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It’s the strong swimmers who drown.

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Avoiding Stupidity is Easier than Seeking Brilliance

Avoiding Stupidity is Easier than Seeking Brilliance

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Scientist and statistician Simon Ramo wrote a fascinating little book that few people have ever bothered to read:

Ramo believed that tennis could be subdivided into two games: the professionals and the rest of us.

The game looks the same from the outside. After all, players play by the same rules and scoring. And they play on the same court. Someti...

Professionals win points whereas amateurs lose them.

In a professional game, each player, nearly equal in skill, plays a nearly perfect game rallying back and forth until one player hits the ball just beyond the reach of his opponent. This is about positioning, control, spi...

In his 1975 essay, The Loser’s Game, Charles Ellis calls professional tennis a “Winner’s Game.” While there is some degree of skill and luck involved, the game is generally determined b...

Amateur tennis is an entirely different game. Not in how it is played or the rules but, rather, in how it’s won. Long and powerful rallies are generally a thing of the past. Mistakes are frequent. Balls are constantly hit into nets or out of bounds. Double faults are nearly as common as faults.

In expert tennis, about 80% of the points are won; in amateur tennis, about 80% of the points are lost. In other words, professional tennis is a Winner’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the winner – and amateur tennis is a Loser’s Game – the fi...

After discovering that there are, in effect, two different games and realizing that a generic strategy will not work for both games, Ramo devised a clever strategy by which ordinary players can win by losing less and letting the opponent defeat themselves.

If you choose to win at tennis – a...

Buffett used to convene a group of people called the “Buffett Group.” At one such meeting Benjamin Graham, Buffett’s mentor, gave them all a quiz.

“It was a true-false quiz,” Buffett said. “And there were all these guys who were very smart. He told us ahead of time that half were t...

The point is that most of us are amateurs but we refuse to believe it.

This is a problem because we’re often playing the game of the professionals. What we should do in this case, when we’re the amateur, is to invert the problem

This above was a point Charlie Munger, the billionaire business partner of Warren Buffett made a long time ago.

In a letter to Wesco Shareholders, where he was at the time Chairman, Munger writes:

“Wesco continues to try m...

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If you want to improve your odds of success in life and business, then define the perimeter of your circle of competence, and operate inside.

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