Think Like an Investor: Create Your System

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investor mindset system

Today I saw an old man walking with a walker (the sort with wheels that you can hold on to for support).

He must’ve been 90-100 years old.

He was dressed sharp, wearing a suit and tie, a hat, and shiny shoes.

I observed him from a distance. He took 5-10 steps at a time before stopping to rest. When he had to pull his walker down the curb it required tremendous effort.

Then he slowly crossed the street in the same way he had got there, by pausing intermittently. Making slow and steady progress in a pace suitable to him. Finally he arrived on the other side of the street.

He scaled the curb with his walker, and you could tell he was completely focused on the task, exerting much willpower.

My instinctive reaction was to go and help him, but I didn’t. Because I realized that. . .

. . . This is a man on a mission. This is a man of character, a man of virtue;       a man who fights his own battles, and for me to interfere would be an inexcusable insult to his pride.

Just the way I don’t want to be interrupted when I’m in flow, or about to break a record in the gym, this old man clearly didn’t want to be interrupted during his walking session.

Then I saw another man passing him. This man was at least 20 years younger and he had one of those electric wheelchairs. He wore a dirty jacket and a kid’s cap. He was followed by a middle-aged woman, probably a relative or some sort of nurse.

This was a weak man.

The difference between these two men is that the older man has a daily routine in which he takes great pride, and challenges himself. It matters enough to him that he will dress up for the occasion. This daily routine was clearly part of a larger system — a system he has probably stuck to for a long time. . .

. . . Whereas the younger (less old) man has no system at all.

His days aren’t aimed towards any purpose whatsoever. He has neglected his willpower and turned soft. Now he’s paying the price — rolling around in his electric wheelchair like a dirty corpse.

The old man with the walker is the sort of man I want to be when I am 100 years old. The second man disgusts me.

You need to be like the old man:

You Need a System

And you need to start thinking like an investor.

Because you are one, even if you don’t think of yourself that way yet.

You may not have huge sums of money to place in the financial market             — yet — but you’re still investing other resources; such as your time and energy.

Your are making investment decisions when you decide what university to attend, what job to get, the people you spend time with and associate with, as well as the skills you choose to practice.

Now, let me ask you:

Do you know the difference between an intelligent investor and an unintelligent investor?

Is it that only intelligent investors make money and become successful?

Not necessarily.

Over the short-term — a few years — it’s very hard to tell whether an investor is intelligent or if he’s just lucky. Warren Buffett shares a good story on the topic:

I would like you to imagine a national coin-flipping contest. Let’s assume we get 225 million Americans up tomorrow morning and we ask them all to wager a dollar. They go out in the morning at sunrise, and they all call the flip of a coin. If they call correctly, they win a dollar from those who called wrong. Each day the losers drop out, and on the next day the stakes build as all previous winnings are put on the line. After ten flips on ten mornings, there will be approximately 220,000 people in the United States who have correctly called ten flips in a row. They each will have won a little over $1,000.

Now this group will probably start getting a little puffed up about this, human nature being what it is. They may try to be modest, but at cocktail parties they will occasionally admit to attractive members of the opposite sex what their technique is, and what marvellous insights they bring to the field of flipping.

Assuming that the winners are getting the appropriate rewards from the losers, in another ten days we will have 215 people who have successfully called their coin flips 20 times in a row and who, by this exercise, each have turned one dollar into a little over $1 million. $225 million would have been lost, $225 million would have been won.

By then, this group will really lose their heads. They will probably write books on “How I turned a Dollar into a Million in Twenty Days Working Thirty Seconds a Morning.” Worse yet, they’ll probably start jetting around the country attending seminars on efficient coin-flipping and tackling skeptical professors with, ” If it can’t be done, why are there 215 of us?”

By then some business school professor will probably be rude enough to bring up the fact that if 225 million orangutans had engaged in a similar exercise, the results would be much the same – 215 egotistical orangutans with 20 straight winning flips.

The moral of the story is that it’s easy to get “fooled by randomness” and mistake luck for skill.

But over the long-term — 10+ years — it becomes easier to tell who’s intelligent and who’s not.

The intelligent investors are more consistent in finding valuable investments, whereas the not-so-intelligent investors — who were lucky — regress to the mean, or achieve poor results. The main difference between the two is that. . .

. . .Intelligent investors have a system.

And they have strict guidelines for how much risk they’re willing to take.

That’s the difference.

Intelligent investors rely less on luck and more on. . . Intelligence.

That’s interesting. But how does that help me?

Well, as you are about to find out, investment philosophy is extremely applicable self-development and success in life, because it’s based on how to think better than other people.

If you can create a system for yourself and break it down to a consistent process, then — like the intelligent investor — you’ll probably be successful over the long-term.

But the system needs to be tailor-made to you. It should involve the following factors:

  • Your model of the future
  • Your risk-appetite
  • Your strengths
  • Your goals
  • Your process
  • Your short-term and long-term strategies
  • Your daily routine

System stuff

Let’s talk a bit more about each of these components.

Your model of the future

How do you think the future is going to turn out to be?

Most people either think nothing at all about it or they’re too opinionated. And usually they cannot base their opinions on anything solid. You don’t want to be like most people.

You want to learn from smart people and read quality books. That will give you a decent idea of how:

  1. Things look like right now 
  2. And how the future may turn out

No one really successful — and I’m talking about guys like Arnold, Napoleon or Caesar — got that way by following herd behavior. They predicted a certain future and then they bet heavily on that scenario. . .

–And not just once. They did it repeatedly. That’s why we know their names.

The bottom line is this: making predictions about the future and positioning yourself to profit by it always involves an element of. . .

Risk

And risk is best explained by the term “shit happens”.

The big difference between probability and outcome is that probable things fail to happen while improbable things do happen       — all the time.

–Howard Marks

. . . And this is why it’s hard to tell what’s luck versus what’s not over a short timespan. Skill and intelligence first become evident over a longer period of time.

When you read enough stuff — and study history — you realize that there have been lots of schmucks and scammers who fooled people for years, like Bernie Madoff for example.

No one can predict the future perfectly and nothing is ever certain. Everything involves some degree of risk. The question to ask is:

How much risk am I willing to take?

That’s a personal question — I can’t answer that for you.

But there are some basic things you should know about risk:

1) Most people have a skewed understanding of risk due to mainstream media brainwashing and lack of education. (They believe sharks, earthquakes and terrorists pose a bigger risk to their lives than obesity, cancer, or car crashes)

2) Most people are by nature risk averse. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. But you need to figure out whether this is true of you or not — you must “know thyself“.

3) Most people either take too little risk or they (foolishly) take too much of it without adequate compensation.

4) Without risk there can be no reward. If people understood this, they wouldn’t fall for “too good to be true” offers with absolute returns of 8-11 % (like Madoff promised).

And one last principle: At the end of the day you tend to. . .

5) . . . put your money resources where your mouth is.

But you shouldn’t take any big risks, or try to predict the future, unless it’s related to. . .

Your strengths

Which, hopefully, is what you do for a living.

Or what you spend most of your time doing.

Or an area where you:

  1. Have expertise and
  2. Inside information.

Your strengths (and interests) are where you should invest most of your time and effort, and it’s where you should have your most ambitious goals.

Your goals

What do you want to accomplish?

There are two types of goals:

Short-term goals and long-term goals.

Set short and “easy” goals to aim for each week or month to boost your self-esteem and put yourself on the right track.

As for longer goals, I set 18-month goals.

I learned this from reading books by Peter Drucker. The reason to use 18-month goals is because it’s hard for the mind to specify and clarify a goal that’s longer than that.

You achieve your goals through. . .

Your process

Success is NOT an event, it is a process.

Success cannot be attributed to one thing, it’s the combinatorial effect of doing a bunch of things the right way consistently over a long period of time.

Sometimes you get lucky. Usually you don’t.

But in either case you shouldn’t care. When you know you’re doing the right thing — and that your system works — just stick to it. Disregard short-term results and focus on the process.

Your process will change from time to time based on. . .

Your short-term and long-term strategies

The Wikipedia definition of a strategy is:

A high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty.

As you see, the strategy has to take into account your goals and your willingness to take risk.

Your strategy determines how you use your resources. Your main resources are your time, energy, and money. But there are many other resources — notably so your social network. A lot of people forget that.

Most (young) people are too focused on short-term strategies, because they want to make quick money.

But what they don’t realize is that most short-term strategies — especially those that have to do with making money — come with high risk. . .

. . . Meaning, you may end up with nothing.

That doesn’t mean short-term strategies are bad.

But it’s usually a bad idea to allocate all of your resources to a short-term strategy.

I prefer to spend most of my time on long-term strategies. This is a more sustainable approach to success. It ensures that I incrementally get a bit smarter, stronger, healthier; and that I associate with more intelligent and successful people as time goes by.

It’s more reliable to stick to a long-term strategy. But most people don’t do it because it’s less popular, less flashy, and it offers less ego-gratification.

Another thing to know about short-term strategies is that. . .

. . . They’re usually based on trends.

This is why lots of people:

  • Yo-yo diet
  • Invest in trendy businesses
  • Create websites full of affiliate links and ads

Finally, we’ve arrived at the last point of creating your system. You need to break down your strategies into a daily routine.

Your daily routine

When I saw the old man with the walker I was probably seeing him during the hardest part of his daily routine.

And a daily routine should be hard — it should harden you.

It should bring you closer to your goals.

And your most ambitious goals should:

  • Stem from your model of the future
  • Involve an acceptable element of risk
  • Be based on your strengths
  • Be distilled down to short & long-term strategies for how to use your resources

Here’s. . .

How Your System Plays Into Your Decision-Making

Before I learn a thing, try something new, or start to consistently do a thing, I always think:

How do I incorporate this into my system?

Where does it fit in given my long-term goals?

Is this a short-term strategy to help me achieve some near-future milestone?

Or. . .

Is this a long-term strategy which I need to stick to indefinitely before seeing visible results?

As far as growth, long-term thinking, and improvement goes. . .

I think this way of doing things is becoming increasingly valuable for two reasons.

  1. First, because of its cumulative effect as you grow older.
  2. Second, because it’s not what the masses are doing.

And if everyone else is doing something you probably shouldn’t do it.

If everyone else wants to do something that means there’s a high demand.

And if everyone else can do something that means there’s a high supply.

This usually means there’s a low barrier to entry.

And if there’s a low barrier to entry, that means there’s going to be a lot of competition. And if there’s a lot of competition that means you can’t expect to make big profits and improve your status.

And without profits or status you won’t be in a position of control and have the freedom to do as you wish.

This basic theory explains why there are a lot of people with shitty jobs in the public sector, a lot of people with shitty websites on the Internet, and a lot of semi-knowledgeable people regurgitating shitty information.

These things are the norm.

They’re average.

And you’ll inevitably be part of it unless you. . .

Create Your Own System for Success

Now. . .

. . . I don’t know how things will go for me over the next few months. I can’t predict what events will or won’t occur.

But I’m fine with that.

I can deal with that risk.

Because I have a lot of faith in my process, and where it’ll take me over the long-term.

My system-oriented approach may not grant me any overnight success. But it will grant me incremental improvement and harden me. Similar to coal being hardened over millennia while it’s pressed upon by its surroundings.

I don’t rely on luck or short-term thinking.

I don’t believe “tomorrow will be different” for me.

I know it won’t.

I don’t believe next year will be different for me either.

I know it will be.

Because I’m sticking to my system.

And you should too.

–And if you aren’t, why don’t you?

–And if you don’t have a system,  create one.


 

Read part 2.

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Comments

  1. ” I don’t believe “tomorrow will be different” for me.

    I know it won’t.

    I don’t believe next year will be different for me either.

    I know it will be.”

    Is there a mistake or is this something profoundly cryptic that I’m unable to understand?

    • I mean are you saying you don’t expect changes in the short term you’re expecting them in the long term?

    • That’s exactly what I mean.

    • There is nothing cryptical. He knows tomorrow will be different because he worked on himself today, he knows next year will be different because he worked tirelessly towards his goal for the past year.

      He doesn’t ‘believe’ because believing doesn’t do anything, he ‘knows’ things will be different because he is actively working on it.

  2. An Older Gentleman says:

    Ludvig you show a lot of foresight for your age. I wish i had been as systematic as you are when I was in my 20s.

    If you should be interested in talking about stocks and hear about my system you have my email.

  3. I do not have a system of any sort like this. But Im going to devote all Sunday to figuring this stuff out, with the inspiration of that image you made. Btw is there any chance you could turn that into an infographic? I would like to put as my desktop or maybe print it as a wallpaper to look at before going yo bed.

  4. Matt Damon says:

    Good article & appreciate the bard notes.

    • Thanks.

      Speaking of the actor Matt Damon. . . 3 weeks ago I sat at the bench where Will Hunting (Matt Damon) and the Psychologist (Robin Williams) have the “deep talk scene” in the movie Will Hunting.

  5. This is a really excellent post. In today’s world of instant gratification I find almost no-one my age who looks at long term strategy or sustainability. Winning the war, not winning the next battle.
    What are your steps for determining and choosing your long term goals? I would be very curious to hear more on that process.
    Thank you for the inspiring post and the commitment to quality articles.

    • Hey Tyler,

      “Winning the war, not winning the next battle.”

      –Well said!

      “What are your steps for determining and choosing your long term goals?”

      –I have a filtering process. I only select “important” long-term goals that I CARE about. Otherwise I won’t be able to stick to it consistently day in and day out. The “why” has to be easy to answer. I have to know why I’m doing the thing (when it’s boring) so that I feel it’s building towards my long-term strategy.

      I can’t think of anything else for the time being. There’s obviously more to it — but much of it is subconscious. For example, it’s not like I have a big list of “possible long-term goals” laying around. It takes a lot of time and information-gathering before I eventually realize: “This makes sense to do and incorporate into my system!”

      “Thank you for the inspiring post and the commitment to quality articles.”

      –Thanks for reading & commenting.

    • Dead on about winning wars, not battles. Charles XII was one of history’s great tacticians – he only lost one battle. George Washington lost more battles than he won. In war and in life, victory goes to the strategist.

  6. Hey Ludvig

    I liked your notes on Bard’s book. I also really like your anecdote at the beginning. I copied it into my commonplace.

    As for myself, I’ve set aside the whole day Saturday to go to the gym, fast, and write a Chief Definite Aim. I’ve had a few, but my interests ended up changing very quickly and so I need to refocus on my current path. This CDA should last the remainder of my life.

    • Hey Heathenwinds,

      “write a Chief Definite Aim”

      –Good luck with that.

      “This CDA should last the remainder of my life.”

      –That would be impressive and strange.

    • To have a single, specific goal throughout adult life would be unusual, but certainly not unheard of. If you really think you can do that, you need a goal that is worth expending your whole life on, and at least remotely plausible. You need to know what your fundamental values and strengths are, because in five years your circumstances and perspective will be different. Only a “Chief Definite Aim” built on your authentic core self will remain intact.

      • This is exactly how I see it as well. I used to be overly focused on trying to find my DCA and then I realized “I’m only 22, perhaps I need more experience before I can be sure”

        That was some time ago and now I think I have a better idea of what I want to do than I did earlier. But maybe Youre different than i am

  7. Anonymous123 says:

    “and what marvellous insights they bring to the field of flipping”

    Hahaha. Buffett is the man.

    • Warren Buffet is just a greedy old man. whats so interesting about him!?

      • Anonymous123 says:

        Greedy old man?

        Haha. You really don’t know much do you? I suggest you do your research before you get all hateful.

        But for your own benefit, I will tell you what’s interesting about Buffett, and YES his name is spelled with two T:s. When you spell it with one T you are referring to food. Something you may want to think about next time.

        Buffett is interesting because he is probably the investor with the best results in the history of the modern financial markets. And he’s not “greedy”. He’s just found something he’s great at, and decided to never stop competing. He’s very humble about it. He’s said many times that if he were born in another age, like 500 years ago, he would probably be a normal person. He just happens to be born in the 20th century where capital allocation is heavily rewarded.

  8. I like how you describe strategy in an easy way.

    But when it comes to strategy it’s almost unforgivable not to mention Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz.

    Here’s what CVC said about strategy:

    “the use of engagements for the object of war.”

    Clausewitz was a military genius who has influenced most politicians and generals since the 18th century. He thought that war was the continuation of politics, which explains why (the reason for) many wars through history were waged. I told a girl this at a party some time ago but she thought I was crazy and said “How could it be politics if I had nothing to say about it?”

    “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu and “On War” by CVC are mandatory reading for anyone with interest in war history/strategy.

  9. Inspiring post, Ludvig. A couple of comments specifically on stock market investing:

    On point nr 4 about risk and return, please note that the reverse is NOT necessarily true, i.e., Risk doesn’t GUARANTEE reward – then it wouldn’t be risk. You cannot guarantee success in the stock market by taking huge risks. So, risk is a necessary ingredient for success, but not a sufficient one.

    Regarding being contrarian and not doing the same thing as everybody else: sometimes it benefits you to seem as if you are following the herd; Follow the trend, the herd, be invested when they are, but THINK differently (i.e., think at all) and don’t stay wih the herd for too long. The last few years are a good example; stocks have been expensive since at least 2011-2012 but you would have done well just riding the trend upward, doing the same stupid thing as everybody else. Short-termish maybe, but 3 years are 3 years…

    • Well Mikael,

      You are certainly the authority on this topic. . .

      . . . And you are correct in what you are saying

      “Risk doesn’t GUARANTEE reward – then it wouldn’t be risk.”

      –Yes.

      However, in this particular example –(“that without risk there will be no reward”)– I was referring to life and self-development rather than the stock market.

      In other words, what I was trying to say is that. . .

      . . . There is no free lunch. Things don’t happen without (bold/calculated) action.

      Thanks for the great comment.

    • Yes, but again constant repetition of calculated risks do guarantee (in a manner of speaking, as in to nearly 100%) degree. If I played the following game:

      1. 10 heads in a row – I win 5000 pounds, otherwise I lose a pound
      2. I played this 100,000 times, over and over

      Every time I play I’m taking a risk and one where Im almost certain to lose my pound coin. But in the long run ( at the end of the 100,000 times) I am (almost certainly) bound to make a profit and come out on top.

      • However, coin toss like investments do not exist in the real world. Real investments contain unknowns and unknown unknowns, whereas all outcomes for coins and dice are known.

        You can never assign probabilities to risky investments in the same way you do to games in a casino.

        So, it still stands that you cannot know that you will make more money buy taking on more risk in the investment world, no matter how many of the you make. They can all become worth less than the initial investment anyway.

      • Of course, you know a lot more about this than I do. My question though, is why are some investors so much more consistently successful than others (seemingly anyway). Is it pure good fortune? Or has their method of analysis have something to do with it?

        This is not a rebuttal at all by the way, I’m merely curious is all.

      • THAT, my friend, is THE question about investing.

        Buffett has just bought all the way and added leverage and using his insurance “float”. Buffett also claims to buy at low risk or even no risk and is famed for using the risk free interest rate as his discounting factor.

        Howard Marks claims to buy with particularly LOW risk, through buying cheaply (his words; cheap means low risk)

        Hussmann buys cheap and hedges (“sells”) high using a combination of valuation and trend indicators.

        Then you have guys like Soros, Bill Gross, Carl Icahn, Peter Lynch, Julian Robertson, John Templeton, Joel Greenblatt, Walter Schloss…

        There are apparently many ways to Rome. Some buy and sell, some buy and hedge, some just buy all the way, some use leverage, some make sure to buy cheaply, some don’t time at all. All of the greatest investors of all time, however, have been long biased and lived through a period of mostly falling interest rates, money printing and rising leverage as well as rising valuations.

        Still, they all decided to keep buying even through the downturns. Good call. This time (the last 35 years in particular)

        I have a hunch though, that it will be some time before the long only strategy is seen as the ultimate one again.

  10. Excellent post, Ludvig. You get better every time.

    On a “model of the future”: I’m not totally clear what you mean by this. Are you talking about a model of the parts of the future that you think you can change?

    A note on usage: in American English, the device you call a “stroller” is generally called a “walker”. A “stroller” is a kind of baby carriage.

    • Wow, thanks Abgrund.

      MODEL OF THE FUTURE:
      –I’m talking about your overall mental conception of the future. You most certainly have some speculations of how it will turn out.

      “Are you talking about a model of the parts of the future that you think you can change?”

      –Partially. That’s where risk comes into play.

      I’m sure you — like I — have lots of predictions about the future. But you’re not going to be willing to take a big risk, or seriously commit, to some long-term goal based on every one of these predictions. Only the few related to your strengths.

      Do you see what I mean now?

      STROLLER
      –Thanks for clearing that up. I laughed out loud for about a minute when I realized this.

      • Models of the future come in different scales. A picture of what the world as a whole might be like in thirty years is a very different thing from a picture of how I might be interacting with my part of the world in five years.

  11. Ludvig, your posts are getting better and better (and they are already very good).

    In digesting this post into notes in my own commonplace, I found myself wondering about what you have learned about or believe to be particularly important in a ‘process’. Examples like training are simple i.e. eat a certain way a certain proportion of the time, lift X every Y etc, but I think you could create a very interesting post of how some other processes could look.

    Alternatively, any notes you wish to jot here would be very welcome.

    Regards,
    J

    • Thank you J.

      Yup, it comes from self-experimentation. Perhaps I could write such an article some time later. But I’m afraid many of the things may not be of much general value or applicable to other people (just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone else).

  12. Where do you learn this stuff? Or do you come up with it yourself?

    In either case how specifically? I know you like to read, but how do you decide what to read or learn?

  13. Kick ass post. It’s funny cos this post is so similar to a lot of your other stuff, content wise, but I still get massive value out of it. Systems and routines are paramount, they’re hard to maintain though if you have total ADD, like myself, in regards to what you want to achieve in one month to the next. For me exercise first thing in the morning seems to be a good corner stone for setting up continual momentum through out the day, as well as long term.

  14. I love how you tie things together so well. There were some really great points in here that stuck out to me.

    I would fancy learning more specifics about your system.

    My system involves a lot of unpredictability and I’m wondering if you would still consider that a “system”.

    I have a family with a 2-year-old, do there’s a great deal of flexibility in my life.

    The way my system works is I discover something that life is trying to tell me, and then I implement that for a few days or couple weeks until I feel that it’s time for the next segment.

    I used to disdain such erratic behavior but now I’m seeing that it’s the path.

    For example, my system one week might be to rise early, meditate, plan, brainstorm, work, debrief, play with my baby, work, work, then spend time with my wife, work, work, relax, rest.

    This was s great system until my wife started missing me…our time together started becoming to mechanical and she wasn’t being fulfilled in the relationship. So I changed my system for a few days to relaxation and recovery while enjoying the amazing family that I already have, giving me time to detach from my obsessive goals so that I can focus on what matters now.

    Seems crazy bit that’s my system. I bounce between presence and machine-like discipline, varying nearly every part of my day every few days to week or so.

    My overarching system is mainly driven by a “quest-like”mentality that’s led by God/Infinite Intelligence. I just do what life is telling me to do…faithfully. Even when this can be hard to do, because like I said I’m obsessed with align-mentality.com.

    If I had it my way, I’d sit and sleep on the ground outside of a coffee shop and do nothing but eat beetles and work on my business. But this clearly isn’t a solid long-term approach and one might argue that such a linear strategy might actually make my goals materialize slower. Or, even if they did happen faster, I’d be unable to enjoy them because I hadn’t taken time to develop myself personally and challenge myself in other arenas of life that give me additional perspective in ways I cannot fully understand. That’s where the faith component comes in, although I’ll be the first to admit that I feel fear that I’m crazy quite frequently.

    I’m interested in your thoughts on all this. I’d also love more specifics on your system and its consistency or lack thereof.

    I also want to learn about your current goals and how you plan to achieve them vs how you handle the inconsistencies that life inevitably throws at you.

    Man I sort of feel like we just need to get together for coffee. Where do you live, haha?

    Cheers

    • Sorry for butting in…

      However, I think your ad-hoc system is perfect, GIVEN that you are achieveing what you want and not looking back with regret every ten years, wishin you’d accomplished more. If you do, you perhaps should implement some of Ludvig’s momentum-habits and strategic planning of your life

  15. I love how you tie things together so well. There were some really great points in here that stuck out to me.

    I would fancy learning more specifics about your system.

    My system involves a lot of unpredictability and I’m wondering if you would still consider that a “system”.

    I have a family with a 2-year-old, do there’s a great deal of flexibility in my life.

    The way my system works is I discover something that life is trying to tell me, and then I implement that for a few days or couple weeks until I feel that it’s time for the next segment.

    I used to disdain such erratic behavior but now I’m seeing that it’s the path.

    For example, my system one week might be to rise early, meditate, plan, brainstorm, work, debrief, play with my baby, work, work, then spend time with my wife, work, work, relax, rest.

    This was s great system until my wife started missing me…our time together started becoming too mechanical and she wasn’t being fulfilled in the relationship. So I changed my system for a few days to relaxation and recovery while enjoying the amazing family that I already have, giving me time to detach from my obsessive goals so that I can focus on what matters now.

    Seems crazy bit that’s my system. I bounce between presence and machine-like discipline, varying nearly every part of my day every few days to week or so.

    My overarching system is mainly driven by a “quest-like”mentality that’s led by God/Infinite Intelligence. I just do what life is telling me to do…faithfully. Even when this can be hard to do, because like I said I’m obsessed with align-mentality.com.

    If I had it my way, I’d sit and sleep on the ground outside of a coffee shop and do nothing but eat beetles and work on my business. But this clearly isn’t a solid long-term approach and one might argue that such a linear strategy might actually make my goals materialize slower. Or, even if they did happen faster, I’d be unable to enjoy them because I hadn’t taken time to develop myself personally and challenge myself in other arenas of life that give me additional perspective in ways I cannot fully understand. That’s where the faith component comes in, although I’ll be the first to admit that I feel fear that I’m crazy quite frequently.

    I’m interested in your thoughts on all this. I’d also love more specifics on your system and its consistency or lack thereof.

    I also want to learn about your current goals and how you plan to achieve them vs how you handle the inconsistencies that life inevitably throws at you.

    Man I sort of feel like we just need to get together for coffee. Where do you live, haha?

    Cheers

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m divided on your assertion that people creating sites chocked with affiliate links and ads is a short term strategy. I mean didn’t that email you send yesterday have you state the internet is only going to be bigger and we’re a little under the middle of its growth? So theoretically, as long as the site is creating information content, it couldn’t hurt to throw in ads and affiliate links.

    But other than that, we’ve corresponded via email and just speaking about websites in general. Too many people either regurgitate (or blatantly steal) content from others and then wonder why their site isn’t doing well. In this case, yes, throwing in affiliate links and ads is just a sad attempt to monetize their blog. As you said in the article, we have to be careful with who we direct our attention to, blogs/information included. I wish you the best of luck Ludvig. Keep up the good work :)

    • I actually had the same thought when I read the The Bard Notes as well. Then I thought about it some more and here’s how I see it now, after reading & analysing the concepts in this article…

      * The things Ludvig/Bard talk about don’t necessarily apply right now, it is more like a ‘model of the future’ that you can choose to pursue or not, and if you choose to pursue it you take a risk. But if you’re fine with that, then you should set some goals, based on your talents, and make (a) strategy(ies) for that.

      * Regarding those ads, and relating that to The Bard Notes and this article, I think that the whole idea is not that putting up ads or doing things like that (I’m not savvy on this area) are bad per se but rather just a so-called ‘small-minded way of thinking’ in terms of the ‘exploitative strategy mindset’. In 10+ years we will perhaps look back at blogs or ad websites as primitive

      • If point number 2 does hold true (nobody here can tell the future, sorry), then I stand corrected. Maybe ads and affiliate links will be seen as a primitive way of making money 10 years down the line.

    • Hey Anon,

      “So theoretically, as long as the site is creating information content, it couldn’t hurt to throw in ads and affiliate links. ”

      –Well, I guess it depends completely on the goal. If you have a lot of experience in this area, then don’t mind my personal view on this.

      I was only trying to make a point. Namely, that I know a bunch of people in the online world who fail to see things from a larger context for lack of: 1) long-term thinking 2) discipline.

  17. Joe Hilton says:

    Hi Ludvig,

    Great post, very informative (much like all your other posts), which is brilliant!

    Strengths:

    When you talk about “your strengths”, how can you figure out what your strengths are and how to really focus on them.

    I think a lot of people have trouble trying to distinguish what their strengths are, because they might overlook the fact they seem to be very good at doing something, but they don’t think it’s going to be of any benefit to them in the future.

    Goals:

    When you think of your long term goals, how do you set those out, as well as making ABSOLUTELY SURE that you follow through with them and don’t flake?

    (I have trouble with this sometimes with exercising) I really need to keep to a routine and make sure I exercise when I need to and stick to it!

    • A comment on Joe’s Q:

      Regarding working out, you really can’t know beforehand what you want, so you should invest the first year at least in trying different things. Life works similarly, so unless you just KNOW, you have to make room for trying, failing, giving up and restarting (I actually did write a post about giving up and restarting a couple of months ago)

      I would recommend any gym newbie to first just try to state what they want. It usually is something like Fit, Strong, Impressive or Big and maybe sometimes more prcise like Functional, Multi-faceted, Fast, Disproportionate arms or so.

      Once stating: “I want to be generally fit and I want it to show”, I would recommend just doing tough stuff, things that make you sweat and become exhausted. THAT is good for the body no matter what the goal is. Things like HIIT and medium rep range bodyweight and free weights training. After 2-3 months I would ask again: fit, strong, functional, versatile or big? By then the “client” probably has a better or at least new idea of what feels best. Let’s say they want to be Strong. Then I let them try Stronglifts 5×5 and/or Madcow.

      Then I ask again. By then, they want to be big, in particular having big arms so I put them on doing lots of diferent exercises in high rep range for the arms, complemented with some heavier exercises for the arms, such as weighted chins. Then ask again. This time he wants a sixpack and I put him on the HIITs again as well as making him flex his abs in every basic exercise as well as doing planks. Then ask again and so on.

      You actually SHOULD change your workout routine every three months to develop the most, no matter your goal.

      After a couple or a handful of years, perhaps the true inner self target manifests itself. Then you can go for that, with highly specialized and periodisized (hmmm, strange word) exercise programs.

      NB, 2-5 years is nothing, considering you’ll be training for the rest of your life.

    • Hey Joe,

      Regarding trouble finding strengths:

      –That’s a good point. Personally, I didn’t realize various strengths/talents of my own were of any use until recently in the last 2 years. And it happened by:
      a) As Mikael alludes to — trial and error + experience.
      b) Hanging out with older, smarter, and more accomplished people and getting a better sense of what they’re struggling with, and how they make money.

      For example, I didn’t understand that things like philosophy and history, which have always been strong interests for me, were useful.

  18. I think this is the best thing you’ve written sir!

    “… investment philosophy is extremely applicable self-development and success in life, because it’s based on how to think better than other people.”
    Amen! Investing forces your mind into a way of thinking that makes rationality the only profitable option… but forces you to see the limits of rationality’s ability to predict.
    __
    On risk: Peter Thiel talks about this in his StartupSchool lecture. Risk is more complicated than just monetary—risk-aversion puts you at the risk of leading a life where you don’t do anything that matters.

    In the same talk he backs up your focus on long-term thinking and discusses the huge opportunities available to people who are willing to go through long-term planning to create vertically integrated companies.

    (https://startupclass.co/lecture/83458/10714-business-strategy-and-monopoly-theorybrbpeter-thielb-ifounder-paypal–palantir-and-partner-founders-fundi—–)
    __

    “You should know you’re doing the right thing…” is called “euthymia” by Seneca, he describes it: “the belief that you’re on the right path and not led astray by the many tracks which cross yours of people who are hopelessly lost.” Such a powerful idea!

    (Learned about that from Ryan Holiday in a recent post: http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2014/10/why-do-you-do-what-you-do-because-you-better-know/ )

    ___

    • Thanks a lot Kyle!

      ” Investing forces your mind into a way of thinking that makes rationality the only profitable option… but forces you to see the limits of rationality’s ability to predict.”

      –Indeed. Know what/that you do NOT know & stay inside your own circle of competence.

      And that’s a very interesting lecture by Peter Thiel. Especially the part you mention about vertical integration, and when he mentions that “companies that have monopolies will pretend they’re in fierce competition”.

      “Euthymia”.
      –Never heard it before. Great word.

      Thanks for the great comment mate.

  19. Ludvig. It’s been a while since I’ve been around and my apologies for that but this really helped me stood my ground. Over the last couple of months I always try to remind myself to stick to my processes, the ones that I have strengths in and stop skewing to something I may not even benefit out of and you’ve done it all in this post. I’ll be around more often now as I always been.

  20. Very interesting post Ludvig!

    Something important to consider is your “environment”, and how it affects your “system”.

    In the West, we are fortunate to have systems which work favourably for investments (IE we have the ability to focus on the LONG TERM). Many other countries are less fortunate, and consequently, it might be of note to discern the situation in these places in terms of achieving prosperity.

    I write this after learning about Ukraine’s new “demarcation line”.

    Although I don’t know what this will mean in practical terms, it gave me some ideas as to why some counties, and therefore people, are hereditarily much less affluent than others. This is best demonstrated with Sweden — how does a country of 9 million people (~ 1/7 the size of UK) support such a great “per capita” existence?

    The answer, I believe, is that there are two types of individual:
    “SHORT TERM” and “LONG TERM” thinkers.

    If you can consider which “type” you are, it will have a significant impact on how prosperous you become, as it forms the basis of EVERYTHING you do. I believe you touched on an amazing way to overview the “strategy” aspect of this, but something vital to consider is how your own psychology plays a role.

    A good demonstration is with Ukraine…

    Life in post-Soviet countries can be grim. In some Asian countries, life can be grim. Not having any prospect to start a company (as you don’t have any customers), only having pre-determined “careers” which are both limited in scope & depth, and having repressed “markets” (IE not being able to buy a lot of variety), all make life in some of these places a daunting prospect indeed.

    Western countries, most notably the United States, have it really, really, really good. You can buy what you want, your currency holds value (so you can import), and your vocation ensures not only food on the table, but an amazing residence & more money to spend on “extra” stuff. This ability to buy “extra” stuff then fuels new companies, which then perpetuate the cycle.

    To this end, you have to ask yourself why people in Ukraine will never be as affluent as the Americans? Or why, as a Brit, I can set my sights much higher than someone in Thailand?

    From what I’ve seen, “investment” is a long term game. All these stock guys can play with their numbers all they want; real investment is made for 10, 20 or even 100 years. And from studying several of the “big guys”, it looks like a common theme is that the best investments are the ones which are either very risky (IE not many people “get it”), or are extremely long-term. Interestingly, you could argue both elements contribute to the eventual success (as if not many people “get it”, it’s because they don’t have the long-term “insight” many seasoned veterans have — hence why WSJ & Bloomberg are so popular… they provide as much insight as possible).

    The crux of the issue is this – investment is about growth, and growth takes a long time (that’s why babies take 9 months to develop). Creation / growth is a daily, incremental process (EG rings on a tree). It doesn’t happen overnight, as that’s not the “natural” way. If you take this into consideration, you begin to see how some people seem to be “born to succeed”, and perhaps how you can adapt your mindset as much…

    From what I’ve seen, everything is part of the big “scheme” called nature.

    Many will dispute this, but the fact you have to eat, sleep and fuck makes you as much an animal as a cat or dog. Where we came from is another story, but where we’re going is all the same — we are part of the “garden” of Earth, and as such, you will be able to determine investment “value” from observations of how these natural processes work.

    This, I believe, holds a core to what you are advocating…

    In that if you want to become prosperous, you need to adopt a “long term” mindset. A focus on what you feel will be the case in the distant future; and then work towards that ideal with daily effort. Remember, the more you invest, the more you get out (Newton’s 3rd law of motion); meaning the more daily effort you put forward, the more of a “stake” you have in the future goal you have — which is why some of these guys come out of nowhere & stay at the top.

    The problem for many is they either don’t believe that future ideal, OR, are involved in a country / environment not conducive with its adoption. Think about it… In Eastern Ukraine & many post Soviet countries, the focus is on “short term” — getting through “until Tomorrow” — living “for today”.

    The “war” they’ve had has resulted in -8% GDP growth, 600,000 displaced & 3,000+ dead. For what? A line on a map.

    In terms of investment, this will spell disaster. The core of investment success is the long term yield (IE the eggs from the golden goose). In the West (I was ALWAYS trying to consider why this was the case), our system steadfast, and consequently, the investments we make WILL bear fruit, as we can afford to invest into them over long periods (notice how fruit only grows on fully grown trees?).

    In Ukraine, and other places, this is not the case. You don’t know if your “investment” will be yours in 3 / 5 years, and consequently, you won’t realize the yield from it, not to mention ownership etc. THIS is the reason why the “Soviet” system was NEVER as prosperous as the Western one (no one wanted to invest their energy for the long term, as there were no rewards), and as such, is something you can emulate with your own development.

    This “long term” mindset is the core of why, as a Brit, I can go and spend as much money as I want on holiday, and still have exactly the same standard of living when I return.

    It’s the reason why the shop in Turkey where I bought my souvenir will still barely make a profit 10 years from now — I can think & invest “long term”, whilst the Turkish shop owner will only focus on covering their rent.

    In order to become truly successful, you have to appreciate the way in which you WANT to grow, and then invest into that every day. The “investment” does not have to be much; but has to be consistent. It will take time, but over the period of several years, your “momentum” will be such that you’ll be able to make significant gains in both your external & internal investments.

    I hope I explained that well

    R

    • You did indeed explain it well Richard!

      —-

      Your idea on short-term vs long-term thinkers is interesting. But I think it’s mostly something you practice.

      I DO agree with you regarding environment though. Hence why I have a ton of respect for people who grew up in shit but made something of themselves (Frederick Douglass, Nelson Mandela, Ayn Rand).

      “The crux of the issue is this – investment is about growth, and growth takes a long time”

      Yes. And it can take effort, capital, and time as well. This article isn’t about financial investments per se. . . But financial/company growth can be expensive!

      “Newton’s 3rd law of motion)”

      Yup. And vice versa. There’s a price to be paid for having that extra drink, that extra cup of coffee, that extra dougnut, that time slacking off, etc.

      “In Ukraine, and other places, this is not the case. You don’t know if your “investment” will be yours in 3 / 5 years,”

      And then there’s the mob, the corrupt government, bribes to be paid, etc.

    • Hey Richard wanted to add on your previous comments as I am familiar with living in both places.

      “SHORT TERM” and “LONG TERM” thinkers.
      I say this is just as important as having healthy and robust individualistic thinking as a collective/systemic thinking of a society. Without getting into politics and just sticking to the facts the West has done the systemic thinking right more or less. The Soviet system was a collective system done horribly wrong. It is about organizing a society around principles and not herding the masses with violence and threat of violence i.g. the Soviet mindset.
      So short term individualistic thinking can lead to disastrous results in an environment such as post Soviet country as the masses are ill-equipped to deal with the shock of integrating into an alternate financial system. This gives the few who see the opportunities to dominate hence the rise of oligarchs, plutocrats, mafia and the period know as the “bloody 90s” by most Russians and Ukrainians.

      “The problem for many is they either don’t believe that future ideal, OR, are involved in a country / environment not conducive with its adoption. Think about it… In Eastern Ukraine & many post Soviet countries, the focus is on “short term” — getting through “until Tomorrow” — living “for today”.

      80+ years of conditioning will probably take a generation to shake off and this is assuming the country is more or less has some civil society functioning. This is why this is happening in Ukraine and not Russia. Both countries were horribly corrupt but, one was more open and embracing of the Europeans while the others see their future as bringing back the nostalgic Soviet past.

      The “war” they’ve had has resulted in -8% GDP growth, 600,000 displaced & 3,000+ dead. For what? A line on a map.”

      This is tragic in the short term however, this war is just last convulsions of the Soviet system grasping at anything it can hold on to. Putin is a brilliant politician but his world view is that of a KGB brute and that is the mindset that organized that set of countries for the last 80 years. Ukraine is going through something it should have gone through in 1990 as Poland did.

      The long term and short term thinking matters as the organizing principles of countries and societies. I believe that long term thinking of a tyrant might be as disastrous as short term thinking of the masses. Both need to be together in a fine balance that weaves a coherent whole and robust system.

      Ukraine is only now shaking off the thuggish, short term, egotistical, mafia mentality and the brutish, collectivist, soviet mentality.

      I am bullish on Ukraine for the next two decades and will be buying properties or assets in Kiev or other major cities in the next few years. As the Baron Rothschild is often quoted saying : “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.”

      • Richard Peck says:

        Maxim. WOW

        Thank you SO MUCH for your input – I concur with everything you say; albeit I have much less exposure to the relative systems. Totally right you are sir (I don’t write that a lot!!)

        RE buying properties — I have a lady I’ve been helping in Donetsk who would be a very good contact. She’s young, highly intelligent, got a TON of experience in the apartment “world” in Donetsk (she set us up when we stayed there couple of years back). She’s been giving me some on-the-ground intel, and I recently just learnt that she spent a shit ton of money on an apartment of her own, which is now in jeopardy due to the war (she has a kid and husband and very little provisions due to this investment). Charity case aside, she’ll be a good source of local knowledge for Donetsk property / assets.

        If you’ll allow me, I’ll email Ludvig and send you an email if you want?

    • Donetsk appears to be a very dark place right now. I wish your friend and her family all the best.

      I am not looking as far east as Donetsk just yet. The war has to end and so far Putin is willing to keep sacrificing his economy and soldiers to keep this bloody farce going. I am thinking Kharkiv, Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk within 1-2 years as this thing can swing either way in the short term.

      Throw me an email any time.

      • Richard Peck says:

        Spasibo Maxim, I’ll ask Ludvig for your details.

        Sure, Donetsk is in a bad spot. I paid for my friend to go to Dnipropetrovsk, so she is okay with her family. Depending on how things turn out (whether Donetsk becomes part of Soviet-style puppet state), opportunities could be presented.

        I’ve don’t have much experience with Kiev etc. I intend to go within the next 12 months

  21. I have started doing affirmations since my Birthday a month ago but I don’t notice any difference in my life yet. Do you know what Im doing wrong?

    • Affirmations are voodoo. Progress is driven by action.

    • Progress is indeed driven by action. But I think there can still be a benefit to doing affirmation, much the same way a mission statement might be useful: To gain FOCUS.

      I see two (eventual) practical purposes for doing affirmations:
      1) Focusing the mind –and your pattern recognition– on what to do.
      2) Train behavior or thought until it becomes a habit or a mindset.

      And to do that most efficiently, the affirmations should:
      a)Be easily understood (no nonsense saying you want bliss/prosperity/world peace) as in you should know exactly what they mean.
      b) Induce powerful emotions which can be repeated (if it becomes mechanic it’s a waste of time)

    • Ok i think I get it. This goes against what i had read about affirmations before though…

      Im gonna remake them as you suggest and try for 2 more weeks and if I dont see any improvement i will stop

  22. Great article Ludvig.

    I can’t believe how many people don’t see this. What do you think is the main reason why people are so blind to creating systems?

    I’m guessing it’s either lack of education on the topic or the inherent nature of men to be lazy (once all our basic needs are fulfilled, we don’t really have the intense desire anymore to progress)

    “If you want to become prosperous, you need to adopt a “long term” mindset.” – Nice one Richard!

    Also, how can people live with the long-term consequences of being event-oriented? They must feel and see they’re doing something wrong. I get angry at myself and wouldn’t be able to face myself in the mirror if I don’t do the stuff I’ve set out to do.

    Disgusting is a strong word, but confusing nonetheless.

    Take care,

    • I don’t know Simon.

      Probably ignorance or lack of discipline.

      “Also, how can people live with the long-term consequences of being event-oriented?”

      –Good question. I hung out with an old friend all day today, and he told me about a bunch of (sad) people from the town we grew up in. Lots of people we used to hang out with, or vaguely knew when we were teenagers, are leading pathetic existences where they live hand-to-mouth. . . Despite having jobs. . . Because they’re heavily in debt, use drugs, play video games, eat out all the time, etc..

      In other words, no capacity for planning ahead.

  23. No time to post a full comment but just wanted to say ‘thank you’, for this post and many others. Such insightful writing, condensing many ideas in to digestible chunks. Thank you.

  24. Quick unrelated question:
    I have a small blog of my own and I am trying to put myself in your shoes. If I received lots of comments on my articles and pictures I would get SO HAPPY and I would answer them immediately. This does not strike me to be the case with you, why is that?

    I mean no disrespect with this, and I am not trying to ‘get inside your head’ or anything like that, I am only curious as to your mindset or emotions on this topic.

    • Kerstine,
      No offense taken.
      Sure I get happy for it. But I don’t want to spend all day long monitoring my comments on the site, or on social media. That stuff is heavily addictive (I’m serious). Therefore I try to use operant conditioning to my advantage (as in “rewarding myself” with that stuff after I’ve done more important thing earlier in the day).

      Hope that clears things up.

      • Had to google “operant conditioning” but after reading that it makes perfect sense! Thanks.

  25. Where is that image from? I recognizes it but I cant knows where from!

  26. hi Ludvig Sunström :)
    very good writing !
    Can You share Your writing system, You have a very very hypnotic writing style :O !
    ps:I’v read your article about commonplace book, does the writing quality is the result of your CoBook :) system ?

    • Hello yld,

      Yes, I suppose.

      1) Yes in the sense that I’ve got files of best practices that I use from time to time, which help me stick to a set of principles.

      2) Yes in the sense that I’ve copied large sections of texts from good writers and transcribed it so that it would stick to my memory. I’ve spent many days doing that.

      So, it’s about creating a method for deliberate practice (and repetition). I use my commonplace for doing it.

  27. Matias Page says:

    This is unrelated to this specific post.

    But I have to say that your idea of a commonplace has been a “blessing”. I put it into practice when I first read about it in one of your articles.

    I already had been keeping a journal of my thoughts in physical notebooks for a few years. And they were a wonderful tool to improve my meta-cognition. I clearly noticed patterns.

    For example: Things and ideas that felt like Eureka moments, were actually old and had occurred many times a year or two before. You can see your shortcomings and your mental traps right there on paper. As clear as day. It has a date and it’s not just a deja vu feeling like you thought…

    But the DIGITAL commonplace (I use OneNote) is not just a journal. Organizing all of this information and concepts, ideas. Making your own reference book is great. It also has the benefit of immediate accessibility and it gives you the ability to graphically see structures of ideas, categories etc.

    Anyway.
    Thanks for sharing your work. It’s benefited my life greatly.

  28. I admire your analytical skills Ludvig. I’m very long-term oriented and I naturally gravitate toward what you’ve described, but I did it subconsciounsly and basing on the many pieces of advice I gathered along from books, audio programs, blogs, podcasts etc.
    For example my short-term goal is to quit my job. I decided on Kindle author career to achieve it. It serves my long term purposes – I’ll be writing for the rest of my life as I see it now.
    I could achieve it by trying to game the system, but I can’t see how would it contribute to my long-term welfare. I prefer to write quality books from the very beginning and gradually build my authority.
    And I have daily disciplines which serves both long- and short-term goals simultaneously.
    But I didn’t think it over. It just happened on a trial and error basis.

    And I must congratulate you the community you’ve gathered around this blog. Seriously, I can’t think of any other blog where the comment section is usually more valuable than the post itself. How did you achieve that?

  29. Success is NOT an event, it is a process. Like this simple quote, it’s direct and too the point. You gave me so much to think about and want to leave a smart answer but my simple mind will not go there. Here is what I can say in light of who I am in Christ. The investment we have made with our money and our lives would be called by many, “foolish”. Compared to the worlds standard of “success” we are at the early winter of our lives and do not own a home, drive a 20 some old car, do not require much entertainment but chose to spend the rest of our life helping others with their walk with the Lord. We are full time by faith missionaries involved in a stateside ministry helping our mission members when they come home to adjust to stateside living again. Next week we take off for a 6 hour drive where we will park ourselves in an room provided by some dear Christians to work out of as we travel to four different place to visit face to face with these dear missionaries. We call it Member Care. We have never went without food or clothes all through the years living overseas or in the states. Hummm…I weigh success maybe through the word contentment. One can have the whole world and lose their soul. And someday the master of my soul will call forth my deed done here on earth for Him and the gold He will reward me with will be Him saying, well done my faithful servant. Then I will know success of the highest form.

    Going to pick some more of your post to read later for it does contain so much good in it. Like Micah you have a wealth of knowledge and so glad you are willing to bring it to light through your blog. Blessings

  30. I like this idea. It’s actually similar to the way I think although I call it “think like an economist”. I’m always trying to come up with different methods and systems that work well for me and I’m always trying to come up with a rational way to put it all together. That’s what economists do. They try to tweak the system to get different better results.

    • Hey Steve!
      Hope you’re doing good!

      “They try to tweak the system to get different better results.”

      –Yes. Big time managers do it as well. Systems thinking it’s sometimes referred to (may be different from what you’re talking about though?) and I can’t wait until I can put it into use myself. It’s fascinating.

  31. ADRIEN F***IN VEIDT :D

  32. Great stuff, bro!

  33. Great post, it really helped me fill in the cracks of my own system. What I find ironic is how average people in my age group (Mid- 20’s) judge you if you have a system to achieve goals that don’t match their Mainstream Media inspired World-view.

    Recently my closest friend told an Acquaintance of ours (Very Average person) that I inspire him as I stick to my system and constantly try to improve myself.

    The Acquaintance replied with scorn that I’m wasting my time and he want’s to see how my “System” holds up when I join the Workforce. Its scenarios like these that justify why for lack of a system most people are unfulfilled in life.

    This is because they neglect any planning in line with their values and long-term goals if they’re even aware in the first place of these concepts in the first place.

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