🤯Unknown Unknowns #34 - The Pathless Path
3 min read

🤯Unknown Unknowns #34 - The Pathless Path

Last month, I met Paul Millerd and had a long walk and talk through Central Park.  I've been a long time follower of Paul's and it was great to meet in real life.  Paul espouses the Pathless Path, which is his alternative to the default corporate career.  The Pathless Path is about exploration and not falling into the trap of prestige.

This Week:

Writing:

During our walk, I told Paul my difficulties in finding motivation and knowing what I should do next.  After this conversation, I came up with the idea of a Centenarian Compass.

Discoveries:

#
Paul had a great guest, Kris Abdelmessih, on his podcast recently.

Kris said "If something doesn't make sense, you're missing something."  If you lower your ego and let yourself realize you don't understand something, that's when you can learn.

Three of Paul's reflections really stuck out to me:

(2) “You realized you didn’t have to be dissatisfied”
You don’t know what you don’t know. When I was working on my former path, I thought that being dissatisfied was part of work.

On the podcast, Kris said to me that on my current path I learned that “I didn’t have to be dissatisfied." I never thought about it that way.

I’m not sure what this is worth but it’s definitely a superpower for knowing when to stay no to the projects that might drain my energy.

(5) Undervaluing Space
Kris was surprised by how valuable it was to take time just to think and reflect on his life. Something about full-time work makes this hard. Or at least, that was my experience. I’ve written about valuing space and my experience in the first few months in Taiwan, where I couldn’t find any work and embraced the opportunity to walk around and read in parks.

On my current path, I build in sabbaticals and extended breaks because I know that is what keeps me energized. I haven’t come close to burning out or considering leaving my current path once and continuously cultivating time and space for reflection is a big reason why.

(6) You play the games that the people around you play
We both reflected that we got sucked into money and promotion games that we never would play now. Before I left my job I was fighting for a promotion and a raise and was upset that they were not giving it to me. I haven’t made 50% of what I made in that job in almost five years but I have plenty, I’m happy, and I know for sure I’d never play those games again.

=> Article Here

##
Paul Graham talks about how  feeble new ideas are when they first appear. If you want to have new ideas yourself, one of the most valuable things you can do is to learn what they look like when they're born.

=> Article Here

###
This essay, by John Salvatier, might be one of my favorite essays that I've read in a long time.  I didn't know where it was going, but it wound up touching so many things that I'm interested in, learning, fractals, unknown unknowns, dealing with nebulosity.

Before you’ve noticed important details they are, of course, basically invisible. It’s hard to put your attention on them because you don’t even know what you’re looking for. But after you see them they quickly become so integrated into your intuitive models of the world that they become essentially transparent

This means it’s really easy to get stuck. Stuck in your current way of seeing and thinking about things. Frames are made out of the details that seem important to you. The important details you haven’t noticed are invisible to you, and the details you have noticed seem completely obvious and you see right through them. This all makes makes it difficult to imagine how you could be missing something important.

If you wish to not get stuck, seek to perceive what you have not yet perceived.

=> Article Here


Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or two.  And feel free to send anything you find interesting to me!

Have a great week,

Chris