Joys of Compounding Chapter 2

Creating time to Read, Learn, Think

  • Avoid TV.
  • Keep the commute time to work low
  • Automate mundane tasks like payment of bills
  • Start small but maintain consistency: If you read just 25 pages a day, you will finish two 350-page books in a month, with two days to spare.
  • Keep a book/ebook/audiobook handy at all times to make the best use of time gaps, such as waiting for a bus/taxi.

What to read

  • Read something above your current level.
  • Read classic texts on varied topics such as psychology, philosophy, business etc., rather than daily news, which loses relevance soon.

How to Read:

  1. Analytical Reading:
  • Ask questions and attempt to find their answers as you go through the book.
  • Engage with the books: Use a pencil to underline main points; number the sequence of points made by the author to develop an argument; cross-reference the different pages with related materials.

2. Syntopical reading:

  • Do a comparative reading of several books on the same subject and compare & contrast their ideas, insights, and arguments.
  • Read books on different topics simultaneously to find common patterns within them.
  • Quit the books that are not engaging. Find a better one.

First Principles Thinking

  • Deconstruct concepts down to their most fundamental truths, i.e. their first principles.
  • Cartesian Doubt: Systematically doubt everything until indubitable truth is left.

The Feynman Technique to learn anything

  • Pick a topic and study it
  • Explain/write it using basic concepts which a 10-year-old child can understand.
  • The points where you struggle to keep things simple indicate the gaps in your understanding.
  • Reread to fill the gaps — repeat as necessary.

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