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09: What You Care About

Biggest takeaway this week was to practice the game of judgment. It helps you determine what you care about and what motivates you.


Dark Horse

Finished Dark Horse by Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas.

An interesting book about there being a path to success for everyone. It’s about getting better at what you care about most, and not trying to be the same as everyone else.

A few notes:

Personalized success: living a life of fulfillment and excellence.

You achieve personalized success by harnessing your individuality in the pursuit of fulfillment to achieve excellence.

Standardization covenant

Four elements of Dark Horse mindset

1. Know your micro-motives

3 steps to the game of judgment

a) become aware when you’re judging someone/something b) identify feelings, vivid reactions, when you’re judging someone/something c) ask why you are experiencing those feelings

The game of judgment isn’t about other people/things at all. It’s about you. It’s all about the details. The specifics.

2. Know your choices

This is all about fit - the match between your individuality and your circumstances.

The true power of choice is to find and select opportunities that activate the greatest number of your own micro-motives.

Standardization mindset says risk is determined by odds.

Dark horse mindset says risk is determined by fit.

Because if something is a good fit, the opportunity is low risk. If a poor fit, the opportunity is a high risk.

Susan Rogers story - she took a job as a receptionist at a studio. The odds say an average person successfully going from receptionist at a studio to musical engineer are low. But Susan said there was a good fit between her motives, so it wasn’t a high risk.

A small difference in fit can lead to a large difference in fulfillment and excellence.

3. Know your strategies

Your micro-motives are part of your core identity, these are resistant to change. When we want something, we feel it.

You know with confidence whether you want to go skydiving or eat a plate of eel sushi or watch the latest Marvel movie.

Strengths are the opposite - inaccessible, contextual, and dynamic. Fuzzy.

How naturally gifted are you at riding a hippopotamus?

The only way to know is to try. You discern your strengths through action, not introspection.

Contextual strengths: say you have trouble reading text

Dynamic strengths: improve with practice, deteriorate through neglect

Your approach should be different when choosing a strategy than when choosing an opportunity.

It’s all about trial and error not staying the course or choosing the one best way.

In summary, when you learn to know your micro-motives: - you engineer your own passion - which endows you with energy and authenticity

When you learn to know your choices: - you engineer your own purpose - which provides you with meaning and direction

And when you know your strategies: - you engineer your own achievement - which gives you a deep sense of pride and self-worth

4. Ignore the destination

Standardized mindset:

Dark horse mindset:

Ignoring a destination is not the same as ignoring goals. A goal emerges out of your individuality. An active choice you have made.

A destination is someone else’s idea of an objective that you acceded to. It’s always contingent. For example, getting into Harvard Law is a destination.

A goal is winning your next debate club match, reading more philosophy books, and trying to get an internship. It’s possible you will end up at Harvard Law. The self-knowledge you gain from these goals will open up new opportunities for you.

Gradient ascent: it’s like climbing to the highest peak. First, you start climbing in the direction of the steepest slope. Next, you pause and look around to gain a new vantage point to see if that’s the right path to the peak. It’s not fast. You repeat this until you reach the peak.

Get better at thing things you care about most.

Second part of the book is all about how the world is tied to this standardization mindset.

Quote I like this week

You must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.


Put together one of my first scatterplot using R, shared here. A lot more video work as well for Dadgum Box Scores.

R code for the scatterplot: <- read.csv(file="trip.csv")

ggplot(, aes(x=PP, y=PA, label=Team)) +
  geom_point() +
  geom_label_repel(aes(label = Team),
                   fontface = 'bold',
                    box.padding = unit(0.50, "lines")
        ) +
    labs(x="3PT Percentage (%)", y="Percentage of shots from 3PT land (%)",
       title="Carolina Opponents: 3PT Attempt Rate Compared to 3PT Percentage Since Start of '17-18 Season",
       subtitle="Up & to the right means a high percentage of shots were from 3PT land and a high percentage went in, up & to the left means high 3PT attempt rate and low 3PT percentage.",
       caption="Brought to you by the letter") + 
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