The pact of Paratroopers

In certain groups and tribes, there seems to be this hidden pact of bravery, courage, teamwork and “bottle”.

“Bottle” is the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous.

There is a sacred bond between tribes which means they will go above and beyond to protect their troop – to protect their family.

This bond, while dangerous to a certain extent, is absurdly powerful when you’re in the field of battle and in critical situations.

Reading at the right time

There’s such a thing as reading being wasteful because you came across it at the wrong time in your life.

There might be too little context or it might not be a huge problem you’re facing or looking to solve at that moment in time.

On other occasions, when you re-read something you came across years ago, it may have a huge impact on you because you read it at the right time or right place (both in your life’s journey or even geographically).

Metrics and Laws

I’m sure at some point in your professional life, you’ve been tasked with adhering to certain quantifiable targets and metrics.

The problem with metrics is they can be manipulated to the detriment of the wider goal, in order to achieve an arbitrary number.

When it comes to this, there are two laws worth bearing in mind that i read about today:

  • Goodhart’s Law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure,” and
  • Campbell’s Law: The more a metric is used, the more likely it is to “corrupt the process it is intended to monitor.”

When performance is measured by a specific metric, you will optimise
Everything to hit it – regardless of the consequences.

Think carefully about tracking the right metrics to help you improve the whole pie, and not just your piece.

Planning on sundays

My best Sundays are when I can reflect on the week gone and the week ahead. When I’m so busy that I can’t find time to do that, I lose track of a lot of things.

Today I’ve been experimenting with new ways to track habits and learn more about bash scripts. I’m excited to share both my learnings in future posts as one allows me to refine my discipline resource, while the other frees me up to partake in more creative tasks. Both are needed to express freedom in creativity.

Expectancy Theory

The expectancy theory states that your motivation for pursuing goals, whether they be big dreams like financial independence or minor tasks like collecting the mail, depends on your expectations of success. The formula looks like this:

Motivation = [Value of Success] * [Probability of Being Successful] – [Effort]

If your goal is really valuable, chances of success are high and effort is low—it’s a no-brainer, you’ll definitely do it.

Things get more complicated, however, when we look at the second term in that formula. Probability of being successful itself can depend on motivation. Meaning, if you’re very motivated, committed and certain to stick to your goal, your probability of success might be much higher than if aren’t taking it very seriously.

This means motivation is both an input to the formula and the output. When something is an input and an output, you get feedback effects. Just like how if you put a microphone next to the speakers a small noise can get turned into a glaring screech, your own doubts can undermine your motivation.

Essentially, motivation and the probability of success highly depends on what you’ve done before. It depends on what you’re “normal” is. If your normal is building and selling successful companies, you’re going to be pretty damn sure that you can do it bigger and better next time.

The above is inspired from Scott Young and his blog – you can check it out here.

The power of ego

I watched a documentary on the rise and fall of Hugo Chavez recently – while he seemed like a well-intentioned person to start with – looking after his people, addressing inequality, investing in health programs – as he clung to power, his ego grew larger.

This led to him making misjudgements which crippled Venezuela’s economy through its over reliance on oil and overspending.

He enforced military rule and built relationships with controversial leaders – while he stood up for his beliefs he went about this in an intimidating way.