Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish quotes on systems thinking

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

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The biggest generator of long term results is learning to do things when you don't feel like doing them. If you let excuses or emotion drive behavior, you're cheating yourself. Put aside the excuses and start doing what you need to do.


Writing is the process by which you realize that you do not understand what you are talking about.


Things that matter that aren't taught in school + Outcomes over ego (change your mind, don't take things personally, etc) + If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. + seek wealth (assets that earn) + Not all leverage is financial


The work of reading: 1. Read a book while highlighting heavily. 2. Distill highlights into core insights, written in your own words. 3. Put into a searchable format. 4. Review regularly.


If you're focused on the outcome, you're not focused on the process. Sustained success comes from a fanatical focus on process. You don't need to be perfect, just better than yesterday.


If you want exponential returns ... replace the need to be proven right with the need to achieve the best outcome possible.


No over yes. Hard over easy. Outcome over ego. Simple over complex. Listen over speaking. Doing over criticizing. Effective over efficient. Long term over short term. Avoiding stupidity over 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.


If you want to win once, focus on the outcome. If you want to win often, focus on the process.


You have to be willing to look like an idiot in the short run to outperform in the long run. While copying what others already do helps achieve average results quickly, common approaches never outperform. What ends as being better starts as being different.


People who arbitrage time will almost always outperform. The first order thought of instant gratification is a crowded path, ensuring mediocre results at best. Delayed gratification, which requires second order thinking, is less crowded and more likely to get results.


To get better outcomes, learn to do the boring work no one wants to do when no one is watching.


Compounding works with consistency over time. While eating healthy once is easy, doing it for a year is transformational. It's easy to get one win. It's hard to get a lot of wins. Boring progress makes for exceptional results.


Doing what everyone else thinks you should do is almost always a sure path to average.


You don't need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You need to be slightly better and let it compound over time. The world will do the rest of the work for you.


If you wait until you are certain of the outcome, you won't accomplish much of anything.


Visible work gets paid linearly for output. Non-visible work gets paid exponentially for outcomes.


Your life is designed to get the results you are getting right now. Whether you realize it or not, you are the architect.


Failing at things that matter is better than succeeding at things that don't.


People who strive for excellence want to be developed not managed. The more comfortable someone is with being managed, the lower the potential. The more comfortable someone is managing others, the less likely they are to develop them.


If you spend too much time with people who don’t have any ambitions, you’ll soon find yourself without them.


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.


Trying to be less wrong is better than trying to be right. When you focus on being less wrong, blindspots become visible, beliefs no longer need protecting, and you become open to better ideas. Outcome over ego.


Outcome over ego. Effective over efficient. Doing over watching.


Outcome over ego.


If you play short term games, you win short term prizes.


The longer the time frame for results, the less you need intensity and the more you need consistency.


To understand happiness, study how people become miserable. To understand what makes relationships work, study what makes them fail. To understand what makes people more productive than others, study what they avoid.


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


While visible results get the attention, the invisible work deserves the credit. The seeds of exceptional results are planted when no one is watching.


Once you know what you want, determine what behaviors and habits will get you there.


Goal-oriented people move faster. Growth-oriented people go further. Goal-oriented people want the answer so they can "get it right" quickly. They skim. Growth-oriented people want to see the process so they understand how, why, and intent. They understand.


You can't get long term outcomes with short term people.


The more successful you are the less you speak of what you have done and the more you speak of what others have done.


Three things that put you on the path to positive non-linear results: clarity, focus, and time. Simple but not easy.


Delaying pursuing your dreams is like saving up sex for old age — you might get what you want eventually, but it won't be as much fun.


Results are the compound interest of: 1. Consistent effort in a focused direction 2. Constant incremental progress 3. A long period of time Consistency matters more than intensity.


You are not responsible for other people's opinions, feelings, or perceptions of you. They own that, not you.


People who don’t have time to learn always find time to make the same mistakes over and over. They go fast but they never get anywhere.


People who don’t have time to learn always find time to make the same mistakes again and again. They go fast but not far.


Amateurs believe in equal opportunity and equal outcomes. Professionals believe in equal opportunity and unequal outcomes.


Boring progress today makes exceptional outcomes in the future.


In the short run, lying is easy and honesty is hard. In the long run, honesty is easy and lying is hard. What you choose today makes your tomorrow.


One of the biggest things that keeps us from achieving better outcomes: We'd rather not get help than let other people know we might need help.


A lot of people want the world to just hand them their dream. And when it doesn’t happen, we tell ourselves “it’s not fair,” “I’m just not lucky,” or “I couldn’t because ...” While you don’t control the outcome, you do control the effort.


A simple insight that’s under-appreciated: Most results come at the end, not the beginning.


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.


Action reveals what words conceal.


If you do things the same way as everyone else, expect the same results as everyone else.


Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you where you’re going.

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