Category: Wisdom

Second-Order Consequences

By Christian Staal

Do you think about the consequences of your actions? Most people think about the direct effects of their actions (the first-order consequences).

If you want to take your thinking to the next level, start thinking about what happens as a result of the direct effects of your actions (the second-order consequences).

Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform (article) by Farnam Street.

Principles (book) by Ray Dalio

The world is getting better

By Christian Staal

Most people think that the world is getting worse. That’s the picture painted by the news. It seems like there’s more violence and misery in the world than ever before.

In reality, the opposite is true: the world is richer, happier, healthier and safer than ever before.


Feeling overwhelmed? Try this.

By Christian Staal

What do you when you’re feeling overwhelmed? My favourite answer to this question comes from Jocko Willink (former Navy SEAL Commander): “Prioritize and execute.”

It’s as simple as that. Make a list, get clear on what’s most important, and executive on your priorities.

Tribe of Mentors (book) by Tim Ferriss, p. 539.

How do you make people feel?

By Christian Staal

People are emotional creatures. When you’re having a discussion, creating a piece of art or helping someone you love, be mindful of your emotional impact on your fellow human beings. As Maya Angelou said: people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. 


How to Win Friends and Influence People (book) by Dale Carnegie.

Origin of the Maya Angelou quote (quoteinvestigator.com).

What are you bad at?

By Christian Staal

It’s never fun to find out that you’re bad at something, but it’s often a blessing in disguise. Everybody has weaknesses, and only by seeing yours clearly, can you overcome them.

In Principles, Ray Dalio puts it eloquently: You shouldn’t be upset if you find out that you’re bad at something – you should be happy that you found out, because knowing that and dealing with it will improve your chances of getting what you want.


Principles (book) by Ray Dalio [from principle #1.10e]

A Whole New World?

By Christian Staal

How would you re-design the world, if you didn’t know which century, country and family you would be born into? When you’re looking for moral answers to difficult problems, this question is useful, because it helps you look at the world objectively.


A Theory of Justice (book) by John Rawls
The Moral Landscape (book) by Sam Harris

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