Sunday Wisdom No. 62
While pursuing creative endeavours, it’s impossible to follow any fixed plan—be it writing an essay, or building a startup. The process is chaotic. There’s a lot of figuring out to be done on the way.
Welcome to Issue 62!
Trust all is well at your end. I had a pretty fun week. How about you?
Owing to my pathological need to pick up new hobbies, I got into game development this week, and created a rudimentary game on the Godot game engine.
Even though I’ve been telling others that game design is my new found passion, it’s only a joke. I’ve found many a passions over the years, so I don’t really trust myself unless I do something for quite some time.
On the other hand, it’s equally important to pick up new hobbies every now and then, even if you don’t stick to them. Be promiscuous with hobbies. Date many, marry a few, and make sure not to get divorced anytime soon. What do you think?
Hi, I’m Abhishek. Each week I’ll introduce you to multidisciplinary wisdom—in the form of original essays, bite-sized lessons, commentaries, and more—that gives you an unfair advantage in business and life. If you love Sunday Wisdom, you can buy me a coffee or share this newsletter with a friend.
Anchor Mechanics: A Framework to Ruthlessly Prioritise Creativity Over Fixed Plans
In this week’s essay I talk about fostering innovation in creative projects.
In my weekly essays, I rarely write about the idea I had initially set out to write. This happens in 90% of the cases, perhaps more. I start with a vague idea, and by the time it starts to take shape, it often wants to become something else. Sometimes it starts to become more interesting than the original idea. At some point it becomes stupidly obvious that it would be foolish not to pursue the new idea. So I expunge the original, and go with the new.
In most creative endeavours, it’s impossible to follow a fixed plan—be it while writing an essay, or building a startup. Creatives endeavours are bound to be chaotic. There’s a lot of figuring things out on the way. Through side experiments, random bugs, and unplanned side-effects, you have to figure out what your Anchor Mechanics is. Once you do, it’s all about razors-sharp focus and ruthless prioritisation henceforth.
Anchor Mechanics is a framework that has given shape to almost all successful businesses such as Airbnb, Twitch, Twitter, and Google.
The Langdon is a joke format (often heard on BBC comedy shows) where two elements are introduced; one of them is talked about; but at the end it turns out we were talking about the other one all this time.
For example, “Boris Johnson and his girlfriend introduced their new dog to Downing Street yesterday. ‘He’s a bit scruffy and wants to shag everything that moves, but we’ll get used to him,’ said the dog.”
This is an interesting proposition for a joke where you already know the ending. So the focus is on how absurd is it gonna get, or how far they are gonna push it. Because you know what’s about to happen, you enjoy the journey more.
This reminds me of a methodology of creating tension—often seen in Hitchcock films. Suppose there’s a scene of people dining on a table. It goes on for 5 boring minutes, and suddenly a bomb goes off! All the audience gets is 5 seconds of shock. Now, let’s flip the narrative. What if we inform the audience that there’s bomb under the table and will go off in 5 minutes. Now the audience has 5 whole minutes of tension. Link
The Lives of Others
There’s a subculture of people who have a passion of reading diaries of others found on eBay and antique shops. It’s a unique way to feel connected to a stranger from a different country, culture, or generation.
Unlike books, diaries tell us about cultures, societies, and lives in an unfiltered and personal manner. After all, it was from the diary of a young girl that we realised the hardships of Jews during Hitler’s rule.
People compare their lives to celebrities and influencers, and think they don’t have a story worth telling, but that’s not true. We all have a story. We all suffer hardships, and we all have great joy. Our diaries are our mementos. Link
You Are Wealthy If…
Morgan Housel lays down alternative forms of wealth. Following are some of my favourites.
Covid has forced many of us to spend unprecedented amounts of time with a few people (spouses, kids, roommates). You’re wealthy if you still enjoy their company after eight months of unbroken socialisation.
You have emotional stability, accepting reality without it driving you crazy.
You have enough time to prioritise eight hours of sleep with stress levels low enough to allow sleep.
Your expectations grow slower than your income. It’s the only way you’ll feel wealthy regardless of how much money you have.
You don’t have to pretend to look busy to justify your salary. Link
👋 That’s All!
One last thing. Reading this post won’t help, unless you swallow, chew, and digest these ideas. I urge you to become a demanding reader—one who questions the author, seeks answers, and doesn’t shy away from sharing differing opinions.