"Focusing is about saying no." -Steve Jobs

“The oldest, shortest words – ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – are those which require the most thought.” -Pythagoras

“Focusing is about saying no.” -Steve Jobs

The paradox of success is this: the more success you achieve the more opportunistic come your way and pull you away from what made you successful in the first place.

The more experience you get, the more you can do.As your skills increase, your ability to take on more increases.

Maybe you said yes in the beginning. Great, that’s probably how you stumbled upon success in the first place. And if you’re still young with few obligations, say yes to everything. Get experience, try and fail, learn new skills, fuck shit up. It’s going to happen anyways, so embrace it.

Then, as you get results, you flip the script: say no most of time and yes hardly ever.

As you evolve, the relationships between how often you say “yes” and the cost of life you pay increases.

It’s kinda like being a kid and growing into an adult with responsibilities, family, and work.

When you’re young, you have unlimited time and energy.

As age and responsibility creep, you have limited time and energy.

Success is the same except it tricks us: we become more effective and it tricks us into believing we can do more. So we do more. We start more. We plan more.

And it all comes at a cost in the form of mental sanity, physical health, relationships, happiness.

The more you take on, the more cost you pay.

As Thoreau said, “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

Success is actually a trap for most. It is very hard to strike a balance. Few do it.

Look at someone like Jobs and you see he executed NO beautiful with his return to Apple, but failed with his family and health.

Elon Musk is an example of what not to do. He’s awesome and we need people like him, but few will be able to do what he’s done and most people should never try.

We can all strive for, and achieve, a simple life that includes deep relationships, optimal health, and meaningful work.

I believe this is attainable by everyone, but still, few will achieve it.

The best chance you have is NO.

Today’s world is defined by limitless option.

The winners today say NO to most things so they can focus. That’s where results come from now more than ever: focus.

This applies to mental health, physical health, relationship health, work health, everything since your results come from doing a few things well rather than a lot of things poorly.

Say NO to most things and spend the limited time and energy you have on the few YESes... that’s how you can build a wonderful life and be as successful as you want at the same time.

The Daily 6

Daily tip or recommendation:

Self-awareness. This is a muddy topic with a lot to explore. So I want you to start thinking about it. Here are a few strategies for getting better at honing your awareness muscle.

1. Ask yourself hard questions and truthfully answer. And when you are lying to yourself it feel good, call yourself out. (If this was all you did, you’d become miles ahead of most people.)2. Read up on psychology, biology and evolutionary biology. The more you understand about the human animal, the better you’ll catch those tendencies you have that keep you unaware.

Daily book recommendation:

Choose yourself by James Altucher. Simple book with a very important concept. If you aren’t choosing yourself, who is choosing for you?

Daily health tip:

Board game night. Or family dinner.

Do something that is a ritual with your friends and family. The more you can adopt these the better your life will be in every measurable way. This is, unfortunately, a dying trend with our species.

Daily Cooking Tip

Get your cooking fats down. I use avocado oil and grass-fed ghee for high heat searing. Use coconut oil for backing and lard. Use MCT oil for coffee, tea, smoothies and low heat cooking like scrambled eggs. Use tallow for all medium heat cooking.

Daily thoughts about money:

If you want to invest without the hassle, consider something like Wealthfront or just buy a vanguard index fund that tracks the S&P 500. Don’t worry about picking individual stocks or paying attention to the market. Just set it and forget it. And stow away as much as you can every month. This is an easy path to wealth for anyone. You just have to commit to it. A good book to read on the topic is The Richest Man in Babylon.

Disclaimer: this is not financial or investment advice. Just my opinion on money.