‘An Asymmetric life’

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2nd April 2024

Most people play life too small. They play not to lose and fair enough, based on their reasoning, upbringing, and cultural reinforcements – they have every excuse to be worried & skeptical of different ways of living.

Maybe they’ve had frequent exposure to stories of people who lost and took the risk.
Maybe something has not worked out that cost them big time.
But I’d argue most of us would benefit more from loosening up, from taking more risks & by wondering what’s really possible.

What if there’s actually a lot to gain and very little to lose?

I recently discovered a brilliant Stanford lecture by an investor, Graham Weaver, about how to live an asymmetric life. It’s a 30-odd min video, but I thought it offered a clear & concise look at how to live in an interesting way.

Here are the 4 highlights I pulled out:

1. Do Hard Things Now
We automatically want things to remain the same, even if it’s not in our best interest and we dread it.

As the old saying goes, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”.

People get lost in that, it blinds them, and they take on a ‘it could be worse’ attitude that doesn’t come with benefits.

To live asymmetrically, to live an interesting life, it requires us to do something that we fear because everything that we want is on the other side of “worse first.”
You will feel pain, but you need to keep going.

Finally, you will find out that you can handle it & it’s not as bad as you imagined. Or maybe it is as bad as you imagined, yet, you discover there’s more of you left.

As Graham said in the video,
“Everything you want is on the other side of ‘worse first’. But when you can get comfortable being uncomfortable, you can have nearly anything you want in this life. “

2.Do Your Thing
When you look at it, life doesn’t have an easy path or a safe path.

Sooner or later, you figure out life is suffering despite what you believe or think of it & it’s hard for everyone, no matter what you do or who you are.
Once you’ve accepted this, you want to lean into what’s worth suffering for.

Graham says “When faced with choices about what we want to do, most of us miss one important piece of the equation. We factor in all the risks and tradeoffs, but we completely discount how differently we will show up when we’re truly energized about something. When our whole being is fully invested, we tap into a superpower and can sustain that for a long time. You won’t tap into this power as long as you’re living someone else’s dream.”

3. Do It for A Decade
Find something you can stick with and stick with it.
Time becomes your powerful ally.

And because it’s something you like and are committed to; you will want to get better at it. And if you are getting better at something you like doing and you, do it for a very long time, you’re winning that game.

Graham puts it like this: “There is almost no obstacle that won’t yield to you at full power for a decade. “

4.Write Your Story
Finally, the frame-worthy statement from Graham: “The ‘how’ is the killer of all great dreams.”
There can be a lot of fog in our current life, preventing us from seeing life ahead accurately.

But here’s something you can do to immediately act on these ideas and your dream.

Write up a story about your life 5 years from now with the understanding that you cannot possibly fail – it’s surprisingly hard to let your mind go there.
Write without constraint about the snapshot of your perfect life 5 years from now.
Be serious about the exercise and withhold all judgments you may have. Treat it as an experiment. What do you have to lose by doing it anyway?

As your life goes on, you will realize how precious life is & you don’t want to spend it living someone else’s life or dream.
You have a magical life inside of you, give yourself permission to live it.
Take the time to write your story, ask for what you want & the Universe will respond.

You did not come this far to play small, you came this far to move the world, to make a difference in this world.

Now is your time, live an Asymmetric life & stay blessed forever.