Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Things that don't make sense...

There are a bunch of great quotes and ideas in the latest Tim Ferriss podcast ("Becoming the Best Version of You"). Below are a couple that I wanted to make sure to save for future reference from Adam Robinson (slightly edited for clarity and emphasis):

First, on things that don't make sense:
One of the key things to investing, and I think this is a life truism, is to be aware when you hear a voice in your head that says, and you usually squint your eyes or you'll hear someone say the following words: that doesn't make sense. And that's always a sign of something really powerful.  
...I was talking to Sam Zell, a great real estate investor, and all he does, he reads the newspaper and all he's looking for are things that don't make sense. So I said, "Give me an example, Sam." And he says, "Okay. I'm reading the newspaper and I see that there's a Starbucks that's just opened up (this is like 15-20 years ago) in Mongolia." And he thinks to himself, "Mongolia? I thought they drink tea. What's with that?" He's so curious about this because it makes no sense that he takes his private jet, flies to Mongolia, and he discovers that they've started mining. This was the beginning of the big China infrastructure build. And the only reason he knew about it was that "it didn't make any sense."  
So I'm telling you that's the key thing. People stumble on these ideas and they dismiss them. They go, "Eh, that doesn't make any sense." But I'm telling you that's where the gold mine is; things that don't make sense. That's all I pay attention to now.
And on one's career and character:
One of my favorite quotes was by one of my heroes, Juan Belmonte.... He said, "No life worthy of the name consists of anything more than the continual series of struggles to develop one's character through the medium of whatever one has chosen as a career." Which is fascinating because now your career becomes re-framed as merely something with which you're going to develop your character.