carlos rodrigo

Principles

About this set of principles

It is a document in constant evolution.
It is always incomplete and outdated.
The benefits of this document increase as compound interest. Beliefs are corrected over time and built upon each other.
Some of these beliefs will be wrong. Others will not seem to be wrong, but will be wrong anyway.
I am open to changing my mind at any time, if challenged with arguments based on facts or evidence.
Having clear principles and a philosophy of life prevents me from facing each situation as if it were the first time.

General

My love is not free. To love indiscriminately is not to love. People must earn love.
My respect is not free. To respect indiscriminately is no to respect. People must earn respect.
We all must work through voluntary decisions to be worthy of the love and respect of others.
Focus on the important things and disregard nonsense that has no impact.
People should be measured by what they do, not by what they are, who they are with or what they have. We should be measured by the voluntary decisions we make.
We are the captains of our destiny, most of the improvements in our life depend on us. Our health, our finances, relationships, knowledge, work… depend mainly on us, they are our responsability.
What we make of our life is up to us.
Happiness in life is adjusting expectations to reality, without conforming.
Being happy is a choice and requires effort.
To make better decisions, we should ask ourselves: what would an intelligent and brave person do?
Doing something is usually better than doing nothing.
To accumulate in a compound way, to pile up on what we have already gained, is a very powerful phenomenon in different fields.
Evolution works like compound interest; it builds on what has already worked.
We cannot control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we react.
What we do or say on the internet is a digital tattoo that may never disappear.
Once a computer learns something, it is very easy for other computers on the network to learn it.
Everyone is not equal. But we must all have the same rights and obligations.
Everything is temporary.
Life is not fair. The best don’t always win.
Behind anger there is usually fear.
Success is not defined by the time you spend doing what you like, but by the time you do not spend doing what you hate.
Having more money than we need gives us freedom not to do what we don’t want to do.
Success is achieved by accumulating experiences, relationships, happiness, freedom, flexibility and a sense of purpose.
Nothing matters as much.
A life is not much time.
We should consider repentance as a tool to decide what to do in the future, not as a burden that anchors us to the past.
Look to the future, live the present and learn from the past.
We only have one life in which to achieve everything we want to do; we must act accordingly.
The most important aspects in life are: health, relationships, passions, growing as a person and contributing to society.
We only perceive changes. We cannot perceive or feel things that are not changing.
We are the sum of our biases. To name a few: we tend to favour the beautiful, the reaffirming and the expected. We tend to attribute too much credit to success.
We will all die.
We don’t have a purpose given to us, but it’s fine if we invent one.
Souls do not exist separate from the physical body.
The gods of organized religions do not exist.
Science cannot explain everything. There are many things that we still cannot explain.
There is no heaven or hell.
We have no cosmic meaning.
We are made of star dust.
The earth is not flat; it is mainly spherical.
Micro and macro evolutions occur.
Something like the Big Bang happened.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ88kC2Nx8M Nothing in our universe can travel faster than light.
Technology will eventually disrupt all other institutions created by man (politics, religion, identity, economy, energy…).
Some questions have no answer.
Logic is a useful tool, but it has failures and cannot be completely trusted.
Lying creates parallel realities.
We breathe the same air and step on the same ground as the great characters of history.
Life is energy and chemical changes. Life is balance.
With the laws of physics, we can predict the near future. (If I drop an object in the air, I can predict that it will fall to the ground. If I boil water, I can predict that it will become steam.)
Let’s avoid prejudice. Prejudice involves assumptions and charges that are not always met, which are not always true. Prejudice give us a partial view of what it could be.
At the end of the day we only must answer to ourselves. (inner scorecard concept)
Everything we do, we must do to have a clear conscience, first and foremost with ourselves.
In the best and worst moments, the fact that we have done things correctly will allow us to be calm. It is something that nobody can take away from us.
The day after my birthday is closer to my next birthday, than to my recent (past) birthday. We cannot go back in time.
We all travel in time at 1s/s.
If you have 2 legs, you have more legs than the average.
One of the fundamental goals of life should be to improve the lives of others as much as possible.
Everyone is moved by incentives. The most basic incentive is the promise of economic returns. (We reap what we sow.)
Humans are the only mammals that have joined in mass thanks to common fictions, such as money and/or religion.
Every person is inherently valuable independent of behaviour and beliefs. (Though some beliefs may have no value.)
Everyone matters. Treat people accordingly, without exception.
Avoiding failure is a lot easier than trying to be successful.
Understand predictable points of failure (probability + magnitude) and plan against them.
There are mistakes, we should take them as lessons.
There is no better place and time than here and now.
Optimism makes people perform better.
Every obstacle is merely a challenge, not a threat.
People enjoy authentic people. Be authentic, respect your values and do not sell yourself.
Common sense beats all rules.
Success comes from trying something, failing and modifying the action - thousands of times.
A huge part of succeeding at something is simply showing up.
Show small amounts of gratitude every day. Gratitude forces you to focus on the things you are happy about.
Constantly be evaluating yourself. Every year, every month, week, day or hour.
Adaptation is the key to survival. You cannot run over a jungle, but with the right small frequent adjustments, you can run through a jungle.
Discipline is not just following a plan when you need a plan but following the plan when you’ve succeeded.
Automate literally every task you do not enjoy.
No amount of regret can bring back the dead. Love immensely and give your friends and family what they deserve as soon as possible and as often as possible.
Never show your cards first in a negotiation.
In a dispute, ask for proof of everything. Make the process draining for the other party if you’re in the right and they are forcing you to wade through mud.
The mirror test - what kind of person do you want to see every morning.
How not to fail = Strengths + Discipline + Good values + Work ethic + Knowledge + Kaizen + Frugality
The future is a series of possibilities of which only one is produced, which in turn causes another series of possibilities.
Build the reality you want.
Build the reputation you want.
Pursue your purpose.
Pursue autonomy and personal freedom.
Be happy making those you love happy.
Improve constantly (Kaizen).
Make good use of your time.
Trust others, make them trust you and trust yourself.
Be positive, proactive, flexible, humble and grateful.
Take decisions. Don’t be a donkey. (Buridan’s ass )
Find solutions, not problems.
Try to do everything for yourself, at least once.
Be a good person but don’t brag about it.
Do not spend, invest.
Do what works.
History is mostly the study of unprecedented events, ironically used as a map of the future.
It is dangerous to go alone. You heal yourself by helping others. Be kind and serve others. We can do more together than we can do alone.
Seek to learn & understand everything.
Be Economically Useful. The world is not kind to those who cannot create value in the marketplace.
Everything is a remix, so don’t worry about being “original”.
The point of strength is to nourish others.
Have stuff to look forward to. You can’t engineer happiness, but you sure can engineer excitement.
Articulate your assumptions and question them. If you identify a bad one, you can get rid of it and have a marginally better life, instantly.
If you don’t decide, you’re letting someone else decide.

Fears

It is important to be aware of our fears in order to work on them and/or prevent them.
Mine are:

Productivity

Know the tools you use.
Own the best tools you can afford.
Seek inertia to be productive and avoid procrastination.
Productivity is a muscle that grows the more we work on it.
Concentrate and avoid multitasking.

Health

It is as important to know which habits we should practice and which we should avoid.
Habits are what form and deform your life. Humans are short-sighted. Build a ritual that will, much like compound interest, build an amazing life.
Current health services are based on the care of the sick, not on the prevention of the disease.
Get 6-8 hours of sleep.
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Sleep is one of the more important aspects of health, right beside nutrition and exercise.
Optimal sleep warm up is 1 hour before bed to begin process attempting sleep. - No screens, no exercise, no stress.
Vaccines are good.
Abortion should be legal and regulated everywhere. (No one likes it but it must be done safely)
Assisted suicide should be legal and regulated everywhere. (No one likes it but it must be done safely)
Medical care must be available and affordable for all who need it.
Not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.
Tobacco use is linked to a quarter of a billion life-years lost vs. illegal drugs accounting for only tens of millions.
Intelligent people make smarter health decisions that prevent the need for reactive, potentially too-late healthcare.
Dark chocolate is a superfood.
Avoid drinking sugar.
Avoid carbohydrates.
A healthy dish consists of 1/2 fruits and vegetables + 1/4 of whole grains + 1/4 healthy proteins
Physical activity helps us feel better physically and mentally.
Find daily, flexible activity that works for you.
Being healthy and fit allows us to enjoy more of everything.
Exercise, do not smoke, drink and eat in moderation, and walk a lot.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” - Michael Pollan

Relations, friends and family

Having friends, family and a partner is essential to being happy.
Be honest with yourself and others.
There are those who add value and those who take it away, forget those in the second group.
Show your love to the people you love.
Support and help others to achieve what they set out to do. If you say Yes to others, make sure you aren’t say No to yourself. Everyone has the same problems. We all feel and have the same concerns, nerves, fears … The quality of our life depends on the quality of our relationships. Family is the group of people who really love you, and you love back.

Material things

I prefer clean, minimalist, organized and collected environments. I throw away what you haven’t used in 6 months (except for seasonality). Buy things based on €/use, the lower the €/use the better the purchase it is.
If I bought something once, I can buy it again.
If I don’t have the memory in my head, I don’t want the material memento.
To avoid decisional fatigue, have a daily clothing “uniform”.
Quality over quantity.

Money

Nobody gets rich by renting their time.
Money allows us to buy time and freedom.
Money gives us independence and autonomy.
It is important to diversify and build up assets.
We must spend less than we earn.
We musn’t get into credits to buy what we do not need.
We spend what is available. Every successful person saves money. Save, at the very least, 10%.
Every successful person invests.
Spend your money on things that grow. - This includes your health.
Do not skip on insurance. The peace of mind that disaster will not ruin yo u is worth the duty paid.
Buy low, sell high. Every business is in the business of buying something cheaper than selling it.
Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, eBay - All got their start connecting two people together who could help each other. None have inventory, shipping centres, etc.
Scale slowly.
Investing is a game of probabilities, and almost all probabilities are less than 100%. There are five sources of edge: 1) Learn faster than your competition
2) Empathize with stakeholders more than your competition
3) Communicate more effectively than your competition
4) Be willing to fail more than your competition
5) Wait longer than your competition.

Work

It is better to work to have an impact on learning and on something interesting than changing time for money.
Nobody has professional careers anymore; we are constantly changing.
WHO matters most, then WHY, then HOW, then WHAT, then WHEN.
What the research shows is that a fulfilling career requires three things:

Learning

It is essential to learn to learn.
It is better to have a broad and diversified knowledge than to be ultra-specialized.
Take advantage of learning and compound knowledge.
We must always learn or improve our skills.
Learning does not end.

Society

Group activities are always more comfortable.
Small talk is the door to deep friendship. You must make small talk first.
Letting go of the thought that people must like you is the best decision you will ever make.
Talk to people’s emotions.
The success of a society can be measured by its ability to fulfil its objectives: to offer social goods that allow people to enjoy truly prosperous lives.
Gay marriage should be legal everywhere. Prisons must be about protecting the public, rehabilitating, punishing and deterring.
It should be easier and more convenient to send negligent and irresponsible public servants to jail than the average citizen, not slower and more difficult.
Very cheap university education should be available to all who want it.
Never in history have we lived as well as in the current generation (> life expectancy, < economic inequality, < poverty…)
The best alternative to improve the world is generate growth through business.
Being a good person lets us have better relationships with others.
What we think as being good is based on what makes us get along with others and live in society.

Politics

I consider myself a Liberal, everyone should do what they want.
I believe that the best system is a meritocracy. (Though none truly exists)
I believe that a monarchic system is not a full democracy.
Health, Education and Military do not have to be profitable, but we should try for them to be so.