Which Way Is Downhill?

Every building has a door, and every project has a downhill direction. An angle from which, if you tip it, it’ll fall over like a domino, creating – and sustaining – its own momentum.

Unfortunately, downhill isn’t marked on the map. There is no map. We live in mapless times. Therefore, your compass won’t zip to point north in a second. Finding downhill takes time.

When you can’t see the door on a building, do you assume it has none and go home? Of course you don’t. You walk around, check the back, or try a higher vantage point. “It’s gotta be somewhere!” It might take 15 minutes, but eventually, you’ll find the entrance.

Just like, if you’re patient enough, you’ll always find downhill.

Which Problem Do You Want to Have?

You can choose any problem you want, but you’re gonna have a problem. I can write the book where I might need months to figure out the structure, but once I do the writing will be easy. Or I can write the book for which I already have an exact structure, but where I know each chapter will have to be painstakingly assembled with lots of research. Which problem do I want?

It’s the essentialist – and therefore more honest – version of our default response to any conundrum: “How can I do all of it?” Usually, we can’t, and if we try, we’ll do half of everything and do it poorly.

Life consists entirely of tradeoffs. Why not make them deliberately?