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Do Your Life’s Work

For those who play the long game.

Curators: Dhara Shah, Ritvvij Parrikh.

Below is a summary that strings most of the major ideas in this blog together. Click on the purple links to read that in detail.

Miyamoto Musashi

If you know the way broadly you’ll see it in everything.

1. You’re not just in a field; you are striving to be the field in your time and space.

You see your work as your calling, your life’s work. You love being in the details. It is not in one special field but where we are seeking it. It is for all of us — academics, researchers, reporters, policy makers, venture capitalists…


2. Your business isn’t just a venture; it’s a legacy, your life’s work.

It is easy to think that success in business is about valuation or being on TV. Business success is in paying customers who value your dedication and every little detail you perfect on their behalf, decade after decade.

37signals: A bootstrapped Internet business doing millions of dollars in revenue that is known for its bold thinking.

3. Your life’s work is owning your networ-k/th.

It’s not about your LinkedIn connections or Twitter followers. Not about your ability to buy your way in. It is about the value you add, the time you gave to high-potential people, the trust you built and sustained by showing up, and the positive-sum games you played.

WordPress: An Internet business that has endured for 20 years and powers 40% of the Internet.

4. Life’s work isn’t born, it is made.

You weave your lived experiences into your profession. You build on what they’ve gotlabor, judgment, health, or capital. You put in the work to master the basics and act independently. You are building an authentic expression of yourself.

Seth Godin

5. Those doing their life’s work invest in things that don’t change.

You realize that your Life’s Work is always in permanent beta: imperfect, incomplete, and impermanent. Hence, you don’t have FOMO (fear of missing out) and instead maintain a sense of ‘This Is Enough.’ and focus on becoming Super Normal.

Muji: A Japanese consumer goods business that never prints its logo on its product but everyone knows its from Muji.

6. Life’s work isn’t about seeking fleeting pleasures. It is in your everyday decisions.

It is in speaking truthfully, in eating simply, in not being attached to the things you own, in exercise rather than exertion, in saying no to ‘my way or the highway‘.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: One of the most influential original contemporary thinkers in the gym.

7. Life’s work isn’t guaranteed.

It is in taking bold risks while avoiding risk of ruin. It is in building anti-fragility. It is in the boring details — maintaining cash flow, building optionality, and publishing by-products. It is in avoiding de-growth that stops compounding.

Zoho: Bootstrapped and with $1 billion+ revenue.

A curated list of things that saw, felt, heard, smelt, and tasted what it means to be Humane.

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