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Made You Think

Jan 24, 2018

Failures are just opportunities in disguise.

In this episode of made you think, Neil and I revisit the previous books and topics discussed on the podcast. We delve into the most useful lessons that we’ve learned so far, and discuss how you, too, can apply these lessons in your own life. We also had some Irish Mushroom Coffee.

We cover various topics from previous episodes, including:

  • The most important lessons from the past twenty episodes
  • Incorporating these lessons into your own life
  • Breaking down the core concepts in each episode
  • Becoming antifragile and resilient to failure
  • Learning to focus solely on what's in your control
  • Letting your intuition and unconscious mind guide you

And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to check out all of our episodes here.

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out a few of our most popular episodes: How to Think Like Elon Musk, A Crash Course In Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cryptocurrency, and Turning Chaos to Your Advantage: Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.


Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more.


Mentioned in the show:

Books mentioned:

People mentioned:

0:00 - Some information on this episode, a bit on the unique beverage being drunk throughout the discussion, and a bit on how this episode is formatted.

2:20 - Book one, Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. How Nat and Neil have applied this book to their own lives and some discussion on a few lessons from the book. Becoming more antifragile and noticing the fragile. Second major lesson at 6:40 on the unnecessary information filter. “You want to look for opportunities where you have really high upside and really limited potential downside.”

9:45 - Book two, Letters from a Stoic by Seneca. How the book was written and some key takeaways from the book. Focusing on what’s in your control, forcing hardships on yourself, and a bit on the other stoic philosophers.

15:40 - Book three, Mastery by Robert Greene. A bit on the book being a must-read for college students, how the book is structured, Robert Greene’s other books, and how the book details important elements of mentor/mentee relationships. “If you want to get really good at something, Mastery is where you start.”

21:50 - Book four, The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. Discussion on the initiation rituals in the past, which were for boys to become men. Also, a bit on various systems which were passed down throughout time and their significance (e.g. praying for your sickness to go away, benefiting from the placebo effect). Discussion on praying for certain weather conditions back in the day, compared to manipulating it today and the fragility of that.

30:58 - Book five, The Sovereign Individual. Some information on the book, its predictions, a bit on cryptocurrency, and going off the grid.

39:14 - Book six, In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell. Some information on the book, discussion on working and productivity, and some thoughts on spending time on leisure. “You don’t always have to be working, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for not working.”

42:52 - Episode seven, the cryptocurrency crash course episode. What was discussed in the episode and a bit on cryptocurrency in general.

47:40 - Book eight, Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. Some information on the book and discussion on the negatives of the internet, media, and the news. Also, some discussion on the prevalence of false information in the media today.

56:40 - Book nine, Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse. The impact of this book on your perspective and work-life, describing finite vs infinite games, a bit on goals vs systems thinking, and discussing finite playing vs infinite playing.

1:01:48 - Book ten, The Way of Zen by Alan Watts. A bit on the book itself, discussion on meditation, some thoughts on knowledge that’s not defined by explicit rules, and doing things without having the need to explain why.

1:08:24 - Book eleven, Emergency by Neil Strauss. Discussing prepper communities, doomsday survival, and making sure that you’re prepared for bombings, shootings, and other tragic situations. Also, what to do in certain dangerous situations to improve your chances of survival. “Start better preparing for things that might actually happen.”

1:17:45 - Book twelve, Godel Escher Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter. Some discussion on the wide range of topics found throughout the book and on the intellectual depth of the book. Also, a bit on the accurate predictions the book made and its ideas which are still relevant 50 years later.

1:25:13 - Episode thirteen, the Cook and the Chef article by Tim Urban. Breaking down how Elon Musk thinks. Thinking based on first principles and changing your perspective to force a new way of thinking. “What assumptions can I challenge that I haven’t challenged yet.”

1:30:52 - Book fourteen, The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. Some information on the book and how it’s broken down. Describing the theory of constraints and using this to improve your companies efficiency and for optimizing bottlenecks. Also, a bit of discussion on management and business in general.

1:37:28 - Book fifteen, Principles by Ray Dalio. How the book is formatted, breaking down each section, and a bit on some of the wisdom found in the book. Living by these principles and tracking the decisions that you make. “You can have almost anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.” “Failures are just opportunities in disguise.”

1:43:22 - Book sixteen, The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallaway. Discussion on the concept of self-one (conscious, ego-based mind) and self-two (unconscious, automatic behavior mind) found in the books. Letting your intuition and your unconscious guide you, and some techniques for allowing this to happen easier.

1:48:29 - Book seventeen, The Psychology of Human Misjudgments by Charlie Munger. What the book was about, the twenty-five psychological failures and cognitive biases that we all fall into, and making better decisions.

1:56:07 - Book eighteen, Work Clean by Dan Charnas. Some information on the book, how you can benefit from it, the relationship between cleanliness and organization with improved productivity, and starting things so that they’re easier to pick up later.

1:58:17 - Book nineteen, The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. How the book is written, a bit of discussion on Freud, and a bit on our own mortality.

2:01:08 - Book twenty, Influence by Robert Cialdini. A bit on how the book is structured, who could benefit the most from reading it, and some information on each of the chapters.

2:03:05 - Wrap-up, information on Nat’s book notes, the podcast episode, sponsors, and some last thoughts.

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