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The Art of the Good Life: 52 Surprising Shortcuts to Happiness, Wealth, and Success

🌱 This post is in the growth phase. It may still be useful as it grows up.

1 Mental Accounting

How to Turn a Loss into a Win

Related post: Chan Spot

2 The Fine Art of Correction

Why We Overestimate Setup


Preparation. Then presence.

I’ve felt this most in my evolution as a conversationalist — I can’t say “podcaster”.

My best conversations are when I prepare in advance. But, in the moment, be perfectly present — not thinking about directing or framing — just being there.

Thoughts with friends

3 The Pledge

Inflexibility as a Strategem


“Precided” — decided, until proven undecided Decision over choice

If you want to orient toward efficacy, you have to make decisions before you’ve seen all the choices.
If we don’t the choices — once we realize them — will make us useless.

Thoughts with friends

4 Block Box Thinking

Reality Doesn’t Care About Your Feelings; or, Why Every False Step Improves Your Life


Quick pain; quick progress

“Stay with the pain; don’t shut this out. This is your pain. This is your burning hand. It’s right here.” — Tyler Durden

We have to fight against pain avoidence.
We have to run into the spike.
We have to be brutal with ourselves if we plan to progress.
Pain is progress.


Thoughts with friends

5 Counterproductivity

Why Timesavers Are Often Timewasters


The things own eventually own us

Nothing is intrinsicly valuable.
If we know a thing is valuable in our life, use it.
But interogate your assumptions around optimization.
Know the full cost before saying yes — especially with technology which is “self-enlarging”.


Thoughts with friends

6 The Negative Art of the Good Life

7 The Ovarian Lottery

8 Thi Introspection Illusion

9 The Authenticity Trap

10 The Five-Second No

11 The Focusing Illusion

12 The Things You Buy Leave No Real Trace

13 Fuck-You Money

14 The Circle of Competence

15 The Secret of Persistence

16 The Tyranny of a Calling

17 The Prison of a Good Reputation

18 The “End of History” Illusion

19 The Smaller Meaning of Life

20 Your Two Selves

21 The Memory Bank

22 Life Stories Are Lies

23 The “Good Death” Fallacy

24 The Spiral of Self-Pity

25 Hedonism and Eudemonia

26 The Circle of Dignity — Part I

27 The Circle of Dignity — Part II

28 The Circle of Dignity — Part III

29 The Books of Worries

30 The Opinion Valcano

31 Your Mental Fortress

32 Envy

33 Prevention

34 Mental Relief Work

35 The Focus Trap

36 Read Less, But Twice—on Principles

37 The Dogma Trap

38 Mental Subtraction

39 The Point of Maximum Deliberation

40 Other People’s Shoes

41 The Illusion of Changing the World — Part I

42 The Illusion of Changing the World — Part II

43 The “Just World” Fallacy

44 Cargo Cults

45 If You Run Your Own Race, You Can’t Lose

46 The Arms Race

47 Making Friends with Weirdos

48 The Secretary Problemw

49 Managing Expectations

50 Sturgeon’s Law

51 In Praise of Modesty

52 Inner Success