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3-2-1: Opportunity cost, power of listening, and the stories we tell ourselves

Email sent: May 21, 2020 11:15am

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3-2-1 Thursday
Note: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly 3-2-1 newsletter. Every Thursday, I share 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for you to ponder. Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on habits and self-improvement.

3 ideas, 2 quotes, 1 question (May 21, 2020)

"The most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web."
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Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

Let's get right to it. Here are 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider this week.



"Knowledge is the compound interest of curiosity."

(Share this on Twitter)


"A practical definition of opportunity cost:

If you spend too much time working on good things, then you don’t have much time left to work on great things.

Understanding opportunity cost means eliminating good uses of time. And that's what makes it hard."

(Share this on Twitter)


"There are 3 primary drivers of results in life:

1) Your luck (randomness).
2) Your strategy (choices).
3) Your actions (habits).

Only 2 of the 3 are under your control. But if you master those 2, you can improve the odds that luck will work for you rather than against you."

(Share this on Twitter)



Poet Yahia Lababidi on the power of listening:

"A good listener is one who helps us overhear ourselves."

Source: Signposts to Elsewhere


Author Michael Lewis on the stories we tell ourselves:

"As I’ve gotten older—I would say starting in my mid-to-late 20s—I could not help but notice the effect on people of the stories they told about themselves. If you listen to people, if you just sit and listen, you’ll find that there are patterns in the way they talk about themselves.

There’s the kind of person who is always the victim in any story that they tell. Always on the receiving end of some injustice. There's the person who’s always kind of the hero of every story they tell. There's the smart person; they delivered the clever put down there.

There are lots of versions of this, and you’ve got to be very careful about how you tell these stories because it starts to become you. You are—in the way you craft your narrative—kind of crafting your character. And so I did at some point decide, “I am going to adopt self-consciously as my narrative, that I’m the happiest person anybody knows.” And it is amazing how happy-inducing it is."

Source: The Tim Ferriss Show #427: Michael Lewis on the Crafts of Writing, Friendship, Coaching, Happiness, and More


Simple question to find work you love:

What do you enjoy refining? (It’s the areas you can’t help yourself from editing and optimizing where you have a long-term advantage.)

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Until next week,

James Clear
Author of the million-copy bestseller, Atomic Habits
Creator of the Habit Journal

P.S. Sword-in-the-Stone vibes.

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