Dean's Notes (Jun 2021)

Personal quarterly review, psychology of money, improve idea flow, and more

Happy Monday! 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 articles and share book notes on productivity, leadership, money, psychology, entrepreneurship, and more.

Let's dive in...

What's new

🚀 I'll be conducting a live virtual workshop called Systematic Output this month. It'll help transform your productivity by increasing your weekly output and get important things done. I have a few bonuses pre-recorded and ready, so you can get them and get started before the live session.

✍️ Personal quarterly review. Quarterly reviews are proven to be effective for businesses and organizations. So why don't we do the same in our personal life? And why do we wait till the end of a year to review what we've done, plan for the future, and feel good about the newfound clarity? What that in mind, I conducted my first quarterly review, and here's what I learned.

💵 Reading notes of The Psychology of Money. This book was on the recommended list in February. The book's key premise is that doing well with money has a lot more to do with how we behave than what we know. And from there, the author uncovers how we think (and should do) about our money when it comes to saving, investing, and building wealth.

Recommended books

Obliquity by John Kay. Like many other books that I enjoyed, the book is packed full of stories and case studies to make a point: that our goals are best to achieve indirectly.

While aiming for something and planning for it are essential, we can only learn about our objectives and how to achieve them through a gradual process of risk-taking and discovery.

For one, most things in life are out of our total control, so the best bet is to focus on what we can indeed control: our judgment, reaction, and action. Also, we want different things at different stages of our lives. Finding what truly matters to us is a slow, adventurous process.

Articles worth reading

Improving idea flow. As a writer, I believe in to create great work, we need to consume great work. But I haven't given the idea as much thought as Nat. In his words, having an opinion should require seriously thinking about something. And that serious thinking sometimes means taking information from different sources and constantly disagreeing and debating with our existing beliefs and thoughts.

The scarcity of money myth. In short, money is not scarce. Once you understand how money is created and work, you see that there is an infinite amount of money to meet the demand of value we create. In other words, the way to generate more money is by creating more value.

Antifragile planning. If you like my thoughts on quarterly reviews, you should enjoy this piece by Taylor Pearson. It shows you how to plan, work, and review quarterly based on both what you want and what the world needs.

Why marginal improvements matter. Lately, I keep coming to a conclusion of how small wins bring more small wins—that the momentum of getting slightly ahead is essential to propel us even further ahead. And it brings me back to an article I've written about the relationship between the Pareto Principle, Power Law Distribution, and margin improvements.

Quotes of the month

The list of mistakes you can never recover from is very short.

But you likely realize your life will not be destroyed if your book doesn’t sell or if a potential date turns you down or if your startup goes bust. It’s not the failed outcome that paralyzes us. It’s the possibility of looking stupid, feeling humiliated, or dealing with embarrassment that prevents us from getting started at all.

The first step to being courageous is being willing to look foolish.

—James Clear
Your life is designed to get the results you are getting right now. To change the results, change the process. —Shane Parrish
Being the go-to person in a specific industry is the fastest way to build a smart online audience and one of the highest leverage things you can do for your career. —David Perell

More interesting finds

🤔 What are you doing with your life? by Kurzgesagt. I've been a follower of Kurzgesagt for years. The video starts off with an existential question and connecting it to the answer of a Stoic idea of living in the present.

Most of the things we do in life are tail-end events. While we might have years ahead of us (we won't know for sure), what we're experiencing now could well be the last time we're going to experience it ever again.

Putting the hyping motivational vibe aside, being aware of the concept of tail-end is why we should live every day like our last. Not with anxiety, but with love and gratitude.

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