Simplified rules of the thumb to help you make better decisions.

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These simple rules are NOT based on exact calculations, but on experience.

Bezo's rule of the thumb


  • If you are not sure what action to take, let your 80 year old self make it.
  • If you are not sure who to work with, select the person who has the best chances of breaking you out of a first class security prison.

Skinner's Law

This principle simply states that behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated,
and behavior followed by unpleasant consequences is less likely to be repeated.

For example:
When procrastinating, you have 2 options:
  • Make the pain of not doing it greater than the pain of doing it.
  • Make the pleasure of doing it greater than the pleasure of not doing it.

Luck's Rule
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If stuck with 2 equal options:
Pick the one that feels like it will produce the most luck afterwards and ignore the other one.

For example:
You can use this razor's rule of thumb to go for drinks with a stranger rather than watch Netflix.
Later on, you might find that it produced a higher ROI than if you stayed at home and watched Netflix.

The Bragging Rule
  • If someone brags about their success or happiness, assume it’s half what they claim.
  • If someone downplays their success or happiness, assume it’s double what they claim. The map is not the terrain.

Hofstadter’s Law

It always takes longer than you expect, even when you consider Hofstadter’s Law.
Every project costs twice as much and takes thrice as long, always consider this into your projections and give you space

Elon's Law

If you have a project, combat Hofstadter's Law by setting a ridiculously ambitious deadline.
Even if it takes three times longer than the deadline, you're ahead of everyone else.
Elon Musk missing his super human deadlines is a feature rather than a bug.

Naval's Rule
  • If you have two choices to make and it's 50/50, take the path that’s more painful in the short term.
  • If a task is worth less than your ambitious hourly rate, outsource it, automate it or delete it.

Munger's Law

Never allow yourself to have an opinion on a subject unless you can state the opposing argument better than the opposition can.
Steelman Arguments > Strawman Arguments. A steel man argument is the opposite of a strawman argument.
The idea is to help one's opponent to construct the strongest form of their argument.
The typical straw man argument creates the illusion of having completely defeated an opponent's proposition by replacing
it with a different proposition.

Hitchen's Razor

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Newton's Flaming Law

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If something can be settled by experiment or observation, then it is not worthy of debate.


Joe Rogan's Law

  • If unsure what action to take ask what the hero in the movie would do.
  • If you're intensely passionate about something and nobody around you is interested in it, assume the scale of the internet might help you find them.

Taleb's Law

If presented with two seemingly equal candidates for a role, pick the one with the least amount of charisma.
The uncharismatic one has got there despite their lack of charisma. The charismatic one has got there with the aid of their charisma.

The Discomfort Rule

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The more uncomfortable the activity, the more likely it will lead to growth.
The more comfortable the activity, the more likely it will lead to stagnation.
1000 uncomfortable hours are equals to 10,000 comfortable hours.

Checkhov's Rule

When telling a story, don't include non-essentials .

For example:
"If you say in the 1st chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall" in the 2nd or 3rd chapter it absolutely must go off.
If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.

Occam's Rule

Simple assumptions are more likely to be correct than complex assumptions.
Avoid Occam's Duct Tape: Someone who approaches a problem with a ridiculously large number of assumptions.

Walt Disney's Rule

If struggling to think clearly about a subject, draw it out. This will take away your mental blocks.

Schwarzeneggers' Rule

Never need to monetize your artistic pursuits. You won't have to sacrifice your inner joy and vision for a payday.
Figure out for yourselves what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to others.