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All You Need Is One Idea.

2 min

All you need is one idea.

Most of us are operating with the mental model that change has to be hard.

“Nothing good comes easy,” we tell ourselves.

But that’s not really true.

In fact, transformative ideas can have instantaneous effects – and can fundamentally alter the course of our lives.

Want an example?

For my entire adult life, I’ve felt that clothes never quite fit me.

Everything was either too big or too small. Shirts that fit my length wise had necks that were too tight; anything that accommodated my (admittedly, large) neck would be so long it looked like a smock.

I was bemoaning this lack of well-fitted shirts when a friend clued me in to a simple heuristic:

A shirt will fit you well if the shoulder seam bisects the curve of your shoulder.

Here’s an illustration:

I used this rule of thumb the next time I went shopping…

And I picked out shirts that fit me very, very well.

Is that the only rule of thumb for understanding how clothes should fit? Of course not.

But did understanding this rule – this simple observation about shoulder seams – change how I understood clothing, and vastly improve the choices I made? Yes.

There’s a deeper point to be made here: This change was instantaneous. I received the idea, applied the idea, and immediately saw results.

There was no struggle, there was no back and forth, no “wrestling with the implications.”

Get the idea, apply the idea, see the results.

We’re surrounded by powerful ideas, just like this one.

Mental models, rules of thumb, systems and processes, ways of seeing the world…

That, if we could understand them, would radically change how we live our lives.

Help us make better decisions. Help us be better husbands, wives, neighbors, citizens, people.

Help us make more money.

Help us sleep more easily.

Help us live.

The problem is one of noise.

It’s a noisy world, and getting noisier all the time.

Too many things to filter though, too many things to block out.

The diamonds get tossed out with the kitchen garbage…

And we’re all too tired to go out and root around to find them.

I’m making this blog to do one thing, and one thing only:

Explore potentially life-changing ideas.

No less than that, in every post.

When I feel I can’t do that anymore?

I’ll stop writing.

No less than life-changing.

No less than what I’m capable of.


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