Dean's Notes (Aug 2021)

Big wins, you're underrated, writing nonfiction well, and more

Hey there! I'm back with the monthly Dean Notes—a roundup of things I'm exploring, learning, and creating to help you become a better thinker and leader.

A quick intro: I'm Dean Yeong (@deanyeong). Here, I write and share about productivity, leadership, money, psychology, marketing, and more.

Let's dive in.

What's new

🤩 You can now get access to Systematic Output on my website. The course will help you maximize your weekly outputs and get important things done—without getting distracted and feeling overwhelmed.

✍️ Two new articles I've written in July for you:

  1. How to focus on big wins. To get ahead, you don't need to get everything right. Instead, focus on these two types of decisions and get them less wrong before anything else.
  2. Humans are underrated. Here's a short manifesto of why I think we're all underrated. Plus, the steps we could take to maximize our potential.

Recommended book with my notes

📖 On Writing Well by William Zinsser. If you're writing non-fiction, this is a book you don't want to miss.

Clear writing is clear thinking. To write well, write—and rewrite, and rewrite again—to be clear. Along the process, practice to become confident with yourself and the message you want to share with another person.

A couple of notes

🧹 Be a star or a janitor. In a job or a career, you should always strive to do the work either 1) no one else can do or 2) no one else wants to do. It sounds simple, but having to think of it, it's the formula to become more valuable in both a job as a team member and the market as a business.

🤑 How much money is enough according to research or better put, how much income is enough. Short answer: somewhere around the range of $70,000 to $80.000. Research shows that money can keep buying life evaluation (satisfaction) up to any amount, but it only affects emotional well-being (happiness) up to an annual income of ∼$75,000.

But it also defers from person to person based on our upbringing and where we live. To me, finding out the number for yourself is essential. It means that you know when to say NO to more money and focus on things that truly matter.

🎨 Education and inequality in the creative age. Most jobs in the market are rule-based work. But with the advent of computerized work and offshoring, these rules-based tasks are fast disappearing. To stay productive and competitive, we need creativity and an educational system that stresses it.

More interesting notes

🙋🏻‍♂️ To get better answers (and transform your life), ask better questions. One question I've asked myself a lot lately is this: "What would it look like if it was easy?" It helps me reassess the objectives of what I want to do. And instead of complicating the process, the process of answering the question pushes me to an easier, faster, and usually more effective solution.

🤯 Here's another question to ask yourself: "If I would only do one thing [insert time frame], what would that be?" Think about it in different time frames—today, this week, this quarter, a decade, or even a lifetime.

🤝 I'm far from a superconnector, but I do enjoy meeting and connecting with like-minded people. If you want to meet leaders and professionals virtually, Lunchclub is a great place to do so. I've been using it for right over two months now. Here's the invitation link—it's free to join.

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Dean is a strong voice in the self-mastery space. His newsletter consistently delivers insightful ideas on how to become a better version of yourself and is the only newsletter that I always read.

Sebastian Kade

Head of product and engineering