Life is Long

In Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, which I’ve discussed previously, he talks about how he asks interviewees: “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”  

One of my feelings right now to that effect is that Life is Long.  Everyone talks about how life is short, and so they use that as an excuse / rally cry to follow their passions / do everything they’ve wanted in life / do stupid things because “YOLO” after all.  

I believe in passion, and I believe in people following their callings and spending their time here doing what they want.  But - this makes us lose sight of the fact that things take time.  As I mentioned previously, life takes time.  We’re so conditioned in this age of instant gratification (which I suspect will get only worse) to get what we want immediately that we are not patient (myself included, as admitted previously).  And I think there are some situations where you benefit more by understanding and working for the long game, and not just what you can accomplish in thirty days or bust.  

So I think this is just about reflecting and realizing that life is not just short - it can be long too.  And you may have more time that you think to do what you want and need.  Don’t push off all of what you want to do, but sometimes different priorities take hold, and maybe it’s okay to wait just a little bit.  

Life is not just short, and it’s not just long.  It’s both

Permanent Beta

In #12 of his lessons from Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha mentions the idea of people being in “Permanent Beta”.  Permanent Beta here means people who are fast learners and can pick up the trade / function that you need them to.

I love this term.  I love the idea of just putting yourself in Permanent Beta and to be constantly challenging yourself to learn and grow.  It’s related to Carol Dweck’s idea that people can be in a “growth mindset” vs. a “fixed mindset” and constantly improve themselves and their performance as a result.  

Although I’ve always enjoyed learning and am a highly curious person, I have been wedded in a fixed mindset over the last few years.  Truthfully, most of the barriers that constrain me are self-created in my mind.  When I do what I “feel” like doing, I stay static.  But I know that I can do more.  I’m trying to stretch myself out of my comfort zone - maybe Permanent Beta is a place I can gain some comfort in.