- Liberty. A society that doesn’t value liberty risks forgeting truth. Truth can only exist insofar as there is liberty. We need a strong justice system that judges right and wrong with the right incentives to ensure liberty and ensures that people whatever belief they have are protected for persecution.
- Education. A population that is educated to think critically is needed to solve our hard difficult problems.
- Infrastructure. We need a common evolving and dynamic infrastructure that meets new needs of a society.
- Healthcare. We need to ensure the health of the populance to ensure that they can be economically stable.
- Basic Science. The foundations of science need to be funded so we can understand our universe and humanity’s place within it.
- Defense. Defending the population and facing the evolving changes of geopolitics.
We aspire for the betterment of humanity. We do the work and protect those within our Realm of Influence. We work on hard problems because they are more meaningful than easy problems. We don’t aspire for glory, but we want meaningful lives. We do the right thing, even when the right thing is hard. We take care of others, even if we must sacrifice in the process.
Our behavior should be toward the betterment of our Team and the attainment of our Vision. As a team we need to not overindulge, we do more with less, we get our hands dirty no matter whom, we do not do complex things for which we do not understand the second and third order effects, we do not become spend-thrifts, and we do not flaunt what we have. As individuals we hold ourselves to high standards, we aspire to learn more, we take care our minds and bodies, and we take care of our friends, family and community. We must master all aspects of life and aspire higher.
We need to hold each other to high standards. We need to ensure that the cause we fight for is not limited by the low standards of the group. If we are not living to our full potential we are wasting our lives. We will strive to be experts in that we choose to act, but always with high standards.
Every Person should attain Self-Mastery. The Spartans had their flaws but within their group they held to high standards, every citizen was considered an equal to the other including the King, everyone went through the same training including women, everyone lead an austere life, and they had a great wit. When it came to performance they performed as one unit.
Our highest ideal is the Advancement of Humanity. Everything we do must be for this cause. We are trying to make humanity better and if that means in the short term humanity hates us, or rebels against us, hold true if you think in the long-term it is actually in its benefit.
We will learn to be masters of ourselves, we will take care of our health, our family and friends, and our community. To do that we must practice high control over ourselves, our behaviors, our actions. We must learn to live fulfilling lives past our work and learn to work together with others. We must hold ourselves to Extremely High Standards and understand that we won’t get there on Day 1 but will work day by day to get there.
We will take Feedback and Reflect on ourselves. We need to understand where we are where we are in the journey and where we need to go. This means we need to reflect and think deeply about our own lives frequently.
Living by these Principles will be hard. It maybe easier to not follow them and take the shortcut. It maybe easier to put people second, it maybe easier to think short-term and it maybe better to think profit before customer. If we sell out our values we are just following the waves of the ocean. For what we are doing we need to hold these principles true.
Don’t sit by the sidelines expecting to gain the upside without doing work, and don’t expect someone else to take the fall of the downside. Have Skin in the Game and acknowledge that the ups and down are as much yours as anyone else. When taking action fear is natural. If we didn’t have fear we wouldn’t be here, it allowed outs species to survive. Our amygdala, reptile brain, is a powerful part of who we are. It pushes us to a Fight or Flight response and pushes us away from danger. So when you want to act and have fear of action because of the fear of failure, reprimand, etc. know that it is normal. However, fear is a product of the unknown. If we make the unknown, known we lessen our fear and the best way to do what we do is to push past the fear. We need to action despite our fears in the moment. To work during times of volatility and fear we must stay calm, we must stay mindful of our Vision, and we must act with force.
The goal of a Sheepdog is to explain Why to others. We crave meaning behind the actions that we undertake and that means explaining everything we have.
Skin in the Game
“Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy but where are they.” -Plutarch
We have Skin in the Game. We take the upside and we take the downside of our actions. We do not blame others if we screw up. We put ourselves out there even if it frightens us and even if it makes us look like fools. We need to play the Infinite Game and that means looking like fools in the moment so we can go to where we want to. We work as a team so we take care of each other but we must acknowledge that.
We drive Ownership of what we have influence over even if no one tells us to. We will be proactive instead of reactive.
Be able to move forward even when you are scared.
If something is wrong speak up.
Constantinople fell because someone left the gate open. Don’t be the person who left it open speak up if something is off or you don’t believe. Get to the bottom of the reason we should be moving a certain way.
Don’t believe that the world will be made for you. If you don’t take action no one else will. It is better to do the tasks to change the world to your liking than to complain that the world is unfair. You have to take the action to move the world. You can’t assume that the world will be made for you. Take ownership to make the world you want.
Humility and Honesty
We must practice humility and austerity. We must have self-control and think really hard before spending a lot of money. We must work to do more with less and always be humbled with what we have. Never believe that we deserve something, always believe that anything we do can be ripped away at any moment. Understand, that that the mindful journey that we are undertaking is much more important than the destination. Enjoy the journey, help others enjoy the journey, enjoy the struggle through the journey. Remember we are all Sisyphus pushing that rock up the mountain, work really hard to push that rock up because at the end of the day it is the struggle that we undertook that makes us better.
The only way you can know how to live is to know how you wish to die. Remember and consider it frequently. What is it that you wish you will have done? What is it that you want as a fulfilling life? What do you wish you are doing less? All of these play into what you will do. You need to know how you want to die so you know what is truly important. We are all given finite time to live and it is important to consider and really focus on how we will use that time. This means we need to consider opportunity costs. What does the end Vision look like and what is the next high value opportunity you are skipping by doing the task at hand. Think also in terms of second and third order effects.
Time is ever fleeting, and we must manage it like the most important resource it is. We must strive everyday to find two hours of Deep Uninterrupted Work, to move the puck forward. We must use this time wisely to get the hard things done and protect this time. This is what will enable us to progress toward our Vision. We want to reduce context switching, and we want to reduce interruptions. Context switching and multi-tasking creates more waste and loss of time than single-minded focus on a single task. We must do this from the individual level to the company wide OKRs. We must have a single clear goal at a time and everything and everyone must contribute to this single goal. We must strive hard to reduce variability, and push everyone to use their time towards the one goal and aiming in the same direction.
- Check your Ego
- We are small compared to the vastness of the universe. What we have is each other and the people we help, so don’t go tooting your horn.
Life is too short to be serious. So have fun. Laugh a lot and don’t take yourself too seriously. We are all making it up as we go along and none of what we do really matters. The only thing that matters is helping other people and being happy and being content while achieving that. Also don’t forget to laugh.