Feb, 2022

The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio

The Big Idea: Empires rise and fall. The US is in the declining stages of its empire. China appears to be rising.

No empire in human history has lasted forever.

Empires have life cycles, much like organisms have life cycles.

A successful empire lasts 250 years, give or take 150 years.

The cycle swings between 1) peaceful and prosperous periods of great creativity and productivity that raise living standards a lot and 2) depression, revolution, and war periods when there is a lot of fighting over wealth and power and a lot of destruction of wealth, life, and other things we cherish.

After war/depression/revolution, a new world order emerges, with new ascending powers hoping to become empires.

Today, the United States is in the late stages of its empire. Its decline is inevitable, but what remains is how fast and painful the decline is going to be.

The United States displays all the classic characteristics of an empire in decline: high inflation, corrupt politicians, entitled citizens, overwhelming public debt, an overextended military, high income inequalities, internal civil conflict, declining economy, etc.

At the same time, China appears to be an ascending power, with a rapidly growing economy, a rapidly developing military, a highly motivated population, and citizens who prioritize savings (and national pride) over consumption.

What to expect? Continued US decline (thought we must fight against this), continued US inflation, continued rise of Chinese economic and military power.

Limitless by Jim Kwik

The Big Idea: Reject your limiting beliefs and learn how to learn, in order to unlock your full potential.

1. Mindset: You must believe you can learn and you must be ready to learn.

1.1. Many people learned limiting mindframes when they were young.
1.2. Kwik calls this learned helplessness “LIE” or “Limiting Idea Entertained”.
1.3. One self-limiting belief is that you are not a genius. However, there are four types of geniuses and eight types of intelligences. Find out what type of genius you are.
1.4. Many people don’t recognize their own genius and intelligence because they are locked in a fixed mindset.
1.5. It’s always possible to improve. This is a growth mindset.
1.6. Find and reject your limiting beliefs.
1.7. To decrease the power of your inner critic, give it a persona and identity that is separate from you.

2. Drive: You need to find ways to motivate and convince yourself to put your limitless potential to work.

2.1. Movitation comes from:
2.1.1. Purpose: what you do.
2.1.2. Passion: why you do what you do.
2.1.3. Reasons: like your passions but more specific.
2.1.4. Values: what’s truly important to you.

2.2. To create motivation, set SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-based).

3. Techniques: Tactics and strategies to learn new information quickly and remember it permanently.

3.1. To learn and retain:

3.1.1. Clear your mind of distractions, obligations, and concerns.
3.1.2. Become more involved in your own learning.
3.1.3. Consciously choose to be in the right mental and emotional state to learn.
3.1.4. Teach what you’ve learned to someone else.
3.1.5. Schedule your study times.
3.1.6. Review what you’ve learned periodically.

3.2. Take good notes

3.2.1. Know what you’re trying to get out of a study session.
3.2.2. With your goal in mind, filter through the information to identify what’s important to learn.
3.2.3. Review your notes after the session and highlight the most important information.

3.3 Train your memory

3.3.1. Active learning is much more effective than rote memorization.
3.3.2. Activate your visual memory to remember pictures instead of words.
3.3.3. Association is the basis of all learning so try to connect new information to information that you already know.
3.3.4. If you add emotions to what you’re learning, it will be much more memorable.

3.4. Think exponentially

3.4.1. Stop thinking incrementally and start thinking exponentially.
3.4.2. Exponential thinking leads to world-changing innovations and billion dollar companies.
3.4.3. Seek the root cause of a problem, beyond just the symptoms.
3.4.4. Ask “what-if” to consider alternative paths and solutions.
3.4.5. Study what others have to say about the problem to get a well-rounded view.
3.4.6. Try to envision the short-term and long-term consequences of a solution.