Daily Productive Sharing 084 - 应该做什么样的工作?

One helpful tip per day:)

(The English version follows)

按照 Paul Graham 的建议,世界上的工作大致可以分为两种:

  1. 只需要做对的工作;

  2. 不仅需要做对,还需要创新的工作

大部分的工作都属于第一种,少数的工作属于后面。所有创作类的工作都属于后者。如何在后面这类工作中胜出? Paul 在 How to Think for Yourself 这篇文章中给出了自己的建议:

There are some kinds of work that you can't do well without thinking differently from your peers.

Your ideas have to be both correct and novel.

Independent-mindedness seems to be more a matter of nature than nurture. Which means if you pick the wrong type of work, you're going to be unhappy.

But schools generally ignore independent-mindedness, except to the extent they try to suppress it. So we don't get anything like the same kind of feedback about how independent-minded we are.

One of the most effective techniques is one practiced unintentionally by most nerds: simply to be less aware what conventional beliefs are.

But if you surround yourself with independent-minded people, you'll have the opposite experience: hearing other people say surprising things will encourage you to, and to think of more.

If you later find yourself in a situation that makes you think "this is like high school," you know you should get out.

Another place where the independent- and conventional-minded are thrown together is in successful startups. The founders and early employees are almost always independent-minded; otherwise the startup wouldn't be successful.

Fortunately you don't have to spend all your time with independent-minded people. It's enough to have one or two you can talk to regularly. And once you find them, they're usually as eager to talk as you are; they need you too.

You can expand the source of influences in time as well as space, by reading history.

The most general is to cultivate an attitude of skepticism. When you hear someone say something, stop and ask yourself "Is that true?" Don't say it out loud.

The three components of independent-mindedness work in concert: fastidiousness about truth and resistance to being told what to think leave space in your brain, and curiosity finds new ideas to fill it.

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The world of work, according to Paul Graham, can be broadly divided into two categories.

  1. just do the job correctly;

  2. do the job not only correctly, but also creatively

Most jobs fall into the first category, and a few jobs fall into the latter. All creative work falls into the latter category. How do you win in the latter category? Paul gives his advice in the article How to Think for Yourself.

There are some kinds of work that you can't do well without thinking differently from your peers.

Your ideas have to be both correct and novel.

Independent-mindedness seems to be more a matter of nature than nurture. Which means if you pick the wrong type of work, you're going to be unhappy.

But schools generally ignore independent-mindedness, except to the extent they try to suppress it. So we don't get anything like the same kind of feedback about how independent-minded we are.

One of the most effective techniques is one practiced unintentionally by most nerds: simply to be less aware what conventional beliefs are.

But if you surround yourself with independent-minded people, you'll have the opposite experience: hearing other people say surprising things will encourage you to, and to think of more.

If you later find yourself in a situation that makes you think "this is like high school," you know you should get out.

Another place where the independent- and conventional-minded are thrown together is in successful startups. The founders and early employees are almost always independent-minded; otherwise the startup wouldn't be successful.

Fortunately you don't have to spend all your time with independent-minded people. It's enough to have one or two you can talk to regularly. And once you find them, they're usually as eager to talk as you are; they need you too.

You can expand the source of influences in time as well as space, by reading history.

The most general is to cultivate an attitude of skepticism. When you hear someone say something, stop and ask yourself "Is that true?" Don't say it out loud.

The three components of independent-mindedness work in concert: fastidiousness about truth and resistance to being told what to think leave space in your brain, and curiosity finds new ideas to fill it.

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