The Immensity of Human Potential

Principles, puzzles and progress.

WHAT I’M WRITING

13 Ways To Live a Life of Purpose In Your 20's

I spent a large chunk of time thinking about how to minimise regret in the future. The result was 13 principles that I'm trying to live by today. They provide direction and a reason to remain disciplined.

Five Pieces of The Education Puzzle

I recently became an uncle. Over the past 6 months, I’ve watched my niece grow into a person, with her own unique laugh, smile and personality. It’s been phenomenally interesting to see how we learn when we’re in an environment that isn’t specifically designed for learning.

8 Essays on Programming That Are Worth Your Time

With each read, I find these essays become more and more valuable. They detail the thought processes of the best engineers in the world. They provide insight into how they formulate and articulate problems, communicate them to others, and go about solving them.


IDEA I’M PONDERING

I donated blood for the first time last week.

15 minutes to sign up, test my iron levels, and extract one pint of life juice from my left arm. They say that each pint saves up to 3 lives. Whether that's true or not is irrelevant. The part that impresses me is how efficient the entire process is.

A combination of technology, training, personnel and a keen focus on completing the job at hand leads to impressive operations and impressive results.

Humans have a staggering capacity to achieve great things and we each have the opportunity to play a role in that.


LINKS I’M LOVING

Regression Is Progress

"We believe that progress is always forward and always going up, that if we stall out on a plateau or if our progress slows down in any fashion we are failing. Progress is more complicated than yes or no."

Common Causes of Very Bad Decisions

It's easier to avoid stupidity than to achieve greatness. This article highlights a bunch of ways to avoid stupidity.

That’s all for this week. Have a great one!

Keagan

Why do criminals receive medical treatment?

On ignorance, Hitler, and Emerson.

IDEA I’M PONDERING

When I was young, I was shocked when I found out that criminals injured during the act still received medical treatment. They were criminals. They were wrong. Why were we helping them?

I thought things were very black and white back then. Regardless of what you told me, my mind wasn't changing. I was ignorant, but can you expect a 4-year-old not to be?

20 years later, I see the error in my thinking. The world isn't black and white. It's a complicated grey mess.

Just as I was ignorant back then, I'm ignorant of things today. I expect to look back on myself in years to come and wonder how on earth I believed some of the things I believe today.

Being aware of this turns out to be useful. You realise that you’re wrong about things, no matter how much you believe you're right. Accepting that, listening to others, and constantly assessing and updating your beliefs, will save you plenty of time and pain.


LINKS I’M LOVING

I’ve been learning more history and came across an incredible YouTube channel this week. It’s got almost 4 million subscribers so I suspect many of you know it, but for those that don’t, check it out. It’s called OverSimplified. The Hitler video was one of my favourites.


QUOTE I’M REPEATING

Not a question this week, but rather a quote. Thanks to NudgeHow for sending this my way.

114+ EXCLUSIVE Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes for Remarkable Life - BayArt

That’s all for this week. Have a good one!

Keagan

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Nobody Cares About What You Know

Successful people. Making good art. The end of the ride.

IDEA I’M PONDERING

When I mention the word success, which people pop to mind?

It'll be different for each of you, but I suspect that the people you've got pictured in your mind right now share a common trait - they've used their knowledge, skills and initiative to build something.

They’ve created or improved upon something and in doing so, they’ve driven change in the world.

These people are usually incredibly knowledgeable, but it’s not that knowledge that made them successful. It’s the fact that they’ve taken that knowledge and used it to create something useful.

The world doesn't reward you for what you know. It rewards you for what you can do with what you know.


LINKS I’M LOVING

My writing has been on hiatus for the past few weeks, but I’m excited to finally be getting back into it (new pieces on the way soon). As I do, I’ve come across some great links for all you writers, artists and creators reading this:

Shitty First Drafts

“There may be something in the very last line of the very last paragraph on page six that you just love, that is so beautiful or wild that you now know what you're supposed to be writing about, more or less, or in what direction you might go -- but there was no way to get to this without first getting through the first five and a half pages.”

Make Good Art (Transcript)

“And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.

I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually, time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Lex Fridman with Manolis Kellis

The Lex Fridman Podcast is my favourite podcast by a long way. This episode sits atop the list of his best work. It’s long, but it’s absolutely phenomenal. If you’re interested in life, philosophy and the origin of our world, you’re going to love this.


QUESTION I’M ASKING MYSELF

“This ride is going to come to an end one of these days, are you enjoying it? If not, what can you do to change that?”


If you enjoyed this, consider supporting my writing by becoming a patron or simply sharing it with a friend. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful. If you have any questions or comments, hit that reply button, I’d love to hear from you.

Keagan Stokoe

Three Men Make a Tiger

Is there a tiger in your neighbourhood?

IDEA I’M PONDERING

People will believe anything if enough people tell them it’s true.

It comes from a Chinese proverb that if one person tells you there’s a tiger roaming around your neighbourhood, you can assume they’re lying. If two people tell you, you begin to wonder. If three say it’s true, you’re convinced there’s a tiger in your neighbourhood and you panic.

Be cautious of what you believe. It’s not difficult to get three people to say something.


Ps. If you’re a fan of Richard Feynman, you’ll love this video.

What did you look for first?

IDEA I’M PONDERING

What was the first thing you looked for in this image?

If you’re anything like me, it’s the flag of your home nation. The flag of Greenland in the bottom right corner means nothing to me, but the South African flag caught my eye immediately. We’re automatically attracted to the things that matter to us.

To put that bluntly: People only care about the things that matter to them. The things that they have an interest in. The things which impact them. The rest is irrelevant.

Whether you’re trying to get your children to do something, convince your employees of your way of thinking, or you’re fighting to land a new client - you’re more likely to succeed if you put it in terms that the other person cares about. Terms which they connect with, from their unique point of view.


That’s all for this week. If you enjoyed this, let me know by hitting reply or sharing it with a friend.

Have a great week,

Keagan

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