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  • One of the concepts that comes up over and over again with prolific creative minds that

  • I've interviewed for the Tim Ferriss Show or for the book Tools of Titans is creating

  • empty space.

  • And one of the guests Josh Waitzkin, who never does any media, can I curse on this?

  • He always texts me with profanity laden SMSs because I'm the only one who can pull him

  • out of his cave to do media.

  • But he is best known perhaps as the chest prodigy, and I'll explain why I put that in

  • air quotes, besides how funny it looks on camera, that formed the basis or who formed

  • the basis for Searching for Bobby Fischer, both the book and the movie.

  • He was a very well known chess player and continues to be an incredible chess player.

  • But he has applied his learning framework to more than chess.

  • So he was a world champion in tai chi push hands, he was the first black belt in Brazilian

  • jujitsu under the phenom probably the best of all time Marcelo Garcia, who trains in

  • New York City and he's a nine-time world champion something like that.

  • And he's now tackling paddle surfing and he can apply it to just about anything.

  • He works with some of the top financial mines in the world, hedge fund managers and beyond,

  • the best of the best; top one percent.

  • So, why?

  • What are the principles that he shares?

  • One of them is creating empty space, cultivating empty space as a way of life, and these are

  • all tied together so I'll mention another one.

  • Learning the macro from the micro and then beginning with the end in mind.

  • And these all work together.

  • So I'll explain in fact the last two first.

  • Josh learned to play chess or I should say more accurately was coached by his first real

  • coach in the opposite direction when compared to most training and most chess books.

  • He was taught in reverse.

  • What does that mean?

  • He began with the end game and with very few pieces.

  • So they cleared all the pieces off the board, instead of starting with openings, meaning

  • what do you do first the first five to ten moves, he started with the ending game with

  • king and pawn versus king.

  • What does this do?

  • Well this forces you to focus on principles like opposition, creating space, zugzwang,

  • which is a principle of forcing your opponent to do anything that will destroy their position

  • or anything they can possibly do will worsen their position.

  • And these types of principles that you learn when there's an empty board with a few pieces

  • accomplish a few things.

  • Number one, you are learning the macro, the principles that you can apply throughout the

  • game of chess in almost any scenario through the micro, this end game situation.

  • And these principles are adaptable.

  • You become a machine that can bob and weave with the circumstances very effectively.

  • Compared to that, as Josh would put it, if you're memorizing the openings, and this might

  • be like memorizing recipes if you're learning to cook, you're effectively stealing the answers

  • from the teacher's guidebook to a test and you'll be able to beat your friends for a

  • while and maybe even be considered a pretty decent chess player, but on a deep level you

  • don't understand the game and you will hit a ceiling and you will never progress past

  • that and you'll get beaten by really good players.

  • So that can be applied to, for instance, Brazilian jujitsu.

  • Josh taught me basically all of the most important principles of jujitsu through one move, at

  • the end the game, which is a choke called The Guillotine, which Marcello was famous

  • for.

  • His version was called The Marcelotine, but it's effectively like this you're choking

  • someone's head in here and he has a weird way of doing it where he puts his forearm

  • on top of your shoulder.

  • It's pretty wicked.

  • If you want to be put unconscious you can go to that gym and experience that yourself.

  • But that can also be applied to many, many other things.

  • For instance, if you're trying to build a startup, this is a common trendy thing to

  • do these days and I think everybody should start a business at some point.

  • But in the startup game in say Silicon Valley where I live if you're going to go into the

  • venture backed world, well you and your founder better think a lot about the end game and

  • you should definitely have an agreement, at least a working agreement, tentative agreement

  • on what type of exit, say acquisition offer is acceptable to you.

  • If those end goal components aren't in place then it's just a slow motion train wreck waiting

  • to happen.

  • And how might you do that?

  • Well, if you're trying to learn the macro from the micro you can think about what the

  • acquisition agreement might look like.

  • So you could talk to lawyers, get a sample template agreement and look at the provisions,

  • look at the clauses and then reverse engineer it so that when you're forming the company,

  • when you're hiring employees your decisions at that point make it possible to have that

  • contract at the end.

  • This is another example.

  • Micro, maybe it's a 10/20-page document.

  • Macro, building a company that gets acquired by a much, much larger company.

  • So that is learning the macro from the micro.

  • Another example, just because I brought up cooking, would be say choosing a recipe that

  • involves two or three primary techniques and perhaps three to five primary ingredients

  • that apply in many, many, many different dishes.

  • So you're learning principles of say flavor combination, principles of using convection

  • versus shallow frying or sautéing versus steaming that apply across the board.

  • And in doing so let's say you do it without a recipe, without a timer or I should say

  • a meat thermometer or something like that, you're going to learn also to test the food

  • to know whether it is done or not.

  • That then applies to everything.

  • But you can do it just a learning how to make Harissa crab cakes with the steam broccoli

  • and I have no idea say candied yams something like that.

  • So that's that.

  • And we're also talking about the ending game.

  • So we've covered that.

  • Creating or cultivating empty space is a way of life.

  • This is very important to Josh Waitzkin who I mentioned, it's very important to people

  • like Paul Graham, who's cofounder of Y Combinator, which is like the Navy SEALs Harvard of startup

  • accelerators, keeping it simple let's just call it that for now.

  • If you are a creator, if you are a maker and not a manager, this is important, which by

  • the way is a decision so a lot of really good entrepreneurs start as a technician or a tactician

  • they're very, very good at one thing then they end up in a managerial role that they

  • hate.

  • It doesn't mean you have to stay there, and you see a lot of folks like Evan Williams

  • and others who then at some point realize this and return it to a more product focused

  • role even if they are also the CEO of making some high-level 30,000-foot decisions.

  • Okay.

  • But if you are a maker, if you've decided to be a maker, if you just happen to be a

  • maker or creator let's call it three to five hour uninterrupted blocks of time are extremely

  • critical if you want to connect the dots, if you want to have the space to allow yourself

  • to have original ideas or at least original combinations of ideas you really need to block

  • out that time and protect it at least once a week.

  • So in Tools of Titans there are many people who do this, Remet Set, for instance, who

  • has a very, very successful multi, multi million dollar business that he built out of a blog

  • he started long ago in college, which was very, very niche in its focus, he blocks out

  • I believe it's every Wednesday for three to five hours of time he'll block it out for

  • learning.

  • Noah Kagan another entrepreneur does the same thing.

  • So on Wednesdays for me I have from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., this is pre-lunch, I have creation,

  • that means writing, recording or some similar aspect of in my mind creating with my skillset

  • and my assets.

  • And it is extremely important that I do that before I'm barraged by inputs.

  • In other words, and this is true of Josh as well, first thing in the morning he's doing

  • journaling.

  • Reid Hoffman, a billionaire, cofounder or founder of LinkedIn, same story.

  • He will plant a seed in his mind the night before a problem he wants to solve, a project

  • he wants to think about improving perhaps and then waking up, tabula rasa complete blank

  • slate immediately working on that problem with journaling before any text messages,

  • before any email, which is why, for instance, I don't have email set up on my phone.

  • I do not have mail set up on my iPhone.

  • I do not get to notifications.

  • I also put my phone on airplane mode for a lot of reasons, for our body to explain some

  • other physical ones, but onto airplane mode when I go to bed and it stays in airplane

  • mode until I'm done with my creation period and then it comes on.

  • Because as soon as you go into bullet dodging or like Wonder Woman bullet blocking mode

  • with everyone else's agenda for your time, which is very often the inbox or text messages,

  • you're DOA, you're done.

  • Your creativity is all for not in general.

  • So for me, for many people who are say programming, for musicians, for creative types slack in

  • the system, you have to create slack.

  • You have to create space.

  • You have to create large uninterrupted blocks of time and the only way to do that is to

  • put it on your calendar.

  • If it's not on your calendar it's not real, you need to put it in your calendar and defend

  • it just like you would anything else.

One of the concepts that comes up over and over again with prolific creative minds that

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ティム・フェリス、マスタリーについて:エンドゲームから始め、創造性のためのスペースを作る (Tim Ferriss on Mastery: Start with End Game and Make Space for Creativity)

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    abovelight に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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