over Money
  • Share Your Wisdom

Desire to progress

Humanity is hooked on to desire to progress. New revolution and technological advancements are the byproducts of our desire to progress.

Our desire to progress is equally powerful as our fight and flight mode actions. We envision a better version of self.

Many products and brands use this in their favor. They won’t tell you about the chemical they are selling but advertise you deserve it.

Myspace was a market leader and then Facebook happened.
Altavista was in the market leader before Google took over.

If we are building some product for a particular market, it will be great to map a desire to progress map for your customers. How will your product help them in becoming better?


Incentives act like serotonin. It makes us feel happy. It is not limited to an age group or humans.

BF Skinner performed variable rewards experiment on pigeons. These days mobile application providers are using the same on us.

Incentives are not limited to money but can come from appreciation and actions.

  • A doctor operates an open heart surgery when a stent in an artery is enough.
  • E-commerce providers run SALE every month.
  • Our organization has a hall of fame for top performers.
  • Github repository has stars.
  • Different kind of app notifications on social media apps.

It is all about making us feel better and making us do better. It has good as well as an evil side. So practice with precaution.

Stoic practices

The Little Book of Stoicism mentions 54 practice which the author recommends their users to follow. It will bring the reader closer to practicing stoicism.

I am adding some of the most meaningful ones I could associate with:

  1. Accept And Love Whatever Happens
  2. Undertake Actions with a Reserve Clause
  3. Remind Yourself of the Impermanence of Things
  4. Contemplate Your Own Death
  5. Consider Everything as Borrowed from Nature
  6. Negative Visualization: Foreseeing Bad Stuff
  7. Prepare Yourself for the Day: The Stoic Morning Routine
  8. Review Your Day: The Stoic Evening Routine
  9. Keep a Role Model in Mind: Contemplate the Stoic Sage
  10. Play Your Given Roles Well
  11. Eliminate the Nonessential, practice minimalism
  12. Forget Fame
  13. Win at What Matters
  14. Take Back Your Time: Limit consumption of externalities (news, social media et al)
  15. Become an Eternal Student
  16. Do What Needs to Get Done
  17. Your Judgment Harms You
  18. How to Deal With Grief
  19. Choose Courage and Calm over Anger
  20. Beat Fear with Preparation and Reason
  21. Pain and Provocation: Great Opportunities for Virtue
  22. Stay Equanimous
  23. Life Is Supposed to Be Challenging
  24. Count Your Blessings
  25. Be kindness and practice Empathy
  26. Do Good, Be Good
  27. We are part of the same universe
  28. Find Your Own Faults
  29. Forgive and Love Those Who Stumble
  30. Pity Rather than Blame the Wrongdoer
  31. Scratches Happen In Training
  32. Choose Your Company Well
  33. Say Only What’s Not Better Left Unsaid
  34. Lead by Example
  35. Blame Your Expectations

Mere association tendency

Our brain likes to take shortcuts. It is programmed to take quick decisions. That has been a reason we call it monkey mind.

How many times did you buy ice cream or soap or soda because your favorite superstar was selling it?

  • Go out and check the signboards people selling sugar associate it with Happiness.
  • Cesarean section is advertised as pain-free delivery.
  • Alcohol is sold association company of friends.
  • A credit card is sold as freedom.

Mere association tendency is not limited to humans. Russian psychologist Pavlov conducted an experiment on a dog. In the experiment, he rang a bell before feeding the dog. He repeated the same for some time and noticed ringing the bell alone resulted in dog secreting more saliva.

book notes: The Little Book of Stoicism

I spent last week reading The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber.
I was able to connect myself with what he has written.

Stoicism is a school of Philosophy over 2000 years old. It has become more popular in the modern age. It mostly focuses on our thoughts and understanding self.

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
— Marcus Aurelius

Our fears are always more numerous than our dangers.
— Seneca

Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
— Epictetus

Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus are some known stoic philosophers.

The author has done a great job in explaining the whole concept if you want to learn about stoicism, this book is a good start.

I made some doodles as I was reading the book, I have added them with the blog. Ooh, he also mentions about 54 stoic practices, read the book to know more. 🙂

Lastly one can find most of the writings of these stoics for free on the internet.

Non essentials

Why do we waste our time on things which has no meaning to our life? Bitching about government or giving an opinion on subjects we have no knowledge is of any help?

Our time is limited, we still spend a good amount of it in the non-essentials. The relationship which has no value, the communication which is noisy.

I am not talking about productivity here but more about our own sanity. I am still figuring it out.

help appreciated!