Table of Contents
1. What’s Truth?[[1 Absolutes|Knowledge]] is an explanation. What’s truth?
‘Truth’ is knowledge + importance. Truth is knowledge that is transformational.
Not all knowledge change lives, but all truths change lives—that’s what they do.
Steve Jobs knew something: A. Everybody will want smartphones, AND B. It’ll change lifestyles. It was a truth—it changed the world.
I knew something: “My fingernails grow faster than toenails.” It was NOT a truth—it didn’t change anything.
Truths aren’t necessarily world-changing—they can be life-changing.
They’re usually life-changing by becoming knowledge of the heart.
“Learning” truths are simple: go find a book and study. “Finding” truths are not so straightforward.
You have to “find” truths when nobody can teach you; nobody wants to, OR nobody has figured it out, OR it’s something you have to figure out on your own2In this age of abundance, it’s likely 2nd or 3rd. With the internet, you have all the resources you need to learn anything.
To find truths:
You have to be curious; it’s the quest that gets you to the truths.
The ideas have to come from you.3Nobody is giving you ideas. It’s all about the thoughts that come up.
You(the conscious) don’t get to choose which idea comes up next. You can only let your mind run and create the ideas. Unless you’re curious about it, your mind won’t bother. If you want to know, you’ll constantly get new ideas…some of them will be truths.
‘Secrets’ is a concept Peter Thiel coined: important truths that other people don’t yet realize.
Summary: Secrets are truths that only you (and maybe a few others) understand and embrace. Because only you have them, you can use them as an edge.
In this infinite world4of infinite possibilities, there’s an infinite number of secrets.
This is hard to believe because you can’t see them.5If you can already see them, the idea has already existed, they aren’t secrets.But notice how new songs keep on showing up on the Billboard charts.6Musicians are constantly finding new secrets: which chords to use, how to combine rhythms, etc. Every day, like there’s no end to it. Notice how thousands of new companies start up every year.7Founders are constantly finding new secrets: things that people want, that can be created, yet don’t exist.
You have to be curious. That’s a “given”.
You have to look at something nobody has looked at8either people weren’t able to, or couldn’t imagine;
You have to look at something in a way nobody else has;
You have to do something (in a way) nobody has.
Secrets are ‘creative truths’.10“Creative” can mean many things: contrarian ideas, unexplored areas, more with less, etc. As long as it hasn’t been done before, and is useful, it’s creative.
In a society, people assimilate with each other. Every social interaction you have with a person makes you similar to them.
Creativity can’t happen in a place, tightly knit by society; secrets are always found on the edges11in whatever shape or form.
Solitude is necessary for creativity.
All creative outputs come through these steps:
- Random connection: idea
- Bold trial
- Error correction
This post is about #1.
We have a bunch of dots. They’re pieces of information, stored inside the head or with direct access to(via sensory input). The unconscious is connecting the dots all the time.
When the unconscious connects the dots in a “meaningful” way, the mind converts it into a “thought” to convey it to us(conscious). We make judgements; most thoughts we scrap, some thoughts we keep.
I think having a large base of general knowledge(=dots) is useful.
First of all, it’s easier to connect dots if you have a lot of them.12Kids are thoughtless all the time. They don’t know anything!
Second of all, knowledge leads to more knowledge (which then leads to more ideas).
It’s easier to “learn more” than to “learn from scratch”. If you know a little bit about everything, you can learn about anything. Having a solid base of math makes statistics easier; if all you can do is addition, it’s going to be pretty tough.
The more foundational13A.k.a. essential knowledge, then hard sciencesa knowledge is, the more useful it is. Understanding Windows OS leads to many things, but understanding computer science leads to more things.
Foundational knowledge is also less likely to be “junk”14poor truths, or not truths at all.
The more unrelated pieces of knowledge you have, the further the distances between the dots are, the more creative(unconventional) the ideas will be. Most close dots have been connected, the far dots are less likely to have been connected.
In a given field, most people try to find new knowledge out of the knowledge that everybody knows. But revolutions don’t happen that way.15Baseball changed completely when the nerds brought computers into the game. Who would’ve thought?
The best ideas don’t come when you sit down at a desk, and say “I’m going to come up with a good idea.” They come while you’re taking a shower. Out of nowhere!
The unconscious has connected dots from places the conscious couldn’t imagine.
When you sit down at a desk and write(or other creative things), you’re engaging in a ‘conscious creative process’. In that environment, the ideas you generate are “structured”. They’re high volume, low creativity.
‘Conscious creative processes’ are good for “organizing ideas” and “filling in gaps”. Not so good for “creating” original ideas.16This is why I prefer to use the desk only for editing purposes. I write all the rough drafts(ideas) on my phone/notebook.
Freedom of Mind
When the mind is occupied with nonsense regrets/worries/conflicts, it’s not engaging in creative thoughts.
(Most people are busy thinking about the past/future. Their mind is out of control. Such little time is spent on generating ideas.)
4. Related Posts
Questions & comments are welcome!