E47: Season 1 Finale – Synopsis of Lessons from our 15 Guests (Part 2/2)

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Episode Summary:

Listen to the full episode on iTunes (and please leave a rating to help the podcast reach more people):

Sebastian Marshall:

  • To become more productive, find appropriate metrics for your work. Measure these things, then start improving them.
  • If you can’t measure output (results), then measure input. Focus on being consistent at implementing positive habits for work and the rest of your life. 
  • What gets measured gets managed. It’s hard to stop once you start. “Start the feedback loop, then feed it.” Once you start, it will be kept top of mind. 

Jay Campbell:

  • Having low testosterone levels can lead to many issues with mood, focus, and overall well-being. Most men have average levels though, which is fine, 
  • Adverse factors leading to low testosterone: sitting still too much, eating bad foods (sugar, soy, xenoextrogens), not exercising, having low Omega-3 levels, being fat,
  • But it’s not just about what you eat, it’s also about your attitude. E.g, not having any psychological commitment to meaningful goals, and not feeling self-sufficient.
  • Start with the fundamentals before trying the esoteric: First get good sleep and exercise. Then look to other things.

Mattias Ribbing:

  • Pictorial thinking is the fastest way our cognition works. You want to try to trigger pictures in your mind. This can be done by metaphors, comparisons, visualization, stories, and descriptive words. 
  • When you can see something in your head, it’s a pretty good litmus test that you understand the thing. 
  • Society and educations places too much emphasis on learning specific things, and not enough on “learning how to learn” as a meta skill.
  • Ludvig spent a lot of time doing this, and recommends focusing on (1) spaced repetition and (2) gaining many associations in an area (e.g learning the background).

Martin Sandquist:

Walter Kiechel:

  • Strategy consultants might have good ideas for business strategy, but often, the most crucial tasks they perform for companies are: (1) to provide an outsider’s unbiased view of the situation, and (2) being able to take the fall if an idea goes wrong. 
  • The Jungian Shadow of consultants: maybe metrics won’t be the competitive edge anymore (and most of these guys who started the big strategy firms were numbers guys.
  • The most successful strategy concepts were those that were easy to implement. Those having to do with changing human behavior (shifting people’s homeostasis) were a much harder sell. 

Ola Ahlvarsson:

  • 4 Different entrepreneurial types: The virtuoso (passionate specialist–Jamie Oliver), the all-or-nothing entrepreneur (Jeff Bezos–survivorship bias is strong here! you only see the ones who took massive risk and built big businesses), the better-safe-than-sorry-entrepreneur (Mike Bloomberg–rational competent person), and the serial entrepreneur (Richard Branson–good at starting, bad at managing).
  • Bob Kegan’s levels of maturity & adulthood:
    • Many young people are at risk of “getting stuck in level 3” of comparing yourself to others too much and not forming your own sense of values in life. 
    • When you get committed to a “persona” built up over social media, it’s hard to give it up. That means you will struggle with maturing as you grow older. 

Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg:

  • Two easy ways to use your prefrontal cortex more and increase blood flow and dopamine: Novelty and Variation. 
    • Novelty = have a new experience, a new “high”, do something new, go somehwere new and different, have an idea that shifts your thinking, break out of your homeostasis. 
    • Variation = do something you’re already familiar with in a different way; like writing with your other hand, working from your phone/iPad instead of computer, working somewhere outside of your home or office, switching up the sequence of gym exercises you do or the songs you listen to. 
  • Elkhonon believes that nowadays, with technological acceleration, we have a higher baseline rate of novelty in the world (compared to just a few decades before). And he thinks that this will lead to more stimulated prefrontal cortices. 
    • Ludvig partly disagrees with this: it’s probably true for older people +40 (whose brains are already matured and myelinated), but unlikely to be true (or a least, being deemed a “good” thing) for young people, because they are getting all of this free and easily available stimulation, and it keeps them from developing their ability to generate concentration from within. So they don’t build up their “PFC-muscle” as much as they should. 
  • On temperament: Bipolar is likely a drawback, due the body’s mood fluctuating too much. But a milder form of bipolarism, Cyclothymia, is a benefit in terms of being adaptable. 
    • going through these mood-changes (from happy and energetic to depressed and passive) is a physiological process of change. Because of this, having a temperament like this, your body is breaking out of homeostasis without active effort. 
    • Therefore, cyclothymia may be a strong evolutionary benefit as a person grows older (and homeostasis grows stronger), in terms of having new ideas or adapting to the world. 

Alexander Bard:

  • Society is becoming sexualized: Men and women (at least in western world) are spending too much time with each other (in work and social places). This can be compared to a hunting tribe or an indian village, where men hang out and hunt together, and women do village work together. 
  • When this gets too extreme (“over-sexualization”) both genders take offense. Women feel pressured to wear make-up and be pretty all the time. And men feel inadequate because they need to show their competence and impress the women, leading to overcompensation. 
  • Equal rights is an important idea, but equality doesn’t exist. Men and women are not the same, and should not compete or compare to each other. Is a bear a better animal than a frog? 
  • Alexander Bard Tweet about Swedish tech billionaires. https://twitter.com/Bardissimo/status/1075675707211202561 
  • Career advice: If you’re in an area that favors youth, you cannot stay successful forever. Make an active choice to begin a second career in an area where the fruits of your labor (enjoyment, money, legacy) will pay off in the long-run. Alexander realized he could not be a pop star or work in the music industry forever, because you peak there around age 25-35. But being a thinker and philosopher is something you can do even in old age. 

Martin Ford:

  • There is no need to be over-anxious about being replaced by robots in the next 20 years, if you’re in a profession that allows you to think, learn, and be creative on a regular basis. Even if your particular current job gets replaced, it’s relatively easy to switch to something similar. An active mind stays active. 
  • Martin’s big takeaway from talking to 23 AI innovators in Architects of Intelligence: This is a very complex area, even the biggest experts do not agree. They may agree on many of the big points, but not on the specific details, such as the projected time frame on when a General AI will be created. It could be anywhere between 20-200 years. There are no easy answers.
  • In order for society to properly adapt to robots, AI, and job loss, cultural ideas like The Protestant Work Ethic need to be eradicated. Meaning: it needs to become more socially acceptable (than currently) to be unemployed or working part-time. If this does not happen, and cultural values remain the same in this aspect, then a large number of the population will be stigmatized, depressed, have low self-esteem and feel bad. 
  • Mikael observation: It was just 12 years since the iPhone was launched. Most teenagers cannot imagine a different world (before social media and Internet and smartphones). 

We are right now creating the Future Skills Program which will be an online video course covering decision-making and risk management with weekly homework and evaluations.

* Why decision making and risk management? Because better decisions equal better finances, better relationships and an overall better life.

* Decisions are the foundation of everything you do and the outcome you eventually get.

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