Tonight's life advice

Tonight was absolutely enjoyable. I discovered that a YouTuber I like (Ali) has a blog. I spent some time and went through his posts.

Ali is fairly successful I must say. He graduated with 1st ranking GPA from the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, while running a business that generates 6-figure revenue he started in freshman year. His blog posts truly give a lot of insights into life in general, making references to books and articles. Of similar age, I feel benefited a lot reading his posts. Along with some supplemental references of mine, here are the notes I took tonight.

Decision making tips

How to minimize regrets [1]

Regret Minimisation Framework

Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon) has a system for decision-making that he calls his Regret Minimisation Framework (yep, seriously). He wants to make decisions in such a way that when he’s 80 years old and looking back on his life, he has as few regrets as possible.

The Win-Win Principle

The Win-Win Principle states that whenever we’re trying something new or risky, we should design it so that we win even if we lose.

Doing important things [2]

“What are the important problems of your field?’’ And after a week or so, “What important problems are you working on?’’ And after some more time I came in one day and said, “If what you are doing is not important, and if you don’t think it is going to lead to something important, why are you at Bell Labs working on it?’’


Work with door open

School [5]

Because of this liberal open-door policy, my room became an informal hang-out zone for my friends, and over the next 6 years, was often the default venue for group study sessions.

One of the best purchases I made at the start of my university days was a doorstopper. Whenever I was in my room during waking hours, I’d leave the door propped open and occasionally, when people would walk past on their way down the hallway, they’d pop in for a chat.

Research [2]

I notice that if you have the door to your office closed, you get more work done today and tomorrow, and you are more productive than most. But 10 years later somehow you don’t know quite know what problems are worth working on; all the hard work you do is sort of tangential in importance. He who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but he also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important.

Work [6]

Working with one’s door closed lets you get more work done per year than if you had an open door, but I have observed repeatedly later those with the closed doors, while working just as hard as others, seem to work on slightly the wrong problems, while those who have let their door stay open get less work done but tend to work on the right problems! I cannot prove the cause and effect relationship, I only observed the correlation. I suspect the open mind leads to the open door, and the open door tends to lead to the open mind; they reinforce each other. (Hamming, Richard R.. Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn (Page 211))

Generating passive income

Stock market

Those two ideas are worth repeating [3]. (1) The stock market always goes up. (2) You will not lose money over the long term.

Investing in index funds is the best way to make this free money over the long term without much risk. It [4] explains the basics of how stocks work, why the market always goes up, and how you can get started with investing in it.

The 4-Hour Workweek

Live more and work less.


[1] How to minimise regrets

[2] You and Your Research

[3] How I make money in the stock market

[4] How to make Money in the Stock Market

[5] The £5 item that made my student life much happier

[6] How to Do Great Things