Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish quotes on strategy

Founder Farnam Street. Reader & writer. Student & teacher. Leader and follower.

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Chess masters know that to win you have to avoid losing. The first thing they do after an opponent make a moves isn’t to think about strategy or winning but rather to ask them self: what’s the threat? Avoid stupidity before seeking brilliance.


Every choice you make is a step toward or away from the person you want to become. No single choice will get you where you want to go. Only repeated steps over time in the same direction will move you forward.


--- FS Principles --- 1. Direction over speed 2. Live deliberately 3. Thoughtful opinions held loosely 4. Principles outlive tactics 5. Own your actions


Visible talent is the result of years of effort applied in the same direction. It looks sexy at the outcome level, but it’s incredibly boring at the micro level.


Outcome over ego. Correctness over consensus. Direction over speed.


Efficiency is speed. Effectiveness is direction. You need both to avoid going in circles.


The best people need direction, not hierarchy; trust, not bureaucracy; and freedom, not excessive controls. These tools turn your great people into good ones so your less than average ones become average.


You don't control your initial trajectory in life (country of birth, parents, diet, initial education, etc.) but—for the vast majority of people—at some point, you take control of your own trajectory (you can educate yourself, etc).


While you have a default narrative, ultimately you decide the story you tell yourself about an experience. That story changes the future. Most of the time our narrative comes from the way we want to see the world, not the way it is. Change the narrative. Change the path.


You can quickly get better at nearly anything but there is an irreducible minimum amount of time required to be great. Focus your energy in limited directions.


Small changes in either direction feed on themselves: When you're a little over weight, you get depressed, then you eat more. When you exercise, you feel better, then you sleep better. Change the momentum. Change the outcome.


Hard work, consistently applied in the right direction, takes you further than you could imagine.


Outcomes don't change overnight but direction can.


Cognitive biases help explain WHY your mind is prone to lead you astray not HOW to reduce the odds of this from happening.

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