Thinking Fast and Slow

Thinking Fast and Slow

“The days are long but life is short.” It is a weird phenomenon that has become increasingly relevant to my life. This past year (2016) had zoomed by. In the blink of an eye ~ we are here in 2017.

We optimize for the short and long term in two distinct ways. I break it down into living “fast and slow.”


So much is changing SO quickly. The world is accelerating at an absolutely tremendous pace. Yet, in the short term, in the day to day, we have sooo much time to make things happen. In just 24 hours, amazing things are done by amazing people around the world.

In the short term, we should think fast. We should move fast and break things. We should make the most out of each and every day.

Now compare that to the long term, where live is spinning so quickly. There, we should think about our decisions slowly.


Our long term objectives and principles are really important. They are our guiding light. And, to me, those decisions should take time to develop.

In the long run, we should form our choices slowly.

It is the balance between the two — fast and slow — that shapes our lives. Often times, we get caught up in one of the two mindsets.

In the perfect world, I want to be able to do both. I want to get a ton done that fulfills me in the short run but also do things that prepare me for the future. It is hard to find opportunities like those.

Optimizing for one or the other often forces you to make sacrifices. You give up short term income in hopes of a better future. That is called a risk. And life is full of risks.

If you can mitigate the risks, however, you will be more inclined to plan better and make better decisions. Risk leaves things to chance. And when there is chance involved, sometimes no amount of hard work can save you.

I think taking risks is really important. It is a healthy exercise. Sam Altman shares some great advice here on taking risks:

On Taking Risk

Most people are wrong about what is risky and what is not, and so they don’t take nearly enough risk. Take more risks, especially when you’re early on in your career; being young and unknown is actually a major advantage because you have very little to lose.

Don’t let fear of failing stop you from taking risks. That is a risk itself, because you will miss out by not acting.

If you do fail or end up in a crisis, you’ll probably be OK. The more crises I’ve faced in my life, the less scary each subsequent one has become. I’m secure in the knowledge I’ve made it through disaster before and I believe I will again.

If you do something new and ambitious, be ready for doomsayers. Doing new things is hard both because you have to figure out how to do it and you have to deal with a constant barrage of negativity.

Simple tip — don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you’re doing something ambitious, you’ll be told “no”, a lot. Sometimes though, people will give you what you want. Those times will outweigh the pains of being rejected, so be aggressive.

Originally published at Jordan Gonen.

By jordangonen on January 8, 2017.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.