December 17, 2018

I met my friend Teddy for lunch and he raised a few good questions:

How can you know in advance if something is going to be important?

What if something is a mundane repetitive task, that in itself is marginally important, like practicing or exercising?

What about things that you think are trivial but end up being highly impactful? (Teddy gave an example of how our professor in college forced our lab groups to be randomized every project, which at the time felt useless and inconvenient, and ended up being one of the most valuable and relevant aspects of his degree)

Good points, Teddy 🙂 This framework isn’t bulletproof. For the last point, I guess that’s the value of guided education, where wiser people can push you through areas where your judgment hasn’t developed yet.

For the first point, I agree – if the framework required predicting the future, it wouldn’t be very useful. So it’s important to point out that the question isn’t “will this be important in a year” and rather “is there any plausible imaginable scenario where this affects my life even a little bit in a year?”

Not “will it?” but “could it?”

Candid feedback and thoughtful responses keeps me motivated. What sucked? What should I keep doing? What does this make you think about? Send me a note at tal at talraviv org


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