Recent advice

Just this past week I have picked up three great bits of advice that are directly relevant to my life. They come from a remarkably disparate set of sources, and I suspect they would be directly relevant to many peoples’ lives.

One was a piece of advice I read just the other day that the financier Warren Buffett once told his shareholders. I am now finding it very helpful when thinking about the best ways to commercialize research we’ve developed in our lab:

“A horse that can count to ten is a remarkable horse — not a remarkable mathematician.”

Another was told to me by my cousin, who happens to be a renowned spiritual leader and political activist. He was told this many years ago by his own spiritual teacher. It’s probably the best advice I have ever heard about how to run a multiperson project:

“It’s not how much you do. It’s how much you get done.”

The third bit of advice may be the most useful of all. It was given to me by a close friend just last week. She said she was told this by her snowboard instructor, back when she was taking snowboarding lessons. I think the underlying principle applies to just about every situation in life:

“Don’t look at the tree.”

One Response to “Recent advice”

  1. Sharon says:

    I remember reading some parenting advice long ago that suggested phrasing things in the positive. If you tell kids “don’t do X” they immediately think about doing X. I suspect it’s not just kids who do that. So I tend to think about your third bit of advice as “put your attention on where you want to go.”

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