Stop specializing: I am my own niche

For years I’ve thought that the way to truly be successful and influential in your field(s) was to specialize – experts would always best Jack of all trades, masters of none.

Yet I quickly realized I had so many interests, genuine passions, for so many different fields that didn’t necessarily coordinate well together.

In high school, I’d be deeply interested in chemistry and math classes and how the world worked, my favorite class still was acting, and yet I received the top English award.

After class, I’d balance basketball practice with musical theatre rehearsals and violin orchestra practice. I constantly wondered whether I was spreading myself too thin, and I also realized I was never truly able to be the best in any one field.

I ended up dropping the basketball team out of lack of dedication, I felt like an imposter leading my high school strings orchestra as concertmaster for 3-years, and when I played Scar in Lion King I couldn’t help but have a lingering feeling of regret that I sacrificed basketball to sing. Why couldn’t I be like Troy Bolton?

Now I am at another semi-crossroads.

Am I the magician?

The philosopher, daily blogger?

Will I work on Wall Street and run a hedge fund, trading stocks, and options?

Or will I dive into academic economic research and cure poverty – my all-time goal?

I don’t have the answer, but I think I’ve come up with a path: I am my own niche

Specialization worked in the days of Henry Ford assembly lines, and yes it still works today too

But there’s something to be said about the creativity of bringing in interdisciplinary skills and disciplines

The most recent book I’ve been reading dives deeper into this concept of Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.

Steve Jobs famously cited his Chinese calligraphy class for giving him the inspiration for pioneering Apples typography and design

Roger Federer didn’t specialize in tennis until much later than his peers, and in fact, might have learned towards soccer at one point in his childhood

And Lindt chocolate brought together dark chocolate and spices to create something new, unique, and not necessarily specialized but surely special

There’s ultimately nothing wrong with specialization, and equally nothing wrong with having a broad range of skills.

I hope to find a balance between both practices so that I can further build bridges between philosophy and business.

Necessary and destructive happiness

Happiness is a just discrimination between what is necessary, destructive, neither necessary nor destructive, and what is necessary and destructive

We need the necessary essentials: food water shelter

We should avoid the destrutcgive: violence hatred and corruption

There are things that are necessary but also can be destructive: the oil industry, corporations, and burning the Amazon forest (for economic growth for Brazil)

But happiness is having a surplus of things that are neither necessary nor destructive because those things are often the best

Air conditioning is neither necessary nor destructive, but I often find myself the happiest when I am able to sit on a comfy couch in a well-AC’d room in the summer, eating take-out sushi and watching Netflix with my dear friends and family i care most avout

Career

I really have no idea what I want to pursue for my career

Originally I thought it would be clear that I’d follow a career in finance

But the more broadly I learn, the more broadly my interests become

Below I will want to just list a few of the things I’ve considered pursuing just so I can also have a better framework of my passions

  • Finance
    • Investment banking
    • Wealth Management
    • Investments
    • Hedge Funds
    • Private Equity / Venture Capital
  • Academia
    • Economics Research
    • Economics PhD
    • Philosophy
    • Professorship either in Economics, Finance, or Philosophy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Writer
    • The Economist
    • Personal blogging (Travel blog?)
    • Write economics/humanities books?
  • Places I’d love to work:
    • Vancouver
    • Toronto
    • New York
    • Los Angeles
    • Singapore
    • Shanghai
    • London

At the end of the day, I suppose having broader interests is better than having none. But I understand that specialization is important and one of the major keys to success as we are taught in economics. It’s more efficient to specialize in a few skills.

 

Live to trade another day

Often when I’m day trading stocks and I profit for the day, I want to keep going. I want to use the positive momentum. But what I’ve learned is that often in those instances I start trading with emotion and I end up losing partially the gains I made earlier in the day.

Even with day-trading stocks, it’s important to understand that life isn’t a sprint… it’s a marathon. And you want to be consistent and show up every morning. Take it one step at a time; live to trade another day.

Book for 2019: The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness

I was inspired by my high school teacher to share the books I’ve been reading and plan to read for 2019 here on my blog. Last year I finished 50 books, and although I did discuss a few of them, I think it would be good for me to reflect on each book I finish.

Meditation is weird because people often think that it is difficult (as I did too), which is a paradox. Meditation is perhaps the only time during the day that I actively try to DO NOTHING and allow my mind to be free.

This book, written by the Founder of Headspace, was a great introduction to the world of meditation and mindfulness and is also one of Bill Gates’ top 5 books of 2018.

As I’ve been using the Headspace app for the past 3 months (almost daily), I did already know many of the teachings that were written in this book. So, for those that don’t currently meditate, and would like to dive into the world of mindfulness and Headspace, I would totally recommend you pick up this book to learn more and hopefully drive you to continue on this path.

I would have to say that meditation and mindfulness practice has been the best habit I’ve picked up recently, and I will no doubt continue to consider this one of the best habits of my lifestyle that I hope may continue for many years. It’s amazing how 10-minutes a day can change your life.

Get it here on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MbiCLl

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Ideas for sale! $20 each.

Ever feel like you aren’t creative enough? What if you could purchase ideas? How much would you pay for just ONE new idea?

What if I told you that new ideas only cost $20 each.

They are called books… Revolutionary, right?

If you don’t have creative ideas yourself, there’s no excuse. Buy them for $20 each. And if you are lucky, you might get more than just 1 great idea from every book.

I’ve always stayed away from books until I was forced to read them when I started university and boy, did they inspire me. I’ve been hooked ever since thanks to my intro to business Professor.

My goal is to read 50 books for 2018, a habit that Bill Gates has kept for decades. I can confidently say at the halfway point, I am on track thus far. I just started my 23rd book of the year:  The Go Point: Knowing When it’s Time to Decide.

Even if you just read 10 pages every day, you’d still be reading 15 books a year (average ~250 pages per book). Anyone else on a reading challenge? What is your favorite book(s)? Comment them down below. Let’s exchange book recommendations. Some of my favorite books are The Little Prince & “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Success

Oh yeah, and if you want the ULTIMATE BOOKLIST (mine) feel free to check it out here:

ULTIMATE BOOKLIST LINK

#books #reading #bookchallenge #business #inspiration #ideas

 

 

[Book Review] Freakonomics

[Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explains the Hidden Side to Everything] – by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt was a great book. 

It was different. And I liked it.

Freakonomics makes you look at the world in a different way.  The book explores the real reasons for the 1990s crime drop, information asymmetry, real estate agents, correlation vs. causation, and, most importantly, in the introduction, which discusses the fundamental principles of incentives. From then on, each chapter focuses on answering, or more so addressing an unusual question.

Continue reading “[Book Review] Freakonomics”