David Perell

David Perell quotes on thinking

"The Writing Guy". He tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing.

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The pain of writing is actually the pain of improving your thinking


Writing is like weightlifting for the brain. Yes, it's hard. But it will improve the quality of your thinking.


Writing is nature’s way of showing you how sloppy your thinking usually is


I’ve yet to meet an original thinker who doesn’t spend a lot of time alone


I grind my teeth thinking about how much valuable knowledge is lost because people think they need to use big words that nobody understands to sound smart.


My philosophy of writing: • Write every day. • Write in public to improve the quality of your thinking. • Write for clarity, not to impress people. • Write about your curiosities. You don’t need to be an expert. • Write for the most intelligent person you know.


You don't just write to share what you think. You write to discover what you think in the first place.


The fastest way to improve your thinking is to write daily and defend a perspective you disagree with


A three-step formula for teaching anything: 1) Explicitly state the audience’s flawed assumptions. 2) Tell a memorable story that illustrates your alternative perspective. 3) Explicitly state the takeaways from your story, and show how your way of thinking is more useful.


One way to measure the quality of a book: the number of thoughts you’ve never had before.


We claim to value individuality but we crush people who actually think for themselves


My nights are sacred. Since I started working, I’ve reserved 2-3 nights per week for reading, learning, and thinking. It’s my time without distraction — to explore the wonderful world of ideas. This habit has absolutely changed my life. The benefits keep compounding.


You can learn things much faster than you think. One year of obsession is all it takes to acquire a new skill.


The biggest piece of media bias isn’t that it tells you what to think, but that it tells you what to think about


Writing well is thinking well. If you can’t write well, you can’t think well. But writing is only the first step. Rewriting is important too. And... what is rewriting? Rewriting is rethinking.


I wish every productive person wrote a book-length guide to how they live, work, and think.


If you follow your intuition for what’s interesting, you’ll have a collection of knowledge nobody‘s ever had before


PowerPoints lead to lazy thinking. Long-form essays lead to smart thinking.


The frustration you feel when you sit down to write is what deep thinking feels like. Relish it. You’re making yourself smarter.


Writing and thinking are basically the same thing


A well-written sentence can change your life. With the stroke of a pen, you can build your network, improve your thinking, and create opportunities for yourself. Best of all, it's easy to start writing. All you need is discipline. Learn to write.


Writing isn’t the byproduct of thinking. It’s where deep thinking actually happens.


If you want to think originally, read outside your industry. • Avoid industry podcasts. • Put down the industry magazine. • Skip the top-recommended books. Borrow from other industries, so you can bring a fresh perspective to your work.


Think of all the knowledge that isn’t shared because people think that all their best ideas have been written down before and they have nothing new to contribute


Good writing isn’t just the result of deep thinking, it’s where deep thinking happens in the first place.


WHY YOU SHOULD WRITE 1) Writing moves the world. The Bible, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address. Study history. The written word is uniquely powerful. 2) Writing sharpens your thinking. The mind usually jumps from thought to thought, but writing forces you to slow down.


Writing is 5% thinking, 5% editing, and 90% worrying that you’re out of good ideas for the rest of your life.


Everybody raves about deep thinkers, but my favorite people to work with are deep feelers too. They’re sensitive to their emotions, but don’t get paralyzed by them.


When writing, focus on counter-intuitive ideas. Smash people's assumptions and replace them with more useful ways of thinking. If it's intuitive, don't write it.


Why I write long-form essays: 1) Writing sharpens my thinking. 2) To attract the most intellectually curious people in the world — and learn from them. 3) To build deep relationships with readers, some of whom will become lifelong friends. Long-form is my favorite format.


Paid newsletters are over-rated: it’s grueling work, your best thinking is stuck behind a paywall, and selling products is much more profitable


A series of excellent online essays is a better signal of clear thinking than most college diplomas


Ways to think about writing online: 1) Writing: How you discover what you’re thinking in the first place. 2) Writing: How to use the Internet to make friends. 3) Writing: Making your ideas work for you 24/7, as they spread across every corner of the globe.


How to work with creative people: Find people with bold beliefs, get the hell out of their way, and let them do their thing. If they’re good, they’ll surprise you. My only rule: Written summaries at the end of every week so I know what they’re thinking. Otherwise, pure freedom.


If you don’t know what to write about next, I’ll give you a hint: The idea will come to you as a shower thought


What I mean when I say I’ll publish an article: I will revise my ideas until I’m left with only my best thinking. Once I hit publish, my ideas will be stored permanently on international servers. As they zip around Earth at the speed of light, they’ll find my future friends.


Sharing your ideas in public is the best way to leverage your thinking. Once you create something, your ideas take on a life of their own. People can build upon them and access your best thinking 24/7, 365 days per year.


Best way to become a better writer: Live an interesting life. Talk to people who make you think. Travel to places that spring you to life. Live the kind of life you’ll want to tell your grandchildren about.


My writing philosophy in a tweet: 1) The Internet rewards people who are prolific. 2) Most "writing" happens away from the computer. 3) Write for an audience to improve your thinking and attract great people. 4) Building an intelligent audience is a cheat code for life.


People reveal themselves in throwaway comments, when they’re talking but not thinking about what they’re saying


How to attract more career opportunities: 1) Raise your ambitions. 2) Tell others about your goals by writing online. Smart people want to help people who are working on hard and important problems. Think big.


People are short-term thinkers who depend on tradition to help their society survive in the long-term


Most people don’t think they can make a difference with their ideas. I’m telling you... You can.


Easy way to improve productivity: Don't do the same thinking twice. Write down your best ideas. Then save them in a central location. In the heat of the moment, you don't have time to think. Search through your notes and apply what you've already written to the task at hand.

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