On the last day of class, Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, asks his students to turn those theoretical lenses on themselves to find cogent answers to three questions:
First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career?
Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness?
Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?
Though the last question sounds lighthearted, it’s not. Two of the 32 people in my Rhodes scholar class spent time in jail. Jeff Skilling of Enron fame was a classmate of mine at HBS. These were good guys—but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction.
As the students discuss the answers to these questions, I open my own life to them as a case study of sorts, to illustrate how they can use the theories from our course to guide their life decisions.
More at How will you measure your life?
“[The best personal finance advice] can fit on a 3-by-5 index card, and is available for free in the library.”
“So, if you’re paying someone for advice, almost by definition, you’re probably getting the wrong advice because the correct advice is so straightforward.”
- Max your 401(k) or equivalent employee contribution.
- Buy inexpensive, well-diversified mutual funds such as Vanguard Target 20xx funds.
- Never buy or sell an individual security. The person on the other side of the table knows more than you do about this stuff.
- Save 20% of your money.
- Pay your credit card balance in full every month.
- Maximize tax-advantaged savings vehicles like Roth, SEP and 529 accounts.
- Pay attention to fees. Avoid actively managed funds.
- Make financial advisors commit to the fiduciary standard.
- Promote social insurance programs to help people when things go wrong.
Source: The Index Card
The quote in the title is from Simone Weil.
When I pay attention I am giving my time. It prompts the question: Who, or what, receives my attention?
Therein lies my treasure.
Un souffre-douleur, un faire-valoir;
À la vie, à la mort;
Quelqu’un avec qui on aime être, davantage que seul.
L’extrait qui suit est tiré d’un making of d’un film que j’ai beaucoup aimé. Un truc qui raconte une histoire. Pas de morale, pas de grands messages, une vignette sur la naissance d’une amitié.
John Berryman’s advice to writers:
I would recommend the cultivation of extreme indifference to both praise and blame because praise will lead you to vanity, and blame will lead you to self-pity, and both are bad for writers.
Vanity and self-pity are bad for any professional.
h/t to Maria Popova