Experiments

I encourage (and write) about two things on this blog:

  1. Autodidactism — Instead of waiting for other people to tell you what to do, go out and learn on your own. My articles about “deconstructing high-achievers” fit into this category.
  2. Action — The real barrier to results isn’t knowledge, it’s action. How can we convert what we KNOW into what we DO?

This page is about the second.

Instead of preaching, I try to live by example.

I live life in 2-4 week experiments and 3-6 month projects. By gamifying life, adding artificial constraints, and recycling “mental tools” from other disciplines, I can consistently do in months what takes other people years.

Listed below are some of my current and past experiments.

Current Experiments & Projects

  • Learn Storytelling. I’m good at the analytical stuff, but one of my big weaknesses has always been storytelling.

Past Projects

  • $1000 Publishing Challenge. I bet $1000 that I would be able to publish (not just write) something every day for 30 days. The goal of the project was to conquer my fear of putting my ideas in front of other people.
  • Learn Japanese in 18 Months. My first ever “project project”. I ended up reaching near-native fluency (I can call people without them noticing I am a foreigner) in 18 months. I’ve been going on and off to Japan for four years now, and my Japanese has stayed at that original level.
  • Coaching with Ido Portal. Three months training under one of the best movers in the industry. See my Instagram for some of the results.
  • The Poker PhD. There is a reason hedge fund headhunters like to see “poker player” on resumes. The core principles of poker—probabilistic thinking, bankroll management, outcome independence, emotion management—have tremendous carryover to all sorts of real-world business situations. I spent two months in 2016 to see how fast I could go from being a losing poker player to a winning one.
  • The Real-World MBA. For the last 6 months of 2015, I risked 10% of my net worth (see the NNT’s Barbell Strategy for why) on live-trading currencies and stock options. The goal was to use that money as “tuition” to replace an MBA or other Master’s degree with real-world learning. In those 6 months, I learned enough about economics, politics, risk-taking, and probabilistic thinking to cover several Master’s programs…
  • The Year of Reading. In 2015, I pledged to read at least 3 books a week. I ended up reading over 200 books. I still read 2-5 books a week, but I don’t keep count anymore. See my Books page for some of my favorite reads.
  • Two Years of Daily Writing. In late 2014, I started a habit of writing at least ONE SENTENCE in my journal. Of course, I always wrote more. This habit has continued for over two years and has been (along with reading) one of my highest return activities.