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Reflecting back on my post from two days ago, I thought you might find it handy to have a brief list of concrete actions you can take right now:

  1. Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
  2. Surround yourself with people more optimistic than you.
  3. Find out where these people gather, and be there every time they meet.
  4. ‘Why’ is more important than ‘How,’ is more important than ‘What’
  5. Start again from the top at #1

I don’t know about you, but too many rules make my eyes glaze over. However, there is one point that bears additional clarification.

When I say be there I don’t just mean “show up.” Listen with every part of your being, contribute something in the spirit of #4 only when you have something genuine to add (not just to hear yourself talk), and then go back to listening intently.

I’m curious to know your experience.


If you have the opportunity to meet with a dozen intelligent, optimistic people… don’t do it for the doughnuts. Save that for this recipe by Mark Bittman. Doughnuts require us to be there at every step. Enjoy!

My deep thanks to Simon Sinek, Nassim Nicolas Taleb, and Tim Ferriss for the motivation.