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Choosing the Path

“A lot of people don’t want to pick up the new skills that are necessary, or they don’t want to, for example, physically move, or they don’t want to disappoint the people in the relationships that they already have to make room for new relationships.

So everybody wants to start where they are. Nobody wants to go back down the mountain to find the path going to the top. Everybody wants to stay on the path that they’re on, maybe make a few tweaks and get to the top. Or like Charlie Munger jokes; ‘You know people always ask me how do I get to be rich like you except quicker. I don’t want to be the old rich guy, I want to be the young rich guy.’

So I think these are the hard parts. The hard parts aren’t the learning it’s the unlearning. The hard part isn’t the climbing up the mountain its the going back down to the bottom of the mountain and starting over. Its the beginner’s mind that every great artist or every great business person has, which is you have to be willing to start from scratch. You have to be willing to hit reset and go back to zero. Because you have to realize is that what you already know and what you are already doing is actually an impediment to your full potential. And most people just don’t want to acknowledge that.” – Naval Ravikant, on The Tim Ferriss Show Episode #473

That’s a long quote, but I found it compelling enough to include it in its entirety. Naval has a way of waking you up to yourself. He’s a deep thinker who demands deep thinking from you as well. And he reminds you that you ought to demand it of yourself.

Sometimes you climb to a certain rise in your career, your relationship or with some other pursuit you’re deeply invested in, you look around and realize that the path you’re on isn’t going to the top of the mountain you were meant to climb. That’s happened to me a few times in my life. It will surely again at some point in the future should I stick around long enough. The question is whether you make the decision to go back and start all over again. Can you teach an old dog a new trick?

The obvious example of this is in my inner circle is the crew of Fayaway climbing off the mountain in their individual careers and going back to zero (income) with a three year sabbatical to see the world. And with the pandemic they’ve descended back down off of this mountain that they just started climbing and gone back to jobs to reset yet again. I admire their willingness to keep at it, and they challenge and inspire me to climb other mountains myself.

So the question is, are you climbing, descending or stuck in place? What you’re already doing is an impediment to reaching your full potential. Staying put is the easy part. The hard part is turning back down the mountain and starting all over again. So where are you going anyway?

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  1. Wow, I never thought of it this way (accepting the challenge to start again from scratch). But your analogy is true. Sometimes we can’t climb that mountain in one go. We’re so fortunate to have a few more years remaining in us. And so the mountains (and oceans, and people we’ll meet along the way) will still be there when we return. What is life for if we don’t TRY to achieve something worthy? Like Dora says… Just keep swimming! https://youtu.be/0Hkn-LSh7es

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