#7: 90,000 hours, Springboard, making money too fast, why you shouldn't pick stocks, GDP

We're shifting gears this week.

Instead of going straight into higher-level investing ideas such as systematic strategies to beat the market, we'll start from the very beginning on how to build wealth and achieve financial freedom.

And everything starts with our time – and how we use it.

90,000 hours

How many working hours do you have over a lifetime?

To build your career. To grow your business. To make your art. To create wealth. Yes, you are unique. But we all have the same 24 hours.

Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success by G. Richard Shell (Success Book Review)

G. Richard Shell is a Wharton professor and an expert on negotiation and personal development. Both the son of a celebrated Marine Corps general and a pacifist during the Vietnam War, he spent the early part of his life resolving that tension and searching for the security of a new anchor.

The search helped Professor Shell develop many of the concepts he shares in Springboard, which he has taught to thousands of students and executives. In the book, he also provides a broad survey and concise synthesis of the best literature in the Success and Happiness genre. The goal is for you to come up with your own definition of success, and use your unique talents and strengths to achieve it.

Through a number of self-assessments, Professor Shell helps you build self-awareness by understanding your past and imagining your future, and identifying what excites and motivates you. Take it seriously, and you may escape what philosopher Bertrand Russell describes as a life of achieving uninspired goals set by others, while repressing your “creative impulse, out of which a free and vigorous life might have sprung.”

Key Takeaways

  1. Coming up with your own definition of success involves experimentation and not just contemplation – take risks and try things out. Do, then learn.
  2. Relationships are the most important factor in your long term happiness and longevity. Other factors include meaningful and creative work, positive emotions, and achievements.
  3. If you just do what you’re good at and the market rewards you for without taking into account your interests, you’ll likely end up in “golden handcuffs”, stuck in a career that pays well but which you find wearisome.
  4. Build Level One confidence (your belief in yourself as an honorable, capable human being) by stretching yourself and leaving your comfort zone. Build Level Two confidence (your attitude as you engage in specific activities) by adopting a success mindset – the willingness to learn new skills and challenge yourself, focusing on the journey rather than the destination, and accepting failure as par for the course.
  5. Use both satisfaction-based motivation (for endurance) and reward-based motivation (for sprints) to drive your success.

Intrigued? Read the full review and top highlights.

Worthwhile reads

Too Much, Too Soon, Too Fast

"A good summary of investing history is that stocks pay a fortune in the long run but seek punitive damages when you try to be paid sooner." - Morgan Housel

Why You Shouldn’t Pick Individual Stocks

"I am going to argue that you shouldn’t pick stocks because of the existential dilemma of doing so. The existential dilemma is simple—how do you know if you are good at picking individual stocks?" - Nick Maggiulli

And ending off with a thought-provoking tweet from Ark Invest's Cathie Wood on the relevance of GDP statistics in the digital age: