Sunday Brain Food - Brain Food: Boredom & Impatience


No. 473 — May 22, 2022 — Read on FS

Welcome to Sunday Brain Food: a weekly newsletter full of ideas and insights that never expire.


“Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.”

Ten Commandments For Living From Philosopher Bertrand Russell

TKP Podcast

“There’s a phrase out there that says, 'Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.' I can’t stand that phrase. And the reason I can’t stand that phrase is because it implies two things. It implies that you can’t learn from winning. Like you win or you learn? No, you can learn a lot from winning. Success leaves clues. What it also implies, losing is some word that no one says of, 'Oh, I didn’t lose. I learned.' No, you lost. Own it. You lost, you got beat today, and that’s life you’re going to lose sometimes. And instead of flowering it up and saying, “No, no, I didn’t lose. I just ran out of time. I didn’t lose.” No, you lost.”

Mental performance coach Justin Su'a joins me to discuss how we can excel mentally. We explore connecting and building trust, the relationship between consistency and intensity, the fragility of confidence, the difference between success and talent, how to raise the bar of your own performance, and so much more.

Listen on FS (with show notes), Apple Podcasts, Spotify, watch on YouTube, or read the transcript.


Joshua Medcalf on grit:

"The irony is that this ‘fake it till you make it’ tactic is the exact opposite of how truly successful people live. They live with authentic vulnerability because they know that the world always connects more with your grit than your shine. They might show up for the shine, but they will stay because of your grit."

Tiny Thought

The greatest threat to results are boredom and impatience.

The only way to become good at something is to practice the ordinary basics for an uncommon length of time. Most people get bored. They want excitement. They want something to talk about and no one talks about the boring basics. For example, we know that dollar-cost averaging into an index fund is likely to generate wealth, but cryptocurrency will give us a bigger thrill. Boredom encourages you to stop doing what you know works and do something that might work.

Another way to mess up a good thing is to try and accelerate the natural pace of things into an unnatural one. A good idea taken to the extreme is always a bad idea. Working out for 15 hours a day won't make you healthier, it will get you injured. Investing with a lot of leverage won't make you rich faster, it will wipe you out. A lack of patience changes the outcome.

It's hard to be above average if you can't find a way to do the same thing over and over again. As Bruce Lee observed, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

In a world of social media, we glorify the results and not the process. We see the kick that knocked someone out but not the years of effort that went into perfecting it. We see the results, not the hard work.

The difference between good and great results is often found in consistently doing the boring things you know you should do exactly when you feel like doing them the least.

(Share this Tiny Thought on Twitter)


We're busier than ever but getting less done. "In our efforts to connect across our organizations, we’re drowning in real-time virtual interaction technology, from Zoom to Slack to Teams, plus group texting, WeChat, WhatsApp, and everything in between. There’s seemingly no excuse to not collaborate. The problem? Interacting is easier than ever, but true, productive, value-creating collaboration is not. And what’s more, where engagement is occurring, its quality is deteriorating. This wastes valuable resources, because every minute spent on a low-value interaction eats into time that could be used for important, creative, and powerful activities."

Action is everything. "Unfortunately, most of us, most of the time, don’t have a bias toward action. We don’t start a conversation with the cute stranger we’ve been admiring. We don’t ask for the raise we feel we’ve earned. We don’t move to the city we’ve been dreaming of since childhood. And we don’t do these things because not doing them is easier than acting. That’s not to say the outcome will be better. It will almost always be worse. But the comfort of the discontented status quo is much less scary than the potential of the unknown."

Build your own Latticework of Mental Models. We are launching Mental Models for Better Thinking very soon, which took more than a year for our team to make. This course is designed to complement the Wall Street Journal bestselling book series by teaching you exactly how to build your own latticework of mental models and use them to think even better. This is also the first course we've done that will have an interactive component to it. Click here to be the first to know.

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