Lies You've Been Told About the World - Deepstash
Lies You've Been Told About the World

Lies You've Been Told About the World


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Lies You've Been Told About the World

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Lie: Money Is the Only Type of Wealth

In reality, there are 5 types of wealth:

  • Financial (money)
  • Social (relationships)
  • Physical (health)
  • Mental (health, knowledge, faith)
  • Time (freedom)

The blind pursuit of financial wealth can rob you of the others. Never let that happen.


241 reads

Lie: Money Can Buy Happiness

Money is very directly correlated with happiness up to a baseline level of needs (food, shelter, etc.).

Beyond that level, there are clear diminishing returns to the happiness derived from each incremental dollar.

In some cases, there is negative utility from an incremental dollar as it adds new stress ("mo money, mo problems" right?).

The key is to identify:

  • Your current state of income, wealth, and happiness.
  • The "happiness return" on an incremental dollar earned. How much happier will you be from an additional $X? Separate the ego and emotion from the question to think about it objectively.


122 reads

Lie: There Are Timelines to Achieve Things in Life

The timelines we create for ourselves are mostly just arbitrary nonsense.

We create these fake timelines:

  • I need to hit [X] title by [X] age.
  • I need to have [Y] salary by [Y] age.
  • I need to win Forbes [X] under [X] otherwise I'm a failure.

Focusing on these timelines is playing the wrong game. It leads you into dangerous comparison traps—envying others who achieved these things.

There’s no fixed path—you create your own.


125 reads

Lie: You Don’t Have to Work Hard

It's very in vogue to say hard work is overrated—but it’s not quite true.

What you work on is more important than how hard you work, but if you're striving for great things, you have to work hard.

  • You can get to the top-10% by either working hard OR smart.
  • You can only reach the top-1% by working hard AND smart.

It's definitely not for everyone, but it's the reality if you are trying to achieve exceptional results.


117 reads

Lie: You Need to Have Formal Mentors

The concept of “mentorship” has become way too formal. Asking someone to be your mentor can come across as a big commitment.

Instead of focusing on finding a formal mentor, build a Personal Board of Advisors.

The key features of a Personal Board of Advisors:

  • Group of 5-10 individuals. The members don't need to know each other or that they are on your board. Informality is a feature, not a bug.
  • Unbiased (not family).
  • Diverse experiences.
  • Willing to provide raw, candid feedback.


87 reads

Lie: You Need to Have the Perfect Idea in Order to Build Something Meaningful

There’s no shortage of great ideas, just a shortage of people willing to put in the effort to capitalize on them.

Execution requires a combination of:

  • Intensity: To execute sprints of focused energy.
  • Consistency: To execute a marathon of these sprints.

Ideas are cheap, execution is very, very expensive.

The best way to stand out will always be quite simple: Act.


83 reads

Lie: You Should Say No to Most Opportunities

It's in vogue to say that you should learn to say no in order to protect your time.

In reality, it depends.

As a general rule of thumb:

Early on, say yes—it puts you into growth-conducive situations. Saying yes allows you to expand your luck surface area.

Once you're established, say no—to focus and build leverage. Saying no allows you to focus on the 10x+ opportunities.


91 reads

Lie: Free Time Is Bad

Hustle culture told you that free time is lost productivity.

The reality: free time is a "call option" on future interesting opportunities.

When you have free time, you have the headspace and bandwidth to pursue new ideas. Free time creates alpha.

Learning when to say no creates the free time necessary to capitalize on the alpha-rich opportunities that arise.


98 reads

Lie: Very Few People Have Anything of Value to Offer

Life gets so much better when you realize you can learn from anyone. No one is too old, young, rich, or poor to teach you something valuable.

Everyone has formed their own map of reality. By gathering data points from the maps of those around us, we sharpen the resolution of our own.


83 reads

Lie: Big Changes Will Just Happen on Their Own

Nothing just happens—that’s for the movies, not real life. You have to kick down the door and blast through to the other side.

Big decisions are better made fast than slow. Slow typically leads to overthinking and paralysis that keeps people from making the leap. Fast allows you to operate from instinct—to trust your gut.

With the bigger decisions, don't outsmart your common sense.


79 reads

Lie: Your Friends Will Always Be There for You

Most of your friends aren’t really your friends.

They’re just along for the ride when it’s fun, convenient, or valuable—they'll disappear when it's not.

Your real friends are there when it is none of those things. They are there when you have nothing to offer in return.

Cherish them.


93 reads

Lie: You Have to Wait for Luck to Strike

If you want to get lucky, start increasing your luck surface area.

It’s hard to get lucky watching TV at home. It’s easy to get lucky when you’re engaging and learning—physically or digitally.

Put yourself in a position to get lucky.


82 reads

Lie: The World Is a Zero-Sum Game

If it bothers you to see other people succeed, you’re definitely not gonna make it.

Distance yourself from anyone who spends time bringing others down.

Celebrate everyone’s wins and you’ll start winning more. A rising tide lifts all boats.


95 reads

Lie: Your GPA and Test Scores Will Define Your Future

Once you're past your first job, no one will ask about that stuff—if they do, you shouldn't take that job.

To be successful, you either need to learn how to build or you need to learn how to sell. People who know how to build AND sell are unbeatable. 

If you aren't technically gifted, that's okay. Just learn to sell—yourself, your ideas, and your vision. If you can do that, you'll always make it.

In the real world, EQ still stands out.


63 reads

Lie: The world is run by remarkable people

An empowering realization: Most of the people you admire are unremarkable.

Their success is not due to some intrinsic difference.

They simply built leverage to scale efficiently and had a powerful combination of effort, focus, long-term consistency, and luck.


83 reads

Lie: Take All the Advice that You Can Get

Most advice sucks.

It's well-intentioned, but it's dangerous to use someone else's map of reality to navigate yours—even if they're experienced.

Winners learn to filter and selectively implement advice—take the signal, skip the noise.


80 reads

Lie: You Have to Be Interesting to Get Ahead in Life

Interesting people sound impressive, but the reality is that being INTERESTED is more important than being INTERESTING.

Interested people ask questions, listen, and observe. They are prone to diving deep to understand the world around them.

They win by compounding knowledge efficiently.


72 reads

Lie: You’re “Too Late"

It’s really hard to be “too late” with a mega-trend.

This fallacy is driven by the fact that humans are terrible at comprehending exponential growth. We see a rapid run-up and assume we're near the peak when the reality is we have just begun the ascent.

As a rule of thumb, when facing a mega-trend, you’re probably still early.


62 reads

Lie: You Can Learn Everything You Need to Know by Reading Books

You can read every business and self-help book in the world, but ultimately the only way to learn is by screwing it up.

Reading and studying are nothing without battle-testing.

Don’t fear failure—just learn to fail smart & fast.


90 reads

Lie: There Are Shortcuts to Achieve Success in Life

Everyone wants hacks or shortcuts, but there’s literally no such thing.

If anyone tries to sell you one, you should run away.

The only “hack” is relentless consistency. It’s not glamorous—and it's not fun—but it works.


81 reads

Lie: The Smartest People Always Have the Best Answers

The most intelligent people don't have the best answers—they ask the best questions.

Asking great questions is how you uncover the truth.

The sharpest minds will listen intently and then ask the one question that drills down to the core of the issue at hand.

It's a legitimate superpower—but one that can conceivably be developed with practice.


72 reads

Lie: You Have to Become an Expert at Something

Society celebrates experts in any given field.

But as author David Epstein finds in Range, many experts succeed because of the range of pursuits that preceded their main endeavour.

Become a polymath. Generalize first, specialize later.


84 reads

Lie: Most People Are Bad

Fear generates clicks—the media knows it and they capitalize on it. So if you watch the news, you're hit by a barrage of pain, suffering, and fear.

The message is to avoid your neighbour—to fear thy neighbour.

Always remember: There are a few bad people out there, but most people are fundamentally good. They just want to be able to provide for their family and live well.

Don't fall into the vicious media trap. Love spreads—love thy neighbour.


63 reads


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