The Dark Forest

I finished the second part of The Three-Body Problem. It has hooked me again until the end. To be picky, how the hibernation was figured out? 🙂 And it is clear that being limited by the Sophons had to have an impact…

I liked the two axioms for cosmic civilization: 1) survival is the primary need of civilization 2) civilization continuosly grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant (that reminds me to you can’t destroy energy, just transform it). Plus “benevolence” and “malice”. You have all the tools now to survive in the dark forest that is the galaxy 🙂

And love. That came out of the blue.

Kwik Reading

I bought this course and completed it two months ago more or less. I am using the basic for my normal reading, although I should repeat it at some point to verify my improvement.


F=Forget (old habits, limitations)
A=Active (motivation, schedule)
S=State (be present, mood)
T=Teach (teach, your learn twice)


DAY 1: Finding Your Starting Place

  • consistent -> schedule it! create a habit: when you most awake and less distraction. 1st thing in morning? 10 minutes only!

WPM: 190



focus (if information gets quick enugh, your brain doesnt distract
regression (re-reading)s -> avoid it, creates momemtun!

  • visual pacer !!! -> something to underlay the words! finger or ruler
    • help to focus
    • eyes attract to movement
    • neurologic (smell + taste // seight + touch )



how to use a visual pacer:



move arm, not finger
upright posture (proper breathing) – tilt the book – face the book



mind over matter

indentation reading: start about an inch in and stop about an inch before the end.



eye health:
relax your eye muscles and activate both your left and right brain. I call this technique, a “lazy-8” or an “infinity technique.”: 1 minute before readings



read a book a week: 45m reading nornal -> 30m speeding read ?



subvocalization – Do you often hear your voice reading along with you?
-> “123 Technique” say 123 while you are reading –> keep in mind it is impossible to stop it.



using your left hand as the ruler!


DAY 10

speed drill: 4-3-2-1 (need to do it again!)


DAY 11

activating peripheral vision -> learn to juggle 3 balls (youtube)


DAY 12

boasting comprehension: read
better questions -> your questions makes you on focus in x (questions are the answers)
(who, what, where, when, why)


DAY 13

FAQ: read everyday! 15 minutes (use finger, indentation, lazy eight, left hand)
4321 – 3 times per week
questions: 5-9 before reading
flexible speed reading
small habits, long result


DAY 14

boosting comprehension p2-> taking notes:

  • capture (left side: notes – logical) – create (right side: your impressions)
  • mind mapping
  • quadrants


DAY 15

boosting comprehension p3 -> relate

  • explain what you read to somebody: (1st buddy, 2nd call a friend, 3rd plant) – Externalize, speak aloud (dont talk to yourself!)


DAY 16

the importance of brain breaks
more primancy (first) and more recency (last)
each 30 minutes, 5 minutes brain break (10x deep breath, hidrate, stretch/move)

What is the primary response of your brain? Controlling movement.
super brain yoga:
left hand, touch your right ear
right hand, touch your left ear
sit ups at the same time


DAY 17

the power of reading backwards p1

  • skimming and then reading
    — Always use a visual pacer.
    — You can either go down the center of a page (traditional “speed reading”) or
    — You can also do a zig-zag method.
    ** The last and my favorite method of skimming is going one line forward and one line backwards.
    (left to right, next line right to left, etc etc) has to be quick! – creates confusion and question


DAY 18

introducing eye fixations

  • Average reader sees one word at a time.
  • Kwik Reader sees groups of words -> Eye Fixations: you need to see groups of words. start with some warm-up exercises to activate your peripheral vision 🙂
    • devide the page with one line. You have to parts, the divide each again.
      You will have four parts and 3 lines. You will stop only in the lines so you fixation will be three instead of the 10 average stops per line.


DAY 19

reading technical information

  • you won’t be able to read at the speed you would read light fiction

Step #1: Build a Map (5-Part Map Building Process)

  • Look at the pictures
  • Spot unfamiliar words
  • Ask 5-9 questions: (who, what, where, when, why)
  • Organize the chapter: check the table of contents or index -> build a mind map (or quadrant)
  • Visualize

Step #2: Skim through the chapter

Step #3: Read the chapter


DAY 20

5 levels of transformation

  • Environment (level 5)
  • Behavior (level 4)
  • Capability (level 3)
  • Beliefs & values (level 2)
  • Identity (level 1)

Level 1 Who – identity
Level 2 Why – beliefs and values
Level 3 How – capabilities
Level 4 What – behaviour
Level 5 Where & When – environment


DAY 21

Building a reading habit


B = Behavior/Habit. Pick a behavior you would like to incorporate.
M = Motivation. Give a score to your motivation. – I am 8, so what I need to get 10 — book time for reading everyday at work (lunch time) and weekend.
A = Ability. How can you increase the ability?
T = Trigger. What reminds you to do the behavior? -> book time in calendar / bring book to office the

The Diary of a CEO

I have watched many videos from this channel and to be honest I thought the book should be interesting to read:

Pillar 1: The self

1: Fill your 5 buckets in the right order: knowledge (what you know)-> skills (what you can do) -> network (who you know)-> resources (what you have) -> reputation (what they think of you).

You can’t pour from empty buckets.

These 5 buckets and order makes sense to me. It starts within you and then you can’t expand. You have your shit together? Then you can reach out. And the first two are the foundations and must be rock solid.

2: To master it, you must create an obligation to teach it

Based on the Feynman Technique, the author version: 1)Learn, 2) Teach it to a child, 3) Share it and 4) Review.

3: You must never disagree

Key factor for master communications, negotiations, conflicts, etc. Based on studies, disagreement “shuts down” part of your brain.

Even when you are right, if you want to reach to a positive outcome, listen to the other person and be sure he/she feels “heard” and then reply in a way that makes it feel “understood”. So build bridges and not walls. Disagree less, understand more.

4: You don’t get to choose what you believe.

Based on Daniel Kahneman, we dont have evidence from most of our important beliefs, we just trust our environment (family, tribe, etc) And it make sense, if I were born in somewhere else, I am sure I would have different beliefs.

So how to change a belief depends on: 1) Person’s current evidence 2) Their confidence in their current evidence 3) The new evidence 4) The confidence in that new evidence

So we can change belief if the new evidence sounds as good news and it is not a direct attack to the current one.

But thinking of yourself… to change your own-belief you need to get out of your comfort zone (where your existing evidence is believed), and get to the growth zone, where you can find new evidence for changing that believe: ie: afraid of talking to girls…. you will have to talk to one (not a million in one day), rinse and repeat.

Growth happens when you start doing the things you aren’t qualified to do.

5: You must lean in to bizarre behaviour:

“lean out” = being so arrogantly sure you are right that you refuse to listen/learn/read new info. This happens when something (a change) threats your status-quo = cognitive dissonance

So lean in, because change is only going to get faster.

lean-in: study and ask honest questions: why am I believing what i believe? Can be wrong? Do I understand (I am leaning out)? Am I following a trend?

“Shimon Peres solution” = hold two conflictive instances and resist the urge to force two things to make sense

For me this is a bit hard to swallow to be honest:

Don’t block people that you don’t agree with, follow more of them. Don’t run from ideas that make you uncomfortable, run towards them.

If you live avoiding risk, you are risking missing out on life (love, work, etc)

6: Ask, don’t tell.

Questions elicit an active response. They make people think. Use “Will you xxx?” for your questions and get to Yes/No. And this helps to make changes. “Will you go to dance tonight (alone)?” “Will you talk to talk to a girl?”

Ask questions of your actions, and your actions will answer

7: Never compromise your self-story:

You can’t quit when no one is watching (Chris Eubank Jr boxer)

Everything you do – with or without an audience – provides evidence to you about who you are and what you are capable of

You self-story and the mental toughness/grit/resilience that you have is more important than anything else for achieving your goals in business and life.

Choose to make the hard thing. Prove to yourself (in a thousand tiny ways, at every possible chance) that you have what it takes to overcome the challenges of life. If you do, you will have a robust, positive, evidence-based self-story.

8: Never fight a bad habit:

I need to read “Hooked” by Nir Eyal (I read already other book from him). So an habit loop consist of: 1) routine (actual behaviour), 2) cue: the trigger of the routine 3) reward: (result/impact of the routine)

So if you want to change a habit, you need want to change the cue and the reward. And figure it our which one it is. Make a change at the time (willpower is limited so use it wisely)

Your habits are your future (and your base for anything else)

9: Always prioritise your first foundation:

You only get one mind and one body… use/invest/care for them wisely

Pillar 2: The Story

This is very marketing/sales specific pillar. Our decisions are not driven by sense, they are driven by nonsense created by social cues, irrational fear and survival instincts.

10: Useless absurdity will define you more than useful practicalities

This mainly for marketing and reminds me to the pickup artists trying to differentiate from the rest of guys, or football players to tattoos, etc.

Your public story will be defined not by all the useful practical things that you do, in many cases, not even by the products that you sell, but by the useless absurdity that your brand is associated with.

I think that help at the beginning but still you need to have a good product, if not, that hype will wear off sooner or later. And this is not for the risk-averse people.

Normality is ignored. Absurdity sells.

11: Avoid wallpaper (neutral/blunt) at all costs:

Habituation: in-built neurological capability that helps us to focus on what matters and ignore the things that our brain doesn’t consider important (concentration camps, ghettos, etc)

Semantic satiation: Related to the above, the more something is repeated, the quicker lose its meaning. There are exceptions like terms related to survival.

Optimal level of exposure: Based on the above points, too much exposure reduces the attention but you need some to get some liking. So this is used in marketing, music businesses to get you.

In order to be heard, tell stories in an unrepetitive, unfiltered and unconventional way.

12: You must piss people off

Related to 11). Indifference (people dont love or hate you) is the least profitable outcome for a marketer. But be aware of the “wallpaper effect”

13: Shoot your psychological moonshots first

This is the scariest law of all as it is how we are manipulated by the big companies (ie Uber)

A psychological moonshot is a relatively small investment that drastically improves the perception of something.

So these are five of them:

Customers will judge their entire experience on just two moments: the best (or worst) part and the end (driver kindness).

Idleness aversion: Keeping waiting customer busy by giving them something to watch or engage with, they would be significantly happier and less likely to cancel.

Operational transparency: explain each step going on behind the scenes to show the rate of progress during the wait.

Uncertainty anxiety: Customers dont want faster delivery, they want less uncertainty about the delivery. It is less stressful psychologically to know something negative is going to happen (pizza delayed 30 minutes) than to be left in uncertainty (no idea when the pizza is coming)

Goal-gradient effect: Speeding up near the finish lane. What motivates us most is how close we are to achieving a goal: we work faster the closer we are to success (ie. cafe’s reward programs, linkedin profile, etc)

It is nearly always cheaper, easier and more effective to invest in perception than reality.

Biggest progress in the next 50 years won’t come from improvements in technology, but in psychology and design thinking.

Invest in shaping perceptions. Our truth is the story we choose to believe.

A lot of references to Rory Sutherland.

Another example of Moonshot is the ordering screens from McDonals, reported to increase sales 10% and customer satisfaction without changing anything else.

14: Friction can create value

Sometimes your customers will want your product more if you make their experience at certain level, worse (ie: Cocacola (sweet) vs redbul (bitter but give you wings… search engine taking some time but showing what is doing.. cook your meat in a stone) Making things easier isn’t necessarily the path to a psychological moonshot (law 13)

Value doesn’t exist. It’s a perception we reach with expectations we meet.

15: The frame matters more than the picture:

Framing: How something is framed affects how consumers perceive and value the brand (iphone, luxury clothing, etc) Reality is nothing more than perception and context is king. Context creates THE value

16: Use Goldilocks to your advantage

Goldilocks is a type of anchoring: cognitive bias where individuals rely too heavily on seemingly irrelevant information (anchor) when making a decision: ie presenting two extreme options next to the option you want to sell (properties, flight tickets (economy, standard, premium), etc) = Never show people only one option.

17: Let them try and they will buy

Based on “endowment effect”: cognitive bias that causes people to overvalue an item simply because they own it, regardless of its objective value (Apple stores)

18: Fight for the first 5 sec

For the author, this is the most important part of his marketing company success: we told the most captivating, surprising and emotional stories.

When a storyteller understands that absolutely nobody cares about them as much as they do, they tell captivating, emotional, punchy stories that you have no choice than paying attention.

In a world where our attention spans is shrinking, attention might just be the most generous gift that anyone can give.

Pillar 3: The Philosophy

19: You must sweat the small stuff

The easiest way to do big things is by focusing in the small things (that others ignore). The base here is “kaizen” = continuous improvement (Toyota) But this is not an overnight success, it takes time (a lot), investment (ideas coach) and belief. But dont pay for creating suggestions, if you attach a financial reward to ideas, it can eliminate people’s genuine creative energy and ambition. And when a hobby becomes a job, motivation drops (being a baker???)

20: A small miss now creates a big miss later

Related to the above but in the negative way. +1% improvement compounds a lot in the long rung, but -1% does too. And the idea is keizen is not just for business, you can use it in your personal and sentimental life.

Pursuit of perfection is a matter of discipline, not heroism.

21: You must out-fail the competition

From the world of IT, this is the new normal. Fail fast and often.

From my lovely JB: Failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment. Big winners pay for so many experiments (kind of investing I guess)

The biggest cost is not failing, it is missing an opportunity to grow and wasting time to learn a new lesson regardless of the outcome.

Get to the 51% certainty and make the decision. Perfect decisions exist only in hindsight. The real cost of indecision in business is wasted time, that could have been used failing your way to knowledge.

Ideas to introduce this pro-failure culture: 1) Remove bureaucracy: small teams, with authority, trust, resources and no sign-offs 2) Fix the incentives: words need evidence, incentives and examples to bring them to life (you need to prove that you want to implement a pro-failure culture) 3) Promote and fire: clear, people who play ball with the culture, promote. The mood-hoovers, out. 4) Measure accurately: establish visible KPI and clear goals and make everybody responsible. 5) Share the failure: evident

22: You must become a Plan-A thinker

Maybe you should put all your eggs in one basket. Having a back-up plan has been shown to potentially hinder your performance by making your less driven to hit your primary goal.

Yes, this can ge difficult to swallow. But being risky doesnt mean being reckless.

23: Don’t be an ostrich = don’t hid from Problems/Reality in business and life.

We are motivated (too) by avoiding discomfort. Most people dont want to acknowledge that uncomfortable truth that distraction is always an unhealthy escape from reality.

Pain in life is unavoidable, but the pain that we create by trying to avoid pain is avoidable.

How to deal with discomfort and avoiding procrastination: 1) pause and acknowledge (that something is not right). 2) review yourself: feelings, behaviour and emotions. 3) speak your truth: talking about our disconnections, create more connectedness. 4) seek the truth: listen to understand.

When you refuse to accept an uncomfortable truth, you are choosing to accept an uncomfortable future.

24: You must make pressure your privilege

This is another pill difficult to swallow, but I get the point. Pressure can be good if it is at certain level and your relationship with it. It is like the tension for that exam, futsal game, combat, etc. There is where you grow and show your value. As well, too much comfort, is not good for your mind, body and emotions. I dont want a job that stress me out everyday, where I lose sleep, appetite, joy of sport, etc. I want to improve and like building muscle or learning anything you need to put effort and that needs some kind of pressure on it. If you believe stress is all bad, then it will be bad. If you find value, you grow (and survive). And to be clear, pressure as privilege is when it is viewed as something voluntary, meaningful and high autonomy. The contrary: compulsory, meaningless and low autonomy is psychological pain.

So how to make your pressure your privilege: 1) see it: dont deny it, acknowledge it. 2) share it: it is a way to create resilience. 3) frame it: recognize the positive role and powerful signal it represents. 4) use it: dont fight it, use it.

If you are looking for growth, choose the challenge.

25: The power of negative manifestation:

Key question: “Why will this idea fail?” This fight the following bias: 1) Optimism bias: you focus only in good things and ignore bad ones 2) confirmation bias: you only pay attention to information that supports your ideas. 3) self-serving bias: it leads us to believe that our success or failure is a result of our own skill and effort. 4) sunk-cost fallacy bias: this makes us stick with a decision – even when evidence suggest that is was a bad one. The is the law to know to cut your loses short. 5) groupthinking bias: this prevents a group fro asking “why will this fail?” because they dont want to disagree with the group.

Similar technique is the “pre-morten” analysis: thinking of failures before a project has started. This is different from “what could go wrong?” How to setup this: 1) set the state: gather relevant team members and explain the goal of this analysis 2) fast-forward to failure: imagine a failed scenario with all its details 3) brainstorm reasons for failure: each one individually and on paper. 4) share and discuss: foster an open and non-judgemental discussion. 5) develop contingency plans: based on identified risks and challenges.

You can apply this not just to business: career path, partner and investing.

26: Your skills are worthless, but your context is valuable

Lessons: 1) our skills hold no intrinsic value: value is what someone is willing to pay. 2) The value of any skill is determined by the context in which it is required (amen). 3) The perception of a skill’s rarity influences how much people value it 4) people will asses the worth of your skill based on how much value they believe it can generate for them.

27: The discipline equation: death, time and discipline

We have a limited time, acknowledge your mortality, then you can prioritise what truly matters.

Discipline is the ongoing commitment to pursuing a goal, independent of motivation fluctuations, by consistently exercising self-control, delayed gratification and perseverance.

discipline = value of the goal + reward of pursuing – cost of pursuing.

We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.

Warren Buffet

Pillar 4: The Team

28: Ask who, not how

Richard Branson, dyslexic, created business with $24B annual sales. “I am just good with people. Being dyslexic. I had no choice but to delegate”

“I’ve long given up hope of becoming an expert in the things I am not good at” you find who is the best for that and you focus in your best. Everybody wins.

Every company is simply a recruitment company (the CEO can’t do everything well)

Your ego will insist that you do. Your potential will insist that you delegate.

But if you are the last link in the chain????

29: Create a cult mentality

This one touched a fiber on me… I can’t tolerate companies that try to brainwash you with their culture. But I get the point for this law.

In my first job, I enjoyed the team, we had our culture, although our management and company culture were horrendous.

And honestly, this is what I am looking for in a job. I had a bit for a bit in my longest spell, because the CTO was the smartest guy I ever met and he set the bar for everybody else.

The most important decision you will make when you create a company is hiring the first ten people.

Steve Jobs: Just get A players. Then they will only want A players, etc etc

Ingredients of a cult: 1) Sense of community and belonging. 2) Shared vision. 3) An inspirational leader. 4) An “us vs them” mentality.

But, cults are not sustainable long term. So create a culture that is sustainable: 1) people are authentically engaged 2) with a mission they care about 3) trusted with a high degree of autonomy 4) sufficiently challenged in their work 5) given a sense of forward motion and progress and 6) surrounded by a caring, supportive group of people that they love to work with.

30: The three bars for building great teams

They are: fire, hire and train. Fire the bar lowers, hire/promote bar raisers, train the rest.

Hesitating to fire someone that is negative for the company, can be the biggest regret in a business. Nobody is above the “culture/team” (Sir Alex Ferguson at MU)

The definition of the word “company” is just a group of people.

31: Leverage the power of progress

Based on Sir David Brailsford’s theory of “marginal gains” for British Cycling team.

People want a feeling of progression, and if we aim for perfection, we will fail, because perfection is so far away

it is quite easy to make small incremental changes and make them stick (atomic habits) and that produces leverage.

The key to overcoming that discomfort and preventing procrastination is to split the task into easy, achievable micro-goals (I feel that)

How to create the perspective of progress: 1) create meaning 2) set clear and actionable goals 3) providing autonomy 4) removing friction 5) broadcasting the progress

32: You must be an inconsistent leader

Every person is different so you need to be able to treat each one in a different way (motivation wise) (ie Sir Alex Ferguson again, he was a emotional savant) So one-size-fits-all, doesnt work.

Great leaders are fluid, flexible and full of fluctuation. They are whatever shape they need to be to complete your motivation.

33: Learning never ends:

This is cristal clear. Keep learning, keep growing and be happy.

Thinking in Systems

I struggle to give a good summary of this book. My take is how to see systems (a very generic word) in the big picture as most systems are too complex to understand how fully work (economy, stock market, etc). In general, once we see the relationship between structure and behaviour, we can start to understand the system and modify it. You can’t know a system just by its parts. Look for the interconnections of those parts.

A system is formed by “stock” (water in a reservoir, mineral deposits, etc) and the stock changes overtime due to the actions of “flows” (rain = inflow, evaporation = outflow, mining = outflow, etc) Inflow increases the stock. Outflow decreases the stock. If the rate of inflow and outflow is identical, you have a system in a state of dynamic equilibrium. You want to see the systems behaviour based on time. Generally, stocks change slowly compared with the rate of change of in flows. So stocks act like a “buffer” in systems. A feedback loop is formed when changes in a stock affect the flows into or out of that same stock. You have two types of feedback loops: balancing (seek stability and resistance to change) and amplifying/reinforcing (can cause healthy growth or destruction) (ie: learning piano, the more I practice, the more I learn, the more keep practicing and so on). Doubling time = 70/growth rate (It takes 14 years to double your money in a back at a rate of 5%) In real systems, a single stock can be influenced by several types of feedback loops (with different directions and strengths)

The information delivered by a feedback loop can only affect future behaviour (can’t have an impact fast enough to correct the behaviour triggered the current feedback). And there will always be delays in responding. As well, because systems often have competing feedback loops working at the same time, the loop that dominates the system will determine the behaviour. You can have shifting dominance of feedback loops (dead rate vs birth rate)

System dynamics models explore possible futures and ask “what if” questions. Testing the value of a model: 1) Are the driving factors likely to unfold this way? 2) If they did, would the system react this way? 3) What is driving the driving factors?

Dynamic systems studies are designed to explore what would happen if a number of driving factors unfold in a range of different ways.

Systems largely cause their own behaviour. Systems with similar feedback structures produce similar dynamic behaviours, even if the outward appearance is not similar (population vs industrial economy, coffee cup cooling vs radioactivity decay)

A delay in a balancing feedback loop makes a system likely to oscillate (ie: response of orders and deliveries in a car dealer). Delays are pervasive and are strong determinants of behaviour. Changing the length of a delay may (or nor) make a large change in the behaviour of a system.

Examples of two-stock systems:

  • A renewable stock (capital) constrained by a non-renewable stock (oil): oil company: Non-renewable resources are stock-limited. The entire stock (oil) is available at once and can be extracted at any rate (limited by extraction capital). The faster the extraction rate, the shorted the lifetime of the resource.
  • A renewable stock (capital) constrained by a renewable stock (fish): fishing company: Renewable resources are flow-limited. They can support extraction indefinitely but only at a finite flow rate equal to the regeneration rate;

No-physical system can grow forever in a finite environment.

Born To Run

I can’t run for the last 4 months so reading this book has been a bit annoying… but increases my desire to get to it.

To be honest I didnt have a clue about the book apart of running. It started to get hooked slowly and at the end, I was eager to know if the race was going to happen, who was going to race and how was going to finish.

The center of the book is about the Tarahumara and their tradition of long distance running with basic kit (sandals) and frugal diet (mainly based on corn and beans). Thinking coldly, all looks a bit too romantic but it is a hard life.

Things I learned:

Tarahumara consume a lot fo Chia seeds. It seems it easy to grow (other) but I think I would need a big space to produce enough quantity for one year consumption?

Benefits of barefoot running (Daniel Liberman) and it seems that endurance running was the key difference with Neanderthals when the ice age ended and things got warmer and it was the only way to hunt in the savanna: outlasting your prey. Arthur Lydiard is the father of modern running training. Supports barefoot running. It interesting the data showing the increase of injuries with the advance of running shoes technologies… And the history about Nike and Lydiard and Bowerman (his mentor). Still getting to that level you need to make a slow transition. Need to research about this.

The crazy stories about Jenn Shelton and Billy. Party ultrahard and then ultrarun: epic.

Scott Jurek diet is vegan: vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. recipes.

Caballo Blanco died at 58 running.

Be Useful

Completed this work today. Quick summary from the author himself: “Work works”. “Pain means growth”

I am not a fan of famous people as I think most of them are overrated. Although I will always say his movies were very important as a child/teenager: Terminator 2, Conan, Predator, Commando. They are my favourites. But it seems to me this book was about the person so gave it a go.

He starts the book with the end of his political career due to cheating to his wife and the 2008 crisis. That made him to start again…

He shows the seven rules he is using in his life and I think the order is important because they start with yourself and at the end is more about others. It builds so you can “Be useful”.

1) Have a clear vision : You dont have to have everything worked out but have a overall goal. It’s like, why are you going to the gym? What’s your mission? He had his vision very early in life, but still it works at any stage. Make the space to get that vision: just walking can be very good. And to be honest, I have found going for a walk quite revealing lately, although I just talk to myself, it feels good to think aloud. And when you look at the mirror, is what you see what you want to be?

    2) Never thing small: If you have an idea, go all in (no plan-b): “Wenn schon, denn schon” Ignore the naysayers, it is your dream, your life, your growth (whatever is the outcome). Seneca quote: “If you dont go through struggle, you don’t have a life”. There are several Stoics quote a long the book and that surprised me.

    3) Work your ass off: That works 100% of the time. He says one the bases of success is repetition, repetition, repetition so it makes perfect. Embrace the boring stuff (fundamentals) and do often. Pain is temporary, the outcome is permanent. And you need to follow up (something the reminds me of a Russian saying: Trust but check). And you have time for it, make the numbers!

    4) Sell, sell, sell: This makes sense obviously for business but personally, I need to do it in dating too. You can be a great catch, but if nobody knows about it, then…. So people need to know you and you need to know “who” is really the customer. And be yourself, own your (hi)story, for good and for bad. And in business , let them underestimate you, use it in your favor.

    5) Shift gears: This is about to learn to adapt to changing situations. From learning from mistakes to change your mind when required. And learn to find the positive in shit moments. This is “amor fati” as defined by Stoics. Complaining is too easy and doesn’t get you anywhere. You learn from hardship. If you win the lottery, you will not look at the money as if you had build a successful business. Reframe failure, it is part of the learning process (ie: WD40 – there were 39 failures before…) Break the rules, make things better and not because they are that way. Risk is relative, really, what do you have to lose?

    6) Shut your mouth and open your mind. This is about learning, always be open to learn (from anybody, any moment) So learn by listening. Be curious, as the “how” and “why”. Be that sponge. And with all that, put it in a good cause. It is interesting he criticises the current education systems as it seems you must have a degree to be successful and be rich. Firstly, you could have a good life being a baker that is fulfilling and do something good for the community.

    7) Break the mirrors: And this is where you destroy the ego (you are not self-made) because from most of the other rules, they look very individual but then, you get here and you realize is not about you. It is about giving back so everybody wins. Can be small or big, depends on your circumstances. So be useful.

    Leaders Eat Last

    I bought this ebook some months ago as a recommendation and then after watching a video (need to finish it) of the author, I went to the book.

    The main source of examples in the book are the military where he shows the success is based on people believing and action in a bigger goal than themselve: the mission and your team mates.

    As well, he put example of a few companies that have built a personality/culture where people feel identified and they survive the worst moments. And there are examples of the opposite, where companies like Goldman Sachs, GE, etc have a culture of immediate profit, individual success at any cost, that are negative in the long run.

    He mentions dopamine and oxytocin as hormones impacting our behaviour. Dopamine is the quick/easy hit satisfaction (watching youtuvideos….) and oxytocin is the making you happy with social interactions. In our modern world, dopamine is not the choice and oxytocin should be the long term aim.

    As well, he takes the AA as an example where people success if follow the rules, and the most important one is the last rule, to be a leader/mentor of another person.

    One of the disconnections we have at work is the abstract challenge (we want to be number 1, we want to be the best, etc) that doesnt really resonate with most people and doesnt create any connection. Without that connection, that meaning, you dont fight. So that put in context in another part of the book, that most of the times, our best memories at work are moments of straggle (that tough project, that bug at 2am, etc). So you go through that if you have a connection with the company, culture and people (that releases oxytocin). If not, you will not last long there.

    Another part talks about the destructive abundance. We live in a world where we have everything…. so we want it all. This part gives away some leadership leason:

    1- So goes the culture, so goes the company

    2- So goes the leader, so goes the culture

    3- Integrity matters

    4- Friends matters

    5- lead the people, not the numbers.

    In my personal view, at the end all looks very nice, but most of cases, it seems the solution or change needs to come from the top and can be overwhelming. But still we can “lead by example” in our small part. You can lose your job but you can’t lose your integrity.

    Good book. Again, I should read it again and take notes.

    Four Thousand Weeks

    That’s the amount of weeks you have if you live approximately 77-78 years. And this book is about time management those weeks. It is not the typical book about techniques to make more in the same amount of time but the psychological and philosophical reasons why we want to make more and how to live with that.

    We live in a world where everything, even time is a commodity and you want to squeeze the last drop of it. That goes deep into our society. The author has tried all possible techniques to be super productive but at the end, he is always defeated at some point.

    So you have a limited time, you have to choose, and not choosing is what makes us to try to cramp more and more things. So it is a lost battle. This reminds me the concept of how many f* you have.

    As well, we are always thinking in the future. Being more present helps you to get things in better perspective. The time we have in Earth is ridiculous compared with a stone or the universe so that should give you the freedom (instead of the fear of not having enough) of focusing in your correct things. We need meaningfulness and connection. And something I am reading/listening quite often, we need action (and not hopping).

    Questions offered in the book:

    1- Where in your life or your work are you currently pursuing comfort, when what’s called for is a little discomfort?

    — That hit me. Since my last move, I feel more comfortable because I have some discomfort/challenges. Before I felt uncomfortable and in theory “I have (nearly) all”

    2- Are you holding yourself to , and judging yourself by, standards of productivity or performance that are impossible to meet?

    — Somehow yes, I have so many books to read and so many things I would like to learn, so many certifications to get. Still I am pretty sure I would never be happy if achieved all that.

    3- In what ways have you yet to accept the fact that you are who you are, not the person you think you ought to be?

    — That helped, since I started to accept me and loving me as I am, I drop a lot of emotional weight. And to be honest, just telling me that I can do a hard route when climbing, pushes me to send it and improve. But this is not done, still lot to do, you know, dating….

    4- In which areas of life are you still holding back until you feel like you know what your are doing?

    — The winner is dating/relationships.

    5- How would you spend your days differently if you didnt care so much about seeing your actions reaching fruition?

    — I would like to live in the country side. Like this. Work in the fields and technology, and having a partner to share that life.

    It is not hopping, it is doing.

    I leave a lot of things away, I need to read it again.

    Blueprint: Build a bulletproof body

    I want to get fitter so I try to learn from experts who have proved themselves. And this is a good example. The author has done some amazing things. Quite jealous to be honest.

    For me, I just want to get stronger at climbing and get back to (proper) running, all without (more) injuries. I have read before about the different cycles that top athletes so it was interesting to read about it directly and all the science behind that. I know I need to add (more) strength training and endurance. I should create a proper work plan for each week, a bit of less climbing but better prepared? But I am not clear how to use the knowledge from the book to climbing, when, at the end of day, you want to climb hard every week, as I am not going to compete or anything like that. Or saying in a different, how to handle your ego and jealousy.


    • Recover Mesocycle: low volume, low intensity. This is the chapter I liked the most from the book.

    — 2 strength-based rehab routines per week

    — 2 endurance-based rehab routines per week at low intensity and no more than 45 minutes.

    — 2 days rest

    • Base Mesocycle: increase volume, low intensity

    — 3 strength-based rehab routines per week

    — 4 low-intensity endurance-based rehab routines per week in zone 2 (aerobic).

    — 1 strongman strength session

    — 1 day rest

    • Build Mesocycle: reduce a bit volume, increase intensity

    — 3 strength and speed sessions per week (force-velocity curve)

    — 3 low and long (10km) open water swims operating in zone 2 (aerobic).

    — 3 high-intensity interval sessions in zone 4-5 (anaerobic) (separated by 48h)

    — 1 day rest

    • Peak Mesocycle: reduce volume, increase intensity:

    — 2 strength and speed sessions per week for maintenance of fitness

    — 2 low and long (5km) open water swims operating in zone 2 (aerobic). Focus in tecnique.

    — 3 high-intensity interval sessions in zone 4-5 (anaerobic)

    — 2 day rest

    Shoulder pain: Practice hangs from a bar. That’s what our “ancestors” did… Simple

    Eudaimonia: fulfilment. It’s different from happiness since it openly accepts that pain and struggling should form part of the process. Happiness without fulfilment is a failure.

    The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmouting it. Skilful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests


    Askesis: healthy hardship. “The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity, moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears” Dan Stevens.

    Why we adventure to combat spiritual decay:

    A man has achieved his present position by being the most aggressive and enterprising creature on earth….. The comfortable life lowers a man’s resistance… the comfortable life causes spiritual decay

    From 1956 book “The Outsider” by Colin Wilson:


    Very interesting book. It explains the mechanics of a drug cartel from the point of view of economics. I didnt think issues like supply chain, HR/PR, competition/merges, offshoring, R&D, online business, diversification, etc were part of drug cartel, as you only think of those as part of a licit business. There were many things that I didn’t know like the birth of “legal highs” in NZ (and Matt Bowden)

    The goal is to fully understand the “business” because the current laws/actions, etc against drugs are clearly not working. So this way you can really offer a different approach to tackle the issue. You are not going to destroy them 100%. Most of the actions are at the source of the drug business: growing the plant (decrease in growing area causes minimum increase in retail price). But the book shows that is not effective and prevention (done in the consumer’s land: like rehab, education in jails, etc) is much more productive (for the same investment). As well as legalization (ie marijuana) as that brings control (“safer drugs”, tax revenue, etc) and put out of the market the dealers/cartels.

    This is a difficult pill to swallow (punt intended) for governments and citizens but the writing is in the wall.