What I'm Reading...

Dead Ends and Framing

The frames our minds create define—and confine—what we perceive to be possible. Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.

– Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility, p. 14

(Hat tip to James Clear for making me remember about this excellent book.)

dead ends framing

You have the agency and ability to create the world you want to live in

Urgent Optimism as defined by Jane McGonigal in Imaginable (p. 32)

Urgent optimism is a balanced feeling. It’s recognizing that, yes, there are great challenges and risks ahead, while also staying realistically hopeful that you have something to contribute to how we solve those challenges and face those risks. Urgent optimism means you’re not staying awake all night worrying about what might happen. Instead, you’re leaping out of bed in the morning with a fire in your pants to do something about it. Urgent optimism is knowing that you have agency and the ability to use your unique talents, skills, and life experiences to create the world you want to live in.

future thinking urgent optimism McGonigal

Make the numbers…

Warren Buffet, quoted by Peter Bevelin in A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers:

Watch out for managers who seduce me with fancy predictions.

A few of this managers will prove prophetic–but others will turn out to be congenial optimists, or even charlatans. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for investors to know in advance which species they are dealing with.


Managers that always promise to “make the numbers” will at some point be tempted to make up the numbers.

incentives public companies warren buffet

Amateurs and Pros

David Kadavy on his Love Mondays Newsletter:

The difference between pro and amateur creators: Amateurs expect everything to work.

So, the amateur leaves in their wake a trail of half-finished and failed projects.

The pro also leaves a trail of half-finished and failed projects, but by a different name. They’re called prototypes.


As a result, the amateur burns out, gets in over their head, or fails spectacularly. It will be a miracle if they get back up and dust off.

Meanwhile, the pro also quits or fails. But that outcome was always in the cards. The amateur tried to go on a date with destiny, the pro collected data.

Pros prototype.

amateurs turning-pro mindset

Be bold on a specific day

If you’d like to do something bold with your life, you will have to choose to do something bold on a specific day.

There is no perfect day. There is no right time. For the trajectory to change, there has to be one day when you simply make the choice.

James Clear