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Sunday Ross Beef 🥩 #2 08.08.21
Light stretching to launch your Monday
Welcome to the second edition of Sunday Ross Beef
Here, I’m sharing just three ideas, thoughts or provocations which have intrigued me over the course of the last week. Enjoy!
Currently, this is my invite only but if you’d like to share Sunday Ross Beef, you can do that here:
1) The ‘Binmore Continuum’
I’m reading ‘Misbehaving’ by Richard Thaler, an amusing and arresting book about human foibles and irrationality. Thaler’s focus on our biggest financial decisions makes for fascinating material. In this excerpt, he addresses why people run into trouble with their finances:
The next day I presented what I now call the “Binmore continuum” in his honor. I wrote a list of products on the blackboard that varied from left to right based on frequency of purchase. On the left I started with cafeteria lunch (daily), then milk and bread (twice a week), and so forth up to sweaters, cars, and homes, career choices, and spouses (not more than two or three per lifetime for most of us). Notice the trend. We do small stuff often enough to learn to get it right, but when it comes to choosing a home, a mortgage, or a job, we don’t get much practice or opportunities to learn. And when it comes to saving for retirement, barring reincarnation we do that exactly once. So Binmore had it backward. Because learning takes practice, we are more likely to get things right at small stakes than at large stakes. This means critics have to decide which argument they want to apply. If learning is crucial, then as the stakes go up, decision-making quality is likely to go down.
Thaler tells us in the book that in order to learn from an experience two conditions must be met: (1) frequent practice and (2) immediate feedback. With low stakes decisions, we all get plenty of opportunities to get things right because everyone has to make minor moves on a daily basis that have a small impact on their finances. It’s those big decisions — buying a house or a car, savings for retirement, paying for your children’s college education — that we get very few chances at perfecting. Yet those decisions will have by far the biggest impact on your finances.
2) Focus: One Big Thing
Frameworks to aid productivity come and go. Sometimes the extremely simple are the best. I like Shaan Puri’s ‘One Big Thing’.
“Everyday - I ask myself: what's the one thing on my list...that if I nailed it, would make the whole day a success? That becomes my OBT for the day. I relentlessly focus on that, and feel zero guilt about ignoring other stuff.”
So, be brutal about eliminating peripheral tasks from the agenda. Simple, but far easier said than done.
3) Villa E-1027
Since I’m in the South of France, I wanted to share this piece in Wallpaper magazine recounting the story of architect Eileen Gray’s iconic Côte d’Azur vacation home. After a series of dramas, including the selling of its furniture, being taken over by squatters and even a murder, the house has been renovated and its pieces reproduced.
If nothing else, enjoy the dazzling photography and story of the house’s name.
Have a great week!
You may be familiar with my Paths Less Trodden interview series where I chew the fat with fascinating folk like Jack Butcher, Rory Sutherland, Tshepo Mohlala and George Calhoun among others. You can subscribe to that here if you haven’t already: