On Ambition

"We went from 95% of the world in abject poverty to 9% in under 200 years. Getting everyone out of poverty is the reason why we need to keep building. The positive version of “cog in the machine” is “being part of something bigger than oneself.”"

"let’s give labor more upside (i.e. make them capital). Let’s find a way for everyone to get upside in what they work on, or even what they consume. Hell, let’s even consider doing some version of Universal Basic Income tied to the stock market so everyone becomes “capital” regardless of where they work."

"But what isn’t factored into this calculus is that if Elon stopped working — and if he inspires others to work less — society loses innovation and growth. We’ve had economic growth for so long that we just take it for granted. With billions of people still in poverty, we still don't have enough of it."

"For the 99.9% who don't become the next Elon or join the next SpaceX, we should emphasize collective purpose/meaning bigger than our own happiness: a positive-sum mindset based on expanding the pie. The idea that they are enough and should be proud of what they are, but also aspire for more as a way to continue contributing. The dual advice of “You’re doing OK, and that’s OK, and yet, if you want to contribute more, you can and should also strive to be better and do more”."

"Most people need to believe in some deeper purpose behind what they’re doing. We need a more accessible, transcendent narrative for why more people should be ambitious, especially if it comes as any form of sacrifice."

How People Think

"Most things are harder than they look and not as fun as they seem because the information we’re exposed to tends to be a highlight reel of what people want you to know about themselves to increase their own chances of success."

"When there are no recessions, people get confident. When they get confident they take risks. When they take risks, you get recessions."

"There’s a weird quirk of human behavior that incentivizes people to maximize potential all the way up to destroying themselves."

"What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done."

"My guess is that more than half of all disagreements – personal, domestic, international, financial – would disappear if you could see the world through the lens of your opponent, and had experienced what they have in life."

"All behavior makes sense with enough information."

"So many things in life work like that. Investing, relationships, health, careers. In each, what we should do isn’t that hard – it’s actually doing it that requires moving mountains."

"I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer."

How to figure out what to do with your life

"Sure, it would be epic to have billions to do crazy Tony Stark stuff with. But if you can't figure out how to live a crazy, great life with a middle class income, don't expect to be handed the keys to euphoria when you're struck by a windfall of cash."

"Ultimately, people should spend way less energy trying to get super wealthy and way more energy building a tight-knit group of friends that will be with them until old age."

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