Prioritizing the Rocks, 21 Business Truths, & More
Today at a Glance
- Quote: Action and happiness.
- Framework: Rocks, pebbles, and sand.
- Tweet: 21 business truths.
- Article: Treasure your friends.
- Podcast: Science of eating.
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"Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action." - Benjamin Disraeli
Bias for action builds momentum.
Momentum builds happiness.
Rocks, Pebbles, & Sand
There is a rather well-known story that I like to remind myself of every year around the holidays.
It is the story of rocks, pebbles, and sand.
A professor walks into his class and sets a few items out on the table:
- A large glass jar
- A bunch of rocks
- A bunch of pebbles
- A pile of sand
The professor puts the rocks into the glass jar and holds it up in front of the students.
"Is the jar full?" he asks.
They all nod their heads—yes, the jar is full.
Then he pours the pebbles into the jar. He shakes it a little bit and lets the pebbles settle into all of the nooks and crannies between the larger rocks.
Again, he asks, "Is the jar full?"
Smiling, they again all nod their heads—yes, now the jar is full.
Then he pours the pile of sand into the jar. He shakes it a little bit and lets the sand fill every last bit of space between the large rocks and pebbles.
Once again, he asks, "Is the jar full?"
The students realize they've been beaten—yes, now the jar is full.
The professor proceeds to explain that the jar represents your life:
- The rocks are the most important things—your family, your dearest friends, your health, your basic needs, and the like.
- The pebbles are the other important things—your career, your looser friends, your hobbies, and the like.
- The sand is everything else in your life—your possessions, loose acquaintances, and the like.
The professor makes his two key points:
If you only have your rocks (and remove the pebbles and sand), your jar still feels full. As long as you have your family, your dearest friends, your health, and your basic needs, your life will always feel full.
If you put the sand into the jar first, you'll never have room for the rocks and the pebbles. If you spend all your time worrying about material possessions and low-meaning things, you'll never have time to focus on what truly matters.
I love this story and find value in reminding myself of it at this time of year. It's easy to get caught in the "sand trap"—to lose sight of what is important.
So this weekend, I'd encourage you to think deeply about one question:
What are your rocks?
This is a great thread with a bunch of short, pithy insights on business, investing, and life.
A few of my favorites:
- If no one thinks you’re crazy, you’re too late: The recipe for 100x outcomes is to have everyone agree with you...later. When you first step foot into something new, if people don't consider you crazy, it probably doesn't have the 100x upside anymore. The 100x+ opportunities are a result of them being non-consensus bets. The idea of private companies being successful in space was ridiculous when Elon Musk started SpaceX. Now it's consensus. You're crazy...until you're not.
- The right relationships are better leverage than money: This has proven true time and time again in my life. There are certain people you meet who will have the ability to catapult you to new levels of the game. Once you identify them, create value for them with no expectation of return. Also, find your tribe of growth-minded friends and collaborate with them as you all grow in your individual spaces. Being able to support one another along the way is a cheat code.
- Don't take favors, give them: My Mom always used to remind me of a famous line from Hamlet: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." You're better off being a lender of favors than a borrower of them, though. Every favor you accept (with the exception of those from true friends) is a debt that hangs over your head. Remember that when you're next offered one.
Definitely worth the 5 minutes of your time.
What are your favorites from the list? What do you disagree with?
Last week, I shared a sobering set of charts on the amount of time we spend with different groups of people over the course of our lives. The chart on friends, in particular, was striking.
The takeaway: Our time with friends peaks when we are 18 and declines sharply to a low baseline for the rest of our lives. We go from spending a lot of time with a lot of friends to a little bit of time with a few friends.
Evolutionary anthropologist Anna Machin lays out the concept of a "love hierarchy" in this article. She contends that in a traditional model, it typically has its top position occupied by parental love, followed by romantic love, followed by immediate family love, and so on. In this model, friends sit way down at the bottom.
Machin makes the interesting case for friendships to sit at the top of our love hierarchy. Whether or not you ultimately agree with the argument, it will make you think deeply about the role of friendships in your life and how you want to prioritize them going forward.
The Science of Eating for Health, Fat Loss & Lean Muscle
This was a really comprehensive dive into the science of nutrition.
If you're a nerd for this kind of stuff, I highly recommend listening to the full podcast. If you're not, here are my four simple takeaways:
- Protein is the most important lever for anyone looking to build or maintain lean body mass. Aiming for ~1.6-2.6 grams per KG of body weight is the starting point. You'd be on the higher end of that if you are doing weight training regularly, or the lower end if not.
- Gut health is massively underrated and impacts every area of your health. Aim to get a solid prebiotic and probiotic into your diet. I get mine through my AG1, but there are plenty of options on the market.
- The best diets are the ones that you can actually stick to. If you're trying to diet, time-restricted eating (i.e. only eating from 12pm to 8pm or some similar window) is usually the easiest way for people to get into a caloric deficit and lose weight.
- There are no magic pills. Supplements are only going to get you the last ~5% of benefit. Focus on training hard and eating whole foods and you'll be 95% of the way there.
Listen to it here.